December 6, 2019

Spinning off into oblivion..

I used to be a bicycle racer -- something done to ward off my fear of impending old age -- and I used to be pretty serious: hard training and racing for over ten years, I conservatively estimate I cycled halfway to the moon during that time.* But it was all done outdoors with a concomitant abhorrence of the obligatory Winter indoor training that took up the other half of one's free time.

My principle aversion was the hours that one had to put in on exercycles, those hellish contraptions that anchored a rider to one spot on the face of the earth eliminating the freedom and verve that is bike riding. No wind and usually in a claustrophobic garage or smelly basement or cramped back room back room of a bike shop sponsoring Winter training regimes, where there is almost NOTHING to distract you from the seemingly endless hours you spend. I hated them!

After my racing days came to a close, the bride and I joined a 24-Hour Fitness gym (more properly named 14-Hour Fitness because this unit actually closed from 9 PM until 7 AM some days) and some of my exercise regime involved warming up or cooling down on these God damned exercycles. Gradually, I was coerced by one of those cheerful, chirpy attendants into entering one of those spin classes which turned out to be like being tortured in a disco with concomitant flashing lights, thundering, throbbing music and a legion of millennials who slavishly spun their life away.

It was about as close to the preening, self-adulating culture as I wanted to get and I quit after 15 minutes.

Since then, the concept of Peleton and related product has been stigmatized by memories of that bland, mindless experience. In fact, the whole gym experience is a turn off to me. I remember working in a very posh, fashionable, upscale area and taking mid-morning and mid-afternoon walks past a posh, fashionable, upscale gym with immense picture windows and posh, fashionable, upscale wives from the adjacent posh, fashionable, upscale neighborhood toiling away on these exercycles mindlessly spinning.

The thought occurred to me that if they forsook the gym and spent time at home doing housework they could get the exercise they needed AND save the cost of a gym membership AND save the cost of a maid/housekeeper as well.

But, what the heck, it's their [husband's] money.

The furor over the Peleton ad, therefore, kind of intrigues me. The video below says it all.

In the ensuing blowback to this ad, there are many, many layers which have been peeled away. It has been labeled as anything from off-putting to the usual litany of "sexist", horrific to women, etc. While I concur that it is off-putting, I genuinely feel sorry for this woman -- this couple, in fact -- that their idea of health involves mindlessly spending a year on a mechanical contraption with an internet-connected computer screen bolted on, INSIDE of their house, spinning off into oblivion.

Take a walk, for Christ's sake!

*Showing my work:

(1) The moon is about 250,000 miles from earth.
(2) Assume racing/training/riding for 12 years.
(3) Assume 1,000 per month.


10 x (1,000 x 12) = 120,000 miles or about 50% of the way to the moon.

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