Going nowhere, with documentation

The mind/body interface is a funny thing. We know we need to exercise, but it is so dull. Go the gym, sweat, go home, repeat. It doesn’t seem to work for me. A while back I read/watched a guy explain how he pedalled his exercise bike from Seattle to Maine. It took a year. In the process he lost twenty pounds.

This works because it exploits the power of habit to accomplish an apparently unachieveable goal, while at the same time turning it into a game. Keeping the stats becomes part of the ritual. Charts are encouraged. There isn’t a tangible accomplishment, and yet there is a goal at the end of it. Thus we harness the power of our inner geek.

This seemed a worthy endeavor, so I’ve started pedalling to New Orleans. I’m about 100 miles from home now, all done without leaving the room. From there I plan to continue on to Miami, up the east coast, etc. From time to time I may show progress here, although I’m not sure if WordPress can handle powerpoint slides and presentation graphics. Refreshments will be served of course.

Current location : Bourbonnais, IL

Distance to go : 881 miles

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9 Responses to Going nowhere, with documentation

  1. phantomxii says:

    That’s a neat idea! I might give that a try. (I’ve often thought an exercise bike would be so much more interesting if someone would fit an interactive video game onto it, but making it compatible with different bikes could be a nightmare.)

    • Actually, at the last Consumer Electronics Show, they featured an exercise bike that is hooked up to a video game console (not sure which one—it might be the new Xbox) and allows you to simulate cycling in the Tour de France or other famous bicycle touring routes. The bike itself was over $900 however—for that amount, I can buy a fancy “real-life” bike and take it up to the Washington coast or some other gorgeous place for a tour My son the hardcore cyclist meanwhile just hooted with laughter. The idea of riding an exercise bike seems funny to him. I told him to wait until he’s 40 and stuck at home with kids and a full time job that doesn’t allow him to take three months off for a cross-country tour. Then virtual bicycling might sound pretty interesting.

      Doug, do you time yourself and measure the number of hours it’ll take you to reach New Orleans?

      • phantomxii says:

        Or winds up back in a part of the country that has, like, WINTER… 🙂

        • Doug says:

          Can’t complain so far, but winter is only starting

        • Ha! But saying “winter” to a native Minnesotan (he is, not me!) is like saying “night” or “day” to him. Cold weather doesn’t faze him. He also rides his bike in rain and snow—he actually has spiked winter tires for his bike. Like I said, he’s hardcore. Or nuts, depending on your outlook. 🙂

      • Doug says:

        At the current rate, I’ve got about 65 hours left to the goal. I’m taking this in half-hour chunks, so I should get there sometime in the spring.
        I like my comforts during exercise, particularly that I don’t have to share the space with cars. When the weather is good I often ride outdoors, but it’s difficult to arrange time so the wife and I can do it together. So, for me, I think this is primarily a winter time effort.

  2. kimkiminy says:

    What a great idea! As for posting the graphics, you can always take a screenshot and save it as a .doc or .jpg. You’ll have to include pictures (off the net, of course) of your destinations!

  3. Victor G. Dostrow says:

    I’ll stick to running, thanks. And, running in 5-10 mile circles is not particularly onerous IMNSHO. I do, of course, obsessively document this. Which, of course, helps. I do note that I rarely run without tunes. I find that a soundtrack improves the quality of my exercise.

    • Doug says:

      Bruce Lee called running the “king of exercise,” so there might be a time I would want to get into it. But I need to get to the Mardi Gras first!

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