Dear Assault AirBike,
I remember when I first saw you at Hardpressed Group Conditioning a few months back. You stood in the corner inconspicuously, between the treadmills and an odd vertical ladder looking thing (which I would later come to find is called a Versa Climber). You vaguely reminded me of the old-school stationary bike my dad used to have in our basement growing up, and from that nostalgic association alone, I figured we’d get along fine. Little did I know that I would come to hate you more than the hip press, the rope pull and Mile 21 of a marathon combined.[For those of you in blissful ignorance (please hold, Assault AirBike, I’ll continue my hate letter momentarily), the Assault AirBike looks like this:
The bike requires both your arms and legs to get going: your legs pedal, obviously, and you move the handlebars back and forth as well, for a full-body workout. Once you get going, the fan in the wheel adds extra resistance to make this already-tiring exercise even more exhausting.]
Assault AirBike, do you remember our first ride together? I was naively excited about it. I pictured the fan in the wheel blowing my hair back gently, achieving a Beyonce-like breeze that would inspire others in the class to keep pedaling. I jumped on your seat and started casually pedaling, waiting for my trainer to count down for our minute-long interval. At his command, I started furiously pumping my arms and legs, watching in excitement as my RPMs went up. I hit Trainer’s requested RPMs, did a mental fist-pump, and then look at how much more time was left.
Undeterred, I pumped on, my hair refusing to blow in the breeze and instead sweatily sticking to my temples. Maybe my arms aren’t doing enough work, and that’s why it’s so hard, I thought, and I made the adjustment to focus more on my arms push-and-pull motion. Nope, nope, that’s all they can do, I realized, as my RPMs continued to trend downwards. Surely my legs can do a little more, a little faster? I willed them to go, go, go, and was rewarded with a slight bump.
Finally, mercifully, Trainer called time, and I leaned back completely spent – only to be rudely reminded that we only had a 30-second break before the next minute interval began. This was when I realized we weren’t going to be friends, Assault AirBike. I had only known you for a minute and already I wanted to throw you out the third-story window.
After two more minutes with you, I was confident that my heart was about to explode, and Trainer was going to have to cancel the next class in order to vacuum my remains out of the AstroTurf. I didn’t so much dismount from your seat, as I did half-slide, half-fall towards the wall beside you, grabbing for my water bottle with both hands. Meanwhile, you sat there smugly, as if to say, “Yeah, I know I’m a badder bitch than the treadmill. What’re you going to do about it, punk?”
A neat thing that I hate about you, Assault AirBike, is that whenever Trainer includes you at the end of the workout, my heart rate stays elevated for several minutes afterwards. That means that a 30-minute workout reads as a 37-minute workout on my FitBit. I mean, I guess that’s a good thing during the workout. However, I’m concerned that my great hatred/fear/revulsion towards you is causing me to condition myself (in the Pavlov’s dog sense) so that whenever I see you, my heart rate automatically jumped about a hundred beats per minute (and not in the way that it does when I see Zac Efron or a slice of Coalfire pizza). I don’t like that, Assault AirBike.
But, seeing as how I bought a 12-pack of classes, I guess we’re stuck together for the next few months. You can’t make me like you, Assault AirBike, but I will respect you. Maybe one day we’ll achieve Beyonce-hair-greatness together.