My Exercise Bike

November 9, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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In the summer of 1992, Keith and I moved to Philadelphia for me to start the Ph.D. program in Religion at Temple University. Keith commuted back and forth to run the Doctor of Ministry program at New York Theological Seminary.

We rented a loft apartment down on 3rd street, just west of the Delaware River. It was by New York standards huge and very nearly free. Since we had some space, I went out and bought a Tunturi exercise bike. As I recall, we paid $220 for it.  I rode it three times a week or so for the five years we were in Philly.

In 1997 we moved out to Berkeley, California, to begin our eleven years at the American Baptist Seminary of the West. We sent the bike out with the rest of our stuff. I continued riding it for forty-five minutes several times a week.  In 2008, when we moved back to Brooklyn, we shipped the bike back, too. We put it in the bedroom of our nine-hundred square foot apartment in Ditmas Park, and I went right on riding it.

In the past few years, though, the wheels of the bike began making screeching noises, and various parts broke off. My esteemed companion took to saying that he was afraid the bike was going to break up while I was riding it and that I’d fall off and fracture my skull.

Last weekend I rode up to Dartmouth for the Orr symposium (more on that in another post) and then went to visit my brother across the river in Vermont. I was lamenting the demise of my bike after only twenty-three years, and he said,”Oh, I have an exercise bike in the garage that you should take. I bought a new one a year ago, but they delivered two by mistake. I called and told them to come and get it but they never did.” He had paid $400 for his.

Keith had driven up to join me after the symposium, so we got the bike out of its box and put it into the Prius. It was the first time we realized that the car’s back seats went down! When we got home, Keith put it together for me. It’s actually a much better bike than the Tunturi, probably because my brother and his wife are bicycle racers and so have higher standards than I do.  I am winded after half an hour on mine. (I am not telling you the bike’s brand so the manufacturers don’t come and confiscate it.) Keith had a hard time getting the little computer on the handlebars to work, but after only seven or eight tries, he got it going; my boy is nothing if not determined.

I was in the habit of telling people that the Tunturi cost me nine dollars a year. This one is costing zero dollars a year. If I ride it for twenty-three years, as I did the last one, I’ll be ninety-two when it wears out.



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  1. You do much better with your exercise equipment. We bought a cross trainer and used it for a few months, put it away, eventually took it over next door to the rectory and sold it at the next parish flea market. I have a bike up over the radiator in our 4th floor walkup apartment, never have used it since I moved in 28 years ago. Not sure if the tires will even fill up after all that time being heated each winter! You make me feel like I ought to go for a walk around the park! Carry on!!!


  2. Keep at it, Marion!


  3. You always make me think Marion, but this made me laugh out loud. Thanks for both.


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