Friday, Dec. 31, 2004
Dear Dairy:

Last year my nephew bought this super duper digital exercise bike. Not only does it have a built in heart rate monitor, it can be programmed to simulate hill riding, all sorts of insanely cool stuff. He used oh, about two months, and then it began to gather dust.

In the meantime, I've been using my mom-in-law's old vintage exercise bike from the 1960's. It doesn't get much more low tech than this thing—if I want resistance I have to crank a little knob that basically lowers a braking system on the wheel. It all rattles, bangs, and makes an incredible amount of noise.

The spousal unit hates the thing because I ride it at night in my office while he's in the next room watching the tee vee. He says it sounds like I'm firing up some sort of enormous piece of industrial equipment. With all the mileage I've had to make up in the last month to meet my 1,000 mile Going Nowhere goal, I've been on the bike a lot. I'm getting on his last nerve.

Oh, and as a bonus, the thing has the most uncomfortable seat possible. I sweartogawd, the original design of that exercise bike's seat was used at the Spanish Inquisition.

Inquisitor to half dead person lashed to rack: "Convert to Christianity or you will have to ride the exercise bike.

Person on the rack: "Noooooooo, not the exercise bike. Okay, I Renounce My Faith And Embrace Yours. ANYTHING BUT THE EXERCISE BIKE."

I met my nephew at the gym a week before Christmas. On a whim I asked him if I could buy his super duper digital exercise bike. He was sweet enough to offer me an indefinite lend of the thing, but that seemed unfair. A price was set, money changed hands, and I got the spousal unit to bring it up here on the skidoo.

You could poke an eye out with this thing.We horsed it upstairs into my office. I instantly hopped up on the seat to do some experimental pedalling because apparently I have all the maturity of a six-year-old and the whole concept of delayed gratification is not yet within my grasp.

The thing was whisper quiet. The spousal unit was so overcome at this that I thought he might actually weep. Manfully, he pulled himself together. But it was close.

There is one teensy weensy fly in my ointment. My nephew has lost the manual. Even worse, since it's been a year since he's used the thing, he can't remember how to program it. I have tried experimentally poking buttons, but apparently random button poking does not a program set.

So there I am, on a super duper digital exercise bike, a bike capable of producing virtual hills and dales, and can I ride these virtual hills and dales? Why no, no I cannot. No, I am stuck riding a flat virtual ribbon, the Saskatchewan of super duper digital exercise bike rides.

You can well imagine my bitterness.

I have Googled my heart out looking for an on-line manual for the Proteus PEC-3300 exercise bike. I have found a few sites that mention the bike, but nothing close to a manual. And so, I am throwing myself on the mercies of my three loyal readers in the hope that one of you knows someone who knows someone who actually has a manual for this bike.

I will gladly pay photocopying and postage costs. I will even throw in a copy of my current illicit exercise workout CD. Please, I beg of you, let me ride the virtual hills and dales. Don't leave me in Saskatchewan.

This would be the part where we cue that song "Climb Every Mountain"

Oh, and before I forget, there's another teensy weensy fly in my ointment. Apparently in the 40 years between the design of my mom-in-law's exercise bike and the super duper digital exercise bike there have been zero developments in exercise bike seat ergonomics. This chaps my butt both figuratively and literally.

So, uh, if I have any cyclists among my three loyal readers who have seat tips—are there better seats? Are there padded pants out there?--I would love to hear about that, too.

In other exciting news, I've decided to keep Going Nowhere in 2005. Yes, the madness continues for a third year. Oh, I know, there are people mature enough to set personal goals and quietly meet them with no need for public accountability.

Sadly, I am not one of those people. If I don't say something out loud, if I'm not forced to keep track and own up to what I have or have not done, then round about July or so my good intentions go whoosh off into some alternate dimension, that place where missing socks and mittens roam free.

If you want to join me – misery loves company – just send a small bio with your goal to marn at diaryland dot com. Come Jan. 1 we can start on our death march happy fun time together.


P.S.—Not only is the government of Canada giving $40 million to the countries affected by the recent tsunami and putting a moratorium on their debt payments until they get back on their feet, it's decided to go one step further.

Every dollar a Canadian donates to a charity helping the tsunami victims will be matched by the Canadian government!

Even if all you can spare is $5 please give it because the minute it goes into a charity's piggybank it becomes $10. Don't know where to go to donate? Here's a helpful list of charities.

Mileage on the Marnometer: 1002.62 miles.
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Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

Going Nowhere Collaboration

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