Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Echo, a simple term that conjures up visions of someone hanging their head over the side of a mountain and screaming "HELLO" at the top of their lungs and waiting to hear the familiar sound of "HELLO... Hello... hello" reverberate back to them with each subsequent hello getting softer and softer.  I think of this term in a slightly different way after a discussion I had with a salesman when I was on a flight for a business trip.  His definition really means something and I never take it for granted. 

The salesman looked me straight in the eye and said to me, "Remember, approach everything keeping ECHO in mind."  His definition of ECHO was an acrynom for "Every Contact Has Opportunity".  I have always kept that saying in the back of my mind because I never know who I'm going to meet. 

He went on to explain his ECHO theory may not give you immediate returns, but it will some day pay off for you.  Some of you may call it Karma, or the Golden Rule, but his definition had a different twist.  He told me that I may wait years or even decades before the ECHO returns, but it depends on what I did during that first encounter.

We have all heard the saying that first impressions mean a lot, and under the ECHO theory, the will influence the outcome of our interaction with whomeve we meet.

Keep Your Fleet

Well maintained equipment is one of the major factors in keeping participation levels high in your Spinning® program.  When equipment is broken or in need of regular maintenance, your membership notices the deficiencies and may not return to class.  New participants may see the “Out of Order” sign on equipment and wonder how much of an investment is the club making when the Spinner® bikes are out of service for lengthy periods of time.  You have spent thousands of dollars on your fleet of Spinner® bikes, and when they are down, members will let you know in no uncertain terms they are unhappy. But what can you do to save your fleet of bikes?

First, keep your bikes off limits to the membership unless there is a scheduled class.  A member that hasn’t been set up properly on the bike or instructed on its safety features may put themselves at risk of injury.  Instructors are trained to set up a rider based on the unique anatomy of the individual member.  Instructors will also make sure that the members know how to operate the bike safely and will explain how to use the components of the bike.  Allowing your bikes to be ridden by members during non-class hours increases the potential wear and tear on the bikes as well as exposes the club to potential liability should an injury occur. 

However, some instructors employed by your club do need to practice their ride profiles before they present their ride to a class full of Spinning® program enthusiasts.  Allowing access to the cycling room for those instructors must be handled carefully.  The instructor must be on your payroll.  Place a sign on the studio door that indicates that the instructor is practicing their profile and no other member will be permitted to ride during this practice session.  Let your instructors know that they can practice their profiles but must do so by themselves without any other member in the room. 

Some members may be certified Spinning® instructors and ask you for the opportunity to use your studio to practice.  However, to limit complaints from other members, limit the use of the studio for solo practice sessions to those instructors on your payroll.  Otherwise you will receive complaints from other members that are not allowed to use the studio to meet their own training goals.

Secondly, maintain your bikes.  Obtain a maintenance contract with a reputable mechanic that knows the specifications of the Spinner® bike.  Check with StarTrac to identify qualified mechanics.  Additionally, make sure you purchase a service manual for your particular model.  The manual will have specifications for how to repair every component on the bike as well as torque specifications to ensure your members ride a well-maintained bike.

Lastly, make sure your members wipe down the entire bike after their rides.  This shouldn’t be an option, but a requirement.  Members should be provided with a light cleaning solution and a rag to wipe down the entire bike, not just the handlebars and saddles.  Instruct the members to spray the rag and not the bike.  They don’t have to clean it as if they were going to eat off of it, but clean it as they hoped the rider before them had cleaned the bike.
Keeping your fleet of bikes in top working order is important to maintain member satisfaction. Keep the bikes safe, secure and well maintained and they will provide you years of service. In addition, you’ll limit your liability exposure.