Cover image because my truck is much more interesting to look at than a glorified stationary bike with a tablet on the front. It’s the Tesla Model 3 of Bikes. 

What is it?

For the uninitiated, it’s a fancy exercise bike. A “spin” bike. Have you ever been to a spin class? Me either. Basically you ride a stationary bike in a room with lots of other people while an instructor yells at you to change the resistance as you go; stand up, sit down, etc., simulating “hills” or whatever. There’s more to it than that, but what the Peloton cult did was to bring these classes to YOU. Sure, you can go on Youtube and watch a class while riding any old bike. But the Peloton shows you real-time stats like cadence, resistance (as a percentage of total), and total output in kilo-joules. Why do you care about total output in kilo-joules? Because you can see in real time how you compare to everyone else who did the same “class” as you. You can watch your name go up and down the “leaderboard” and if you’re at all competitive (I am), this is great motivation, and good fun. There are also lots of other workouts, core, abs, arms, yoga, stretch routines, rehab stuff, and on and on. This is all visible on the tablet mounted in front of the bike, and also on an app, of course. So that’s that.

My wife has been itching to get one of these things and I’ve been hesitant. I am very self-motivated to get outside and do things in all kinds of weather. In February I went skiing out on a huge open lake on a zero-degree (F) night with a steady 5mph wind, and again on a night that was about 8 degrees with 15-25mph winds and gusts to 40. It was great. However, there are times of year where the skiing is crap (or impossible) and the mountain biking is crap (or impossible) and I just don’t have the time to put the bike on the car, drive an hour south, ride for an hour or two, and drive home. And I don’t like to run. Beyond all that, my wife is much less interested in testing her physical limits in extreme weather, to say the least. So here we are.

For me, I thought, well, I’ll ride this thing in the off-season to keep in shape between actual activities that I enjoy on their own. But honestly, I’ve been really surprised how enjoyable it is on its own. My wife is loving it because it’s so easy to fit in with her schedule, which is admittedly much tighter than mine. Sure I’ll ride Peloton less in the summer when I can get on my mountain bike or go wakeboarding, but at the same time, I’ll be able to get in exercise when life gets in the way of planned activities. The key for me has been the music - you can pick rides based on the music genre and the whole thing is paced around the music, the beat and energy of each song, and personally, I really identify with that. I always have music in my head, and when slogging up a long climb, I often repeat lyrics in my head.

One thing I’ve found since having kids is that (obviously) I have less time to do things like mountain biking. I thought I’d be fine with that, I’m not at all overweight and I’m pretty active anyway. But I have found I get very grumpy when I haven’t had a chance to challenge myself physically in several days. I didn’t realize how important that was to me, but it really is. This is a pretty good way to satisfy that urge without requiring 3 hours of my time or really any planning at all.

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And I can’t wait to get out on the trails, my legs will be stronger than ever for this time of year. That will go a long way toward making the most of the limited times I DO have to get out in the mountains properly. I can’t wait.

Anyone else ride a Peloton?