I’ve recently approached the ten-year anniversary of buying my Peloton bike. When I say “my Peloton,” I’m not talking about the exercise bike that comes with a touch screen mounted to the front, connecting you to live classes (as long as you pay the monthly membership). The one where you even get a live “happy birthday” greeting from the instructor, if you end up taking a class on your special day. I’m not talking about that Peloton.
My Peloton is really a Tempo Fitness. I think it’s technically obsolete. It has no touch screen. The little screen that it does have tries its best to keep track of my time, distance, calories and heart rate. Because I have an Apple Watch, I use that for all my heart monitoring. I bought a drink holder from Dollarama that would normally be mounted to an outdoor bike and managed to clip it on. There are handlebar rips where my nails have dug into over the last decade. The seat? Well, it might as well be cement. I had to order a specific gel seat to take some of the pressure off my taint. It still manages to numb my genitals from time to time.
There are other issues I have with my Tempo Fitness bike that would make it feel self-conscious to be meeting for brunch with a Peloton. Oh, I can just see that brunch. The Peloton is sitting there eating a poached egg with cottage cheese while my Tempo Fitness is getting greasy with a egg-bacon-sausage-pancake combo and moaning about how its pacemaker is faulty. (I have to take the batteries out of my little pedometer screen or it for some reason will drain them. I make sure the batteries nest in a little sack that dangles from its rod.)
Speaking of the pedometer, my mother-in-law ripped it right off with, let’s say, nine months of pent-up aggression. (Maybe we’ll expand on that another time.) It wobbles and flops like Meryl Streep’s broken neck in the movie Death Becomes Her. A mechanism inside where the belt is located likes to thump, sounding like a young teenage drummer practicing with pencils on his Five Star binder. It really is quite a piece of shit.
I’ve briefly entertained the idea of buying a Peloton. Honestly, I’m way too cheap to spend $3000 on an exercise bike. I think I spent about $200 on my ol’ Tempy (okay, add another $3 for the water-bottle holder). If you want, you can just pay for the app apparently, have access to classes and engage on an iPad or smart phone. That is definitely more enticing, but you’d still be paying around $40 a month to access a gym from your own home. Discount gyms are like $10 a month. I would happily subscribe if it were a class full of my crappy exercise-bike compatriots, thumping and creaking over the instructor’s pleas to “bear down, here we go!”
I think I’d be too sad to leave my shitty bike. It’s gone months where it was more useful as a coat hanger. I left it at my parents’ place for years. But since we’ve been reunited, I really like that it’s always there, waiting, always willing to go at my pace. I’ve been using it a lot more since I got the Apple Watch, and now that we’re in the pandemic world, I’ve cancelled my gym membership yet again. Fun excuse this time! Usually I have to make up an excuse like “going to war” or “moving to Sudan.” Okay, I still said I was leaving the country, but I’m pretty sure they know that the pandemic is the root cause of all cancellations over the next while. Gyms are so fucked.
On the podcast, I’ve joked a lot about how all I want for the success of the show is for it to be burned to a CD and left somewhere for people to listen to during the Apocalypse. Like picture the Walking Dead, back when you still watched it. A survivor rummaging through an abandoned home, only to find an expired jar of olives and… a CD labelled “Podcast Fatboy”? It’s dire out there. You’ll take it.
Even though we’ve been warned about a pandemic for years, I’m still amazed that it actually happened because I’m technically a Millennial and we’re so selfish and naïve. If this really is the end, if we’re funneling toward a world that requires you to be more self-sufficient, practical and less digitally connected, then Peloton just ain’t gonna make it. Strap an eye patch on my Tempo Fitness bike because it’s ready to go full Mad Max. Just stock up on AA batteries.