Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My New Spinning Bike

Oh no! Not another exercise machine! In the quest for another endorphin producing activity as a substitute to running, another workout device appeared in my living room last week. I’ve always wanted to get a spinning bike even before I wanted a treadmill and elliptical machine. More than a decade ago, I used an old bike mounted on what used to be called a turbo trainer, but I had since disposed of that.  Until this year, the prices of spinning bikes were not within the range of my meager income and strict budget, with the cheapest one at $600. That was even down from over $1000 maybe just 5 years ago. In the past year, with the popularity of spinning classes in gyms, the imitators have finally caught up and started manufacturing cheaper spinning bikes for home use. When the lowest price Proform brand bike went down to $299 a couple of months ago, it piqued my interest in buying one but couldn’t at that time because I had to send some money to my mom in the Philippines for her birthday. After that, I started shopping around. The Sports Authority store had it on sale for $299 last week, but with the sales tax and shipping charges, that would have brought the price close to $400. Meanwhile on, the base price was the same but without the extra charges, so I ordered one last Monday and it arrived on Friday morning. was able to get the product to me pretty fast because it was available at their Los Angeles distribution warehouse. Normally, with free shipping, it would have taken a couple of weeks.
So I was helping the delivery guy carry the 112 pound box up the stairs and to keep it steady, I had the left side of my face supporting the box while I lifted with my arms.  Well, when he pulled from above and I pushed from below, the box scratched my right temple drawing blood and bent my eyeglass frame. So now you can call me Scarface and I can also say that the machine cost me money and blood. All that was missing was spilled guts.
Exercise machines should be made this way: mostly preassembled at the factory so it’s easier to put together the rest at home. All I needed to do was attach the front and back base, pedals, handlebars, seat post, and seat to the main frame and flywheel. After that, it was just a matter of making adjustments to fit me. Even out of the box this machine is so darn heavy. My back still felt tired, though fortunately not strained, three days after helping the delivery guy and moving the machine around.
So what did I do to the old upright stationary bike? I considered offering it for free to any neighbor who might be interested or selling it. But since I had stripped it down to the bare necessities, I didn’t think anyone would want it. I moved it to the garage instead and wrapped it in plastic. What I couldn’t do with the old bike was stand ups on the pedals because the handlebars were too high and it felt unbalanced. Now I can do stand ups on the spinning bike. I was able to transfer the old magazine/book holder from the old bike to the new one by replacing the plastic ties that secure it to the handlebars. I have a bunch of plastic ties that I bought years ago from the 99 cent store (the kind the cops use for disposable handcuffs).
                On Sunday, while my friends were running the Long Beach Marathon or half, I was at home trying out my new spinning bike. After warming up and getting a feel for it, I started doing one minute stand ups, which increased the intensity and subsequent calorie burn of the workout. I did a few stand ups and recoveries until I reached one hour. This machine really makes me sweat! I’ve never gotten my tops of my socks wet while riding a bike until now. The next day, I was planning on running but my right calf was still slightly sore from Saturday’s run, so I mounted the spinning bike again. During the one hour workout, I was able to do several repeats of 2 minute stand ups. I’m already loving my new spinning bike! The workouts are exhausting. Spilled sweat, yes, but no spilled guts… yet.

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