Here is a grand tale of come-uppance. I shall savour every keystroke.
Several months ago I bought an exercise bike. Not any bike. A Lifecycle 9500HR. It was pushing ten years, but in its day, this £2k harmonious fusion of technology and functionality was found in every decent commercial gym in the land.
I got it at a knocked down price of £25 because it was broken; structurally sound, but the monitor didn’t work. This was not an insignificant problem as the monitor is required to control tension, as well as all the programmes. It is self powered, controlled by its own alternator (oh the beauty of it), but pedalling yielded nothing but a bank screen.
I learnt there were a couple of crafty things one could do that solved 95% of these problems. I learned shortly afterwards that the seller had been even craftier. So short of importing electronic components from Mexico at a cost which would have justified a holiday across the Atlantic to collect in person, it was a write-off.
It’s been sitting in the living room, in various states of disrepair, ever since, like a shipwreck. It, and I have been subjected to a barrage of abuse and mockery, Mr Venables included. The boys have made good use as a climbing frame, but otherwise it has not been a popular addition to the household.
This weekend I finally got round to putting it back together to flog on Ebay. Hooking up one of the connectors I thought I heard a beep. Bemused, I tried pedalling. Blank screen. I disconnected, and hooked it up again. Another quiet beep, like the distant call of an earthquake survivor – there is still life here. I pedalled again, and this time hit the start button (I’m sure I’d noticed that there before), and it exploded into life, wishing me a wonderful day, and asking if I might be interested in partaking in one of its many programmes. It even aroused sideways interest in my Other Half.
From inappropriate climbing frame... ...to 'good morning sir, would you like some coffee?
So I bite my thumb at all the doubters. I’m not just ‘buying gear’. With any luck I’ll be fitter and have made a tidy profit. Of course, the challenge is which one to get rid of, the 9500, or the Ergocycle? How does one chose between a Ducati and a Bentley? It will clearly take a few months of thought.