This is a hack that has already made its way to a few boathouses, and Concept 2 even liked this hack enough to tweet it out as a customer service tip a few years ago. In honor of the erg season which is upon us once again- and perhaps for a while in the Northeast thanks to this "Herculean" cold snap--we figured we should put it out there again: the Erg Sanitizer-Bottle Cage.
Rumor has it that this hack originated at CRI up in Boston, which makes a lot of sense: in addition to being some innovative folks, the CRI coaches see their equipment shared by lots of athletes and programs, so keeping ergs clean and sanitized is as much a necessity as it is a good idea. The more convenient you can make a quick, post-row wipe-down, the more likely your ergs are to actually get cleaned on a regular basis--and the Bottle Cage certainly keeps "clean" close at hand.
Up at CRI, they take the hack one step further to make sure the job gets done. It is hard to see in our photo, but each set-up also includes a hook that holds a rag, so that each erg has everything you need to take care of clean-up--and, after staring at the bottle and rag for a whole workout, we'd have to imagine rowers have pretty much zero excuse for forgetting to do their clean-up.
What really makes the Bottle Cage hack work well is that it ensures that the spray bottle travels with the erg, and it even holds onto it when the erg is stored upright--which is where we last spotted this hack during a stop at CRI's Harry Parker Boathouse during the Charles. By making sure the bottle goes where the erg goes, this hack is perfect for keeping the cleaning supplies handy right where they are needed, and not underfoot, or forgotten on a shelf. For a team that moves their ergs around a lot to train in a shared space, or even just needs to put the ergs up daily to make room for other activities, the Bottle Cage makes sure everything stays in easy, and useable, reach.
So, as your team starts to hit the ergs in the deep of winter--and at the height of flu and cold season--you might want to consider hitting the local bike shop for some cheap bottle cages, and hopefully making clean-up easy will help your athletes get into a good new habit this year.
Have a great way to keep your well-used ergs clean and germ-free? Share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!