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Author: Kristina Karaliene

It’s time to unite & inspire

Over the last few months, the famous phrase ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has been going round and round in my head. No sooner do we begin to put one major challenge behind us, but another quickly appears on the horizon.

We’re seeing pressures on global supply chains cause consumer prices to head for the sky. We’re seeing worldwide logistics havoc and a major increase in energy costs. And of course, there’s always the spectre of one more dance with COVID.

It’s enough to leave even the most ‘glass half full’ among us filled with frustration, fear, anger, bewildermentand negativity, sapping us of our spirit and our creativity.

Back to square one.

After such an extended period of uncertainty, it’s hard for this personal response not to impact our professional mindset, too. Yet we have a place in the world, this wonderful sector of ours.

Consumers are proving this in their buoyant return to our facilities: evidence that the in-person experience, the social connection, will always have a role to play. And within this, indoor cycling goes from strength to strength, rising to the #2 spot globally in terms of most popular in-club class format; in the US, UK and China it’s #1

All of which gives us very real reasons to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ as we head into the new year. To force out our negative thoughts and choose positivity. Of course, we must all adapt. We must reinvest in our products and experiences. But my personal belief is that – particularly when each of us feels so personally battered by the last couple of years – we should start with ourselves. We can decide to be positive, kind and caring. We can task ourselves with bringing hope, motivation and a much-needed feelgood factor to our members, then gather our teams and inspire them to do the same. We can, as we discuss in the feature The making of a rockstar, give our instructors license to truly connect and entertain.Everything we do must be more consumercentric than ever, more focused on the human touch – on what we bring mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

So my advice? Scrap the normal rules, get all stakeholders involved and embrace their ideas to bring in the change that’s needed. It’s time to unite and inspire. Let’s make this our New Year’s Resolution, so 2022 is the year we truly become people’s ‘happy place’. Season’s greetings to you all.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO, Body Bike International A/S

A Common Purpose

As we put the finishing touches on this edition of RIDE HIGH, I find myself reflecting on the recent UEFA EURO 2020 football championships. What a competition it was!

After a prolonged period of on-off lockdown, the sheer presence of crowds in the stadia was enough to lift the spirits – a coming together of people and passion that was made even more special by the fact it had been so long coming. But being a Dane, this tournament was a particularly emotional one. I’m referring, of course, to the match against Finland, where our midfielder Christian Eriksen – aged just 29 – collapsed on the pitch having suffered a cardiac arrest. The story thankfully had a happy ending, but the event sent tremors across our nation. The impact on the team was perhaps even more marked. All of a sudden, they were playing for Eriksen. The supercharged team spirit was palpable, their performance a masterclass in the power of shared purpose. They may not have won the tournament, losing to England in the semi-final, but they won hearts and brought great pride to our country.

I see certain parallels in the world’s response to COVID. In the face of adversity, of lives and livelihoods lost, we – families, colleagues, organisations, entire nations – have pulled together to confront the challenges. In the feature Inspired by COVID, we share just a handful of the stories that have emerged from our own hard-hit sector – tales of innovation and shared purpose that have seen teams survive and even thrive in times of crisis. We hope you will find them as inspirational as we do.

As we now move towards that long-awaited light at the end of the tunnel, it feels like the perfect time to unveil a new look and feel for RIDE HIGH magazine. We hope you like it! Combined with BODY BIKE’s recent AAA creditworthiness rating and our exciting new BBCARGO venture, there’s an exhilarating spring in our step as we emerge from a tough 18 months. I don’t normally use this page to talk about our company, but when it gives such optimism for the future of our sector – a sector that since March last year has been united in a common, and quite honestly existential, ba.le – it feels right to share. Right now, I couldn’t be prouder: of the team, our company, my country. Of our sector for standing up to the challenges of the past 18 months and coming out stronger.

Uffe A. Olesen
CEO BODY BIKE International

Conceived, powered and funded by BODY BIKE®, RIDE HIGH has a simple mission: to celebrate and champion the very best of indoor cycling, sharing ideas, stories and experiences from around the world to inspire the sector on to even bigger and better things. Subscribe for free by leaving your details below and we'll send indoor cycling's hottest news direct to your inbox three times a year.

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