Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I’m into healthy now. So for my cardio health, I bought what is, for my little bedroom, a gigantic health-club level recumbent exercise cycle. I have to kind of squeeze between It at the foot of my bed and my bedroom wall to get to my bathroom.
It’s a Schwinn 213.
(If you’re a senior, do you remember your balloon-tire Schwinn bicycle when you were a kid? ó I put cards in the spokes of mine.)
Well, when I pedal my Schwinn now, in my house, it doesn’t go anywhere.
This big Schwinn recumbent exer-cycle kind of resembles a miniaturized Smithsonian dinosaur skeleton, with an upright “instrument panel” (mounted on the front post) looking something like E.T., or the snout of a “War of the Worlds” death machine.
And I ride it for a half hour every day, except on Sunday … because my workout is definitely work! (Not that God would have a problem with my exercising on Sunday, but He’s a good excuse.)
There are two levels of exercise I kind of like. The first is, “Hey, I’m bopping along, my blood pumping, (not too hard) and like the late James Brown, ‘I feel Good.'”
The other level of exercise I enjoy (sometimes) is: “Hey, I’m really pushing hard, breathing heavy, sweating profusely, and I feel Sta-rong!!!”
Oh, but NO!
What I have to do on Dino ó to get to my age 60 target heart rate of 130 ó is pedal at an UNCOMFORTABLE LEVEL in between the two aforementioned levels that I like.
Plus after several months of doing this I’ve developed the heart of Lance Armstrong. So I have to keep adjusting the pedal resistance harder and harder. But my legs and my wind aren’t keeping up with my heart fitness level. So as a consequence, after 30 minutes of doing this I’m more worn out than when I first got my bike!
There are the little aggravations, too. While sweating, chafing and riding I get itches in private and public places. The “computer” on the bike allows you to take one hand off the sensors for a “short scratch.”
But if you take a long scratch, or both hands off the heart rate sensors, the monitor scrams back to “0” for a while and it messes up your end-of-ride heart rate average reading.
Hey, I’m all about my requisite 130 heart rate, not much higher (extra effort) or lower (not up to spec) so I have to hold my comprehensive baseball player sort of scratching ’til the end of the ride.
To add injury to daily insult, I’m having to pay for my beloved bike with a credit card.
I bought this Darth Vader-colored monstrosity and I use it because the government now recommends you get at least a half-hour of moderate exercise a day for cardio protection. But I have to admit I had more fun with the green Schwinn I had back when I was a kid, when I could pedal it and actually get somewhere!
Furthermore, if I have a heart attack, I’m going to sue