A whole lot of good can come from being over-prepared. You may or may not have noticed that I haven’t posted a new Spinning profile for a while… has it been months? The explanation is because I haven’t needed to make a new one. August and September are typically two of the busiest months for me due to travel and back to school schedule changes. This year, I got it together early. Starting in May I started creating a backup collection of rides that worked and I made a new profile nearly every class (2-3/week). I hoarded them. I experimented with Cadence Revolution. I joined pedal-on.com and found a plethora of great ideas. I participated in a CD Tree and obtained 10 CDs of new profiles and options…. Long story short is that after two months of hard work to build up a collection of 20 excellent rides, I can sit back and repeat to my hearts content. My classes won’t hear the same song for close to three months if I play it right. So now that things are hectic, I don’t have to stress about putting a ride together late at night in a panic. It is working out so well, that I am going to adopt this process when these rides get worn out and it is time for new ones.
Since it worked so well for me, I want to share it with you, on the off chance that you are not remarkably organized, as I typically am not. Here are some guidelines to building up your library:
1. Pick unusual music that your students aren’t already sick of. When creating a new ride, try to choose timeless songs that will not seem annoying when played back 6 months from now. You don’t have to exclude Top 40 hits from your playlists, but try to pick the popular songs that aren’t played every ten minutes on the radio. (Hint: If you have ever heard it on one radio station, switched stations and heard it there too, do not put it on your list). This is why many instructors rely so heavily on electronica, tribal, world, etc styles of music. If your students haven’t heard it, there is less for them to complain about!
2. Two for the price of one. When I create a new ride, I typically end up with more songs than I can use at one time, or I find myself torn between two or more songs for the same segment of class. Instead of making one ride at a time, create two. You can even use the same profile and just create two rides for it with different music. Your class will probably never even notice. You can save a lot of time just by getting the maximum number of profiles out of that time you’ve carved out to think specifically about music and riding. The time saved just from overcoming creative inertia more than once is incredible for me!
3. Borrow profiles and music when you can. As mentioned earlier, I love the pedal-on community and I am getting a lot of mileage from Cadence Revolution. The best part about using music from Cadence Revolution is that the uniqueness of the songs allows them to be played more frequently with less noticeability. Take advantage of CD-swapping arrangements with folks from your club, or from pedal on, or wherever you can find them.
4. Keep track of what you played and where. I keep a note on the liners of my profiles about where and when it was used so that I cut down on repeating too soon or frequently. I don’t want to accidentally bore a single class by overplaying a CD that happens to get rotated into their time slot over and over.
I look back and see that this is all pretty common sense stuff. And yet, I sense that there must be more people like the me I was before this summer. I used to procrastinate, then scramble at the last minute to pull a ride together. The beauty of organization is definitely being able to sit back after all the work is done and simply reap the benefits!