FIRE.173 Best Purchase

I’ve written about the good things in FIRE, the good things in life, and many positive thoughts.

Today I was thinking about my wife’s Peloton bike we purchased in Nov 2022.

Quickly; my wife has been spinning 3 times per week since 2007ish.  Ten years ago they were getting new bikes so she purchased one of their old and ridden very hard bikes for $200 just so we had a bike at home for “extra” rides.  We took this Rusty bike to our mountain home for a few years which was perfect for when she was away from her spinning studio.  That bike came back to Phoenix in the mid-20teens.

When covid hit her spinning studio closed down.  It closed down within a couple of weeks.  That made sense because fewer people (ladies) were riding there each year.  See, it was a dark, hard-ass, drop-saddle riding style and very basic environment.  Just hardcore spinning.  I think many of the ladies either found it too hard or moved on to the new glitzy studios.

Peloton was awesome by giving free access for 90 DAYS to their online app for people locked down (or just wanting to exercise more/differently).  Kathy used Rusty for a few months and then we bought a commercial-grade (hotel gym) level bike for $600+.  That was a great improvement.  It came in a few weeks because people were buying cheap bikes or waiting for months for Peloton bikes close to $2000+$40/mo subscription.

I noticed in the fall of 2022 that Kathy seemed to have no intention of going back to a spinning studio.  We were on a trip and she rode a Peloton at the hotel using her ipad on the handlebars and really liked “the ride.” 

I asked her about getting a Peloton bike and she said she’d love one but she’d want the $45 membership.  I said that was fine because her studio was $100/mo + gas, + driving time 40 min round trip at best.  She showed me the specials Peloton had in emails $1400 or so with shoes, weights, mat, etc.

We looked on craigslist and facebook marketplace now that it was 2 ½ years into the pandemic and there were dozens of bikes for sale.  We messaged a few people and went to look at a version 3 bike that had 37 rides on its software.  The lady waited for it during covid and then went back to her (glitzy) spin studio when it re-opened.  (AZ reopened quickly).  $800 cash, popped it into my truck, and drove 20 miles home.

First, Kathy loves her Peloton.  She loves the classes more now that she has the display with the tension and leaderboard.  Great Purchase.

Here’s the amazing part for me.  I found that *I* LOVE the bike system.

I used to ride the commercial bike when the weather outside was crappy.  I ride 25 miles each week, 80 minutes or so around the Phoenix neighborhood (or in Encinitas, along the ocean on the Coast Highway).  I’d ride the $600 bike and read books or listen to podcasts.  It was a nice workout and I pushed myself somewhat.  Actually, more than the road bike allowed because of lights and traffic.

With the Peloton, I get a display system that is dangerous for a data geek like myself.  I get time to track intervals, I get a detailed resistance to know when I’m pushing med, med+, hard, or hardddd.  If I do a recorded class (never done a live class), or a scenic ride, I get the leaderboard with anyone else doing the ride in real-time as well as the all-time rider stats. 

The leaderboard is amazing technology.  It knows exactly what minute you are in the ride duration and your output level expended in the ride so far.  It then compares you to everyone else’s effort at that same moment from their ride.  It allows you to compete with hundreds or thousands of people every second of your ride.  FREAKING DANGEROUS.

For some reason, I have the desire to always push for the top 3% of all-time riders I consider that podium level, 3rd place.  Once, I hit that lever during the ride, I push for the top 2, then 1.5% (double my 3% goal).  Sometimes I get into the 1% all time, but that always burns my quads.  Love it!

In addition to those metrics, I did the power zone test ride to get my personalized power zones so I can tell which of the 7 zones I am riding in at any given moment.  I also synced my polar HRM so it shows my HR and the 5 HR zones.

It’s like I’m riding in an exercise cockpit with data everywhere.

Oh, and to make the rides even more huge, I put a 43” TV on the wall in front of the bike and Peloton will cast to the TV and mirror the bike’s 22” display on the wall.  That’s great if I want to have a book or magazine resting on the 22” monitor.  And, the TV is connected to a large soundbar helping give the music some extra oomph/thump.  Imagine me riding to a German heavy metal ride.  “Und Metallica…”

Beyond the bike, Kathy also does more class types and “challenges:” strength training, yoga, stretch, meditation, etc.  She can cast the strength classes to the TV which is easier than using an ipad or roku/fireTV app.  When traveling we’ve been able to download classes to our devices for the times we may not have internet.  However, this hasn’t been working right lately and I need to look into that.  Some days you need a meditation class on your phone to keep your streak alive.  Yes, I did get sucked into that streak/challenge stuff.

I also use the iphone app for “outdoor running,” “strength,” and “cardio” for other workout time/logging.  “Cardio” is for hockey.

I truly think this may be one of the best purchases we have made.  It is definitely, without question, the most surprisingly wonderful purchase I’ve ever made.  So many great features for something I/we’ve done for decades.  I am even more excited by the fact that this purchase should enhance our health (we both have to force ourselves not to peg our HR in zone 5 which would be a crazy effort).

Oh, one last thing.  I love when my 50’s profile crushes riders in their 30’s and 20’s.  I don’t know their story and good for them riding, but I’m coming up on you and I’m going to pass you!

I don’t have to win.  I just don’t want to lose.

P.s.  I don’t own any peloton apparel or gear, but my wife has MANY spinning outfits.  I look like a mess on the bike, she looks AMAZING! What an ecosystem they’ve created.

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.

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