Pelotonnage

The actual outdoors. No instructors shouting at you. Free of charge.

I’m having trouble fitting into The New Weird Order.

The idea of spending $2,245 for a Peloton bike plus $39 per month for online classes*, so I can stay fit for … for. …

For what, exactly?

“Enjoying” a long and healthy life spent indoors, never more than a few steps from a screen?

I guess if the auto industry gets another bailout, as seems likely, these folks — the ones with all the money, anyway — will be able to have their “outside” and their screens at the same time.

* Incidentally, if you already own a bike, and you must do your cycling indoors, you can spend a few hundy on a stationary trainer or a set of rollers and join the free community of voices in your head.

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17 Responses to “Pelotonnage”

  1. s Says:

    a fool and his/her money are soon parted. a swelling of exercise equipment on craigslist in 3 months?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Craigslist, FaceButt Marketplace, garage/estate sales, etc.

      That said, I have held onto my Cateye CS-1000 for the better part of quite some time. Glad I’ve been to have it in reserve, too, for broken ankles, dislocated fingers, busted collarbones, and whatnot.

      My “virtual cycling experience” is limited to an old iPod playing even older music from my misspent youth, however. No screens involved. And once I get back outside, the iPod stays home.

  2. SAO' Says:

    Not to mention, most of these SoulCycle type programs turn out to be run by weirdos.

  3. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Peloton = marketing bullshit. Next thing you know, Peloton with electric assist.

    I’m seriously thinking of reducing my exercise to walking in nature outside. The urge to ride has left me; I’m not sure it will return.

  4. Shawn in da Gorge Says:

    Unless it’s the excitement of possibly riding off the side of a set or rollers I can’t stand riding indoors on a trainer. I don’t desire a peloton. – Have you noticed that they appear sophisticated enough to have a “load knob” that you have to turn? Why not electronic shifting / load adjust? If you’re a peloton owner please correct me if I am wrong about this.

    Unfortunately I like to sell things and any rollers, trainers, etc. have been passed along to others. I have this great idea to make a set of rollers out of old steel drums. Weld on some side bearings, mount to a 2×4 frame or something similarly cheap, use some old inner tubes as a drive belt for the front drum and then you’ve got some excitement. Yeah, the initial rotational inertia would be quite a bit but once you’ve spun the drums up the momentum would be great. The novelty would probably wear off in about 5 minutes…

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      There’s always free-ranging in the house, too. Trials-ride the furniture, try to ride up the stairs, host a crit in the garage (mind the gardening implements, them’s sharp).

  5. JD Dallager Says:

    Still riding my 2003 steel Lemond Buenos Aires mounted on a similar vintage CycleOps resistance trainer here when the weather is wintry/bad/howling/etc. Seems to work fine while I “punish” myself with heart-rate-training bouts and/or “leisurely” viewing of shows we enjoy. I’m always pleased that the voices inside and outside my head seem to vanish at heart-rate zone 4 or higher.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I just pulled the rim-brake Soma Saga off the CS-1000, which will get folded and stored (until the next time I break something I need for getting around and about).

      I sympathize with racers who are penned in and wondering when/if they’ll be able to pin their numbers on again. I just think indoor cycling is a means to an end, not the end in itself (see Zwift “racing,” etc.). Especially at those prices.

      Isn’t all sport basically a stand-in for warfare or chasing dinner somewhere on the African veldt? Vanquishing virtual enemies while stalking the wily Clif Bar from the saddle of a Peloton “bike” just isn’t the same somehow.

  6. John A Levy Says:

    While nobody but not body despises a vomit comet (i.e. indoor trainer) more than I do. Better to use one than do outside stuff in a class or machine. A few years back I got certified to to train in spinning classes but after a few years of that and Several hundred dollars worth to cds and downloads. The light came on money was nice but real air is better and sweat should blow off your body and not puddle underneath it. Saw the error of my ways. only thing I miss is the access to saunas and steam room. besides cycling clothes on look good on bicycles.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I spent a lot of time in locker rooms during 10 years as a competitive swimmer, and I’ve hated gyms since the first time my dad took me to one on Randolph AFB sometime in the mid-Sixties.

      When they got hip during the Eighties they became bearable — a friend had a membership at some high-zoot outfit in Cherry Creek that was more like a whorehouse than a gym. Had a bar and everything. We had to bring our own cocaine, but that was hardly an issue (it was the Eighties).

      Never tried a spin class. I think the bikes should be wired to generate electricity for homeless shelters.

      Today we have a YMCA just one stoplight to the west. No, thank you. It’s the great outdoors for me.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I tired a spin class with the smarter half’s uncle some years ago. If you are a cyclist and don’t ride a fixed gear bike, I think a spin class is a great way to get a knee injury. They are fixed gears tied to a big flywheel. I got that baby up to speed and then the instructor started telling us to get out of the saddle. Yea, right. I flipped the brim up on my cycling cap, cranked the resistance up a little, and spent the final 15 minutes pretending I was Eddie Merckx on rollers. Had that baby spinning I did. When the class ended, the instructor came over and said what were you doing? Time trialing I replied. I said thanks and see you later. Guess the Mr. Headshok jersey gave her a clue I was goofy.

  7. khal spencer Says:

    Back when I lived in the Northeast and winter was a bitch, my grad school buddy Chuck Herzig brought his rollers into the basement of the Geology Building and we set them up in my advisor’s rock prep lab. My advisor Gil was by this time an avid cyclist and thought that was a cool trick. So we worked out with a Sony Walkman plugged in during those times when the roads were too icy to ride, as cold was not considered an excuse for not riding.

    Moving to Hawaii made indoor training, whether stationary training or rollers, rather absurd. I borrowed a stationary trainer once when I broke my collarbone and was off the road for a few weeks.

    Back to the Mainland, I set up a set of rollers in Los Alamos in our hobby room but used them so rarely that I finally donated them at a bike swap. Vomit comet seems like a good description. Or Sweat Monster.

    Much better to go out and play. The Rail Trail, at least on weekdays, is pretty sparsely populated and its now nicely improved all the way to the south end of Eldorado. So from my house, its about a 32 mile round trip, mostly on dirt/gravel.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Rail Trail’s lookin’ good. Most of the fun stuff in my immediate vicinity has too many narrow bits for comfort.

      Plus I don’t want to stress the ankle out any more than is absolutely necessary. I usually unclip the left foot for a stop, but if I had to quickly unclip the right to carom off a rock, buzzworm, or iPlodder, I might be in a spot of bother.

      • khal spencer Says:

        I’d say the minimum width on it is about six feet. Usually wider.

        There are a few steep short ascents and descents on the Rail Trail and some sharp downhill curves. I nearly ended up in a warm embrace with a tree on Monday as I was daydreaming and entered a curve too fast. But generally it is wide and easy as opposed to the La Tierra trails, which are a lot of technical singletrack. At least technical for this rider. YMMV.

        So I like the Rail Trail as it is gorgeous, has great visas, no cars, and I can exercise the cross bike and get some bike handling experience without the heavy duty mountainbike needs of LaTierra trails.

  8. khal spencer Says:

    My first thought, actually, was also “a fool and his/her money are soon parted”. The idea of spending almost 2.5 grand (including sales tax) to sit at home on an imaginary bicycle is bizarre. You can get a damn nice real bicycle for that price (see our generous blog host’s reviews on Adventure Cycling) and the outdoors are free, or at least covered by the tax bill.

    But you know what Larry’s wife says.

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