Friday, January 6, 2012


Regular readers of this blog (if any of this blog's readers could be considered "regular") will know that I'm a big HPV fan. Of course, I'm referring not to human papillomavirus, that scourge of humankind, but to human powered vehicles.

This is the time of year when even hearty New England outdoorspeople tend to stay indoors, sometimes resorting to gyms in desperation. It was on just such an occasion, trudging along monotonously in the gym, that I started thinking about how great it would be if I could take this elliptical machine out on the road and go places with it. I really liked the motion of the elliptical, but standing around a gym is just plain boring.

This became something of an obsession. I started to consider how I might build such a contraption, perhaps from an existing elliptical machine. Many of the parts were already there. The flywheel could be fitted with a rubber tire. Some kind of front steering mechanism would have to be devised. It was an intriguing idea.

Then I discovered in a SkyMall catalog, that Mecca for shoppers with too much disposable income, the StreetStrider! It looked great. They seemed to have solved the steering and other problems, and were actually able to sell these things. In fact, it was featured as an exercise machine on Biggest Loser. Of course, I wasn't sure Biggest Loser was quite the image I wanted to evoke. Worse, there was no place to take a test ride. The only option was to order one, and return it for a full refund if not completely satisfied. The idea of hauling this thing back to the post office was too daunting for me.

But, by one of those bizarre coincidences that so often occur in blog anecdotes, I stumbled upon the ElliptiGO while doing a random Google search. (Ok, it was a search for "elliptical bike.") This was a thing of beauty. Basically as mechanically simple and elegant as a bicycle, this offers the full elliptical experience in a sleek, gainly device. Better yet, I found a local store where I could test ride it.

That's all it took. One ride. I was completely hooked. I've since spent many happy hours riding this puppy around, covering all my usual bike routes and then some. And the ElliptiGO has come to be known (affectionately) as the E-GO.

I've even found a few other local owners who are similarly unconcerned about appearance and willing to go on group rides. We are all E-GO maniacs, going on E-GO trips.

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