Resquiescat in Pace, Airdyne :( NEXT!

It’s a pretty amazing morning out here in the real west. Clouds are rushing by; the one currently overhead is scattering snowflakes. A storm is coming in, and the wind is blowing pretty hard, but not always from the same direction. The snowflakes are doing more dancing in the air than landing on the ground. They are the kind my grandma described as “Mother nature is shaking out her featherbed.” For the most part, the sky is blue, but where it’s not, it’s silver. It’s beautiful. ❤

In other news, the blessed Bike to Nowhere broke yesterday. I knew it was headed that way and now it’s arrived. For me that’s semi-catastrophic. My Airdyne is the tool that has kept pain from a bad hip at bay; it’s kept me strong and ambulatory; I credit it with my being able to walk 2 miles with dogs and cane and enjoy the experience. I need it. I have to replace it.

Naturally, I began my search on Amazon. I saw HUNDREDS of exercise bikes and evaluated several different types. I saw that, for me, there’s no compromise. I don’t care about it having a “small footprint” or being “virtually silent” or “folding away to give you space” or “numerous computer read outs — pulse, heart-rate, distance, time, calories burned, Tarot Card reading, weather forecast.” I turned my attention exclusively to Airdynes. I learned a lot about the new iteration of the Airdyne (and about the bike I already own) essentially that it breaks, repairs are iffy and short-lived. A lot of the parts are plastic. People who’d owned it for a while gave it bad reviews; people who just bought it were in love with it. It’s served me well for 3 1/2 years of consistent use. That’s OK, but nowhere comparable to the original Airdyne.

“Back in the day, things were built to last.” 

Schwinn came out with this “bike” in the late 70’s and it was a simple, steel, chain-driven exercise bike with a huge front wheel that is a fan — the same principle of Airdynes today, in fact that’s what puts the “air” in Airdyne. The faster you ride, the more resistance you encounter — you go “up hill.” As your conditioning and strength improve, your workout responds by giving you an appropriate physical challenge. It’s brilliant.

The old bike is very sturdy. If it breaks it can be repaired just like a bike. It even has a (non-computerized) tachometer to tell you how far and how fast you are going. I had one in CA but didn’t move it here with me. I regret that almot daily, but I had no more space in my “U-boxes”.

What’s so great about the Airdyne? Ah… An article, “Schwinn Airdyne History” (yeah, it exists, I just found it) explains:

The Airdyne also engaged a person’s upper body in the exercise with attached moving grip arms. The results: The rider was able to sit comfortably on a large padded seat, using large comfortable pedals against a steady resistance that engaged the arms and upper body and legs in a total cardio workout previously only available on higher-priced commercial gym equipment. (citation)

I looked at dozens of stationary bikes online last night.  I even, nearly, bought an old Nordic Track ski machine. It was mental chaos and minor desperation.

Finally, I went on Craigslist for Colorado Springs and I found an old one in good shape for $200. The only challenge will be getting it home — but I think it will fit in the back of my Focus hatchback if I take off the arm pieces. If not? Plan B. I think there is usually a plan B.



Original Airdyne, the Very One I Hope to Bring Home Next Week


It’s made me think of how we were “back then” (1978) and how we are now. The Airdyne still gives the same workout whether it’s the new iteration or the old. The differences are in appearance, how quiet it is (though the old Airdyne is not especially noisy), the computer features — stuff like that. In some ways our technology has improved our tools — I’d far rather use my MacBook Pro than the “Trash 80” my ex showed me so long ago, but honestly, except for research and the Internet, for what I do, I was pretty happy with an Apple IIe and over the moon with the Mac Classic. For that matter, it was often an adventure going to the library at my university and discovering answers.

Still, there’s a limit to how much time-travel I want to undertake. I’m not ready to go “off grid” except, maybe, intellectually…


I’m Not Ready to Go THIS Far Back in Time


Meanwhile, winter has arrived. The sky has gone gray. Snow is falling and I have a dental appointment at 2. My first concrete step toward hip surgery.

21 thoughts on “Resquiescat in Pace, Airdyne :( NEXT!

  1. Hope your new (to you) will ride home nicely in your car and give you several years of service.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that new and improved may be accurate only in the new part of the phrase.
    Still prefer my MacBook Air, though.
    We’ve about 2 inches of snow thus far and its still coming down–we shall see.

    • It looks like we’re having snow showers — that’s fine. I have to drive 18 miles to Alamosa to the dentist and I can’t believe it turned out to be one of 3 snowy days we’ve had this whole winter 😀 My favorte ever Mac was my old (2007?) MacBook Pro with the 17 inch screen. I loved it so much that even though it’s dead, I’ve kept it.

      • Hope the drive goes smoothly. There is some irony in this, isn’t there. The client rearrangement is going full force this morning–I live just a mile down the street from my office, but a number of clients come a long ways and they are starting to bail on today and tomorrow.

        • Yep. It’s funny how irony is amusing when it’s in a book. As the sun is out again I’m not going to bail, though the thought crossed my mind. 🙂 I have to get this going. It would be awful to be on the verge of hip surgery and discover a decayed tooth.

  2. Good luck with your new purchase. We have had an exercise bike, Mr. Swiss had one, but discovered he never used it. Perhaps it might be something for me. I will have a word with the therapy person when she arrives.

    • All the orthopedic docs I’ve had to deal with over the past 30 years have recommended it as a way to strengthen bones and muscles without any trauma to joints. If you do a little research, you’ll find it’s a nearly perfect exercise — probably second only to swimming — for rehab and then for generally keeping in shape. I don’t even find it boring. I ride the “Tour de France” via a dvd and listen to music. It’s relaxing, especially when followed by a hot shower. 🙂

  3. IF you have a “free” service for “adopting” stuff no one needs or uses, exercise bikes are usually very available. For free. Assuming you can find a couple of people with a truck to move it. I know we have a hugely active “free, take it away” thing in the valley and I bet you do too. All small towns do. That’s called staying alive on short money. Check around. It is probably online, some variation on your town’s name and some other word. We’ve got “uniquely Uxbridge,” but it covers more than just Uxbridge. it covers the whole valley and there are similar groups for all the other towns. It really IS worth a try and you might just find one of those old ones someone needs to get rid of.

  4. Yay for plan B. Your a woman of means. You’ll get it worked out, I’m quite sure of that. We got 8 inches of snow overnight. It’s a winter wonderland to be sure. After having had no snow all winter, “smarch” weather comes early. The kids were out making a snowman and turned him into a slide and in the end and they had a blast!

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