Dear Assault AirBike: You Are The Enemy

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.

Fifty seconds.


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.

Your enemy,


Move Studio Fitness

About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.

2 thoughts on “Dear Assault AirBike: You Are The Enemy

  1. Haha! I love this! Thanks for kicking off my week with a good laugh. I’ve never tried one of these Assault AirBikes, but now I’m simultaneously scared and intrigued… bravo!

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