What can you even say about her talent, strength, her inspirational life, her unwillingness to live anyway but how she wanted to?
I had never seen this photo before today. I can’t stop staring at it. What a woman. Her bravery, her strength, her expression which just says: here I am world. I’m doing it, I’m making it happen and don’t you dare try to stop me.
I can’t add to the accolades, so my story is more personal. I, of course, grew up listening to her after her resergence with Private Dancer. As a girl growing up in a not great home, her story, that someone could leave, could change her life, could say: nah, this isn’t for me. There is something for better for me out there. That someone could think and actually sing “You’d better be good to me”, was a revelation, a hope. I could get out of there one day, too. I could demand that people be good to me. Believe me that no one in my life was telling me that, but Tina did.
Years later after my mother died, a friend took me to see Tina live. It was 2008, Tina was 69 years old and it was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen in my life.Life affirming. In the year 2000 when my friend’s mother died, Tina was no longer touring, so I couldn’t take her. I scavenged online and discovered there was a DVD/CD of the very 2008 tour*, though it was difficult to find for sale. I found it and I bought two, one for each of us. When we got the chance we went to Tina, the Musical.
Everything about her is wrapped up for me in what can you do with your life, what do you want to do with your life, who do you want to be? Every moment with her is life affirming and inspirational. It is a loss for the world that her light has gone out, but heaven truly has another star. I’ll be spending my time listening to that 2008 concert, and all her other works once again to remind me to live large.
Well, I should say enjoyed because it really wasn’t enjoyable. But I thought it would be interesting to return to how many of us experienced the night of the murder, carjacking, manhunt, shootout: on Twitter, with the live coverage on, texting and Tweeting everyone we know. It was the wildest night of my life where I never left my couch.
These are my tweets, based on a Twitter search. They are in reverse order and I’m not 100% sure they are completely in the right order, as some of it doesn’t make sense.. but that night didn’t make any sense.
I’m surprised I’ve never written up the experience of Patriot’s Day 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon bombing. I must have, but I can’t find it. The thing about Patriot’s Day is it’s a Monday when spring has started to bloom around the city, people are emerging from winter hibernation, excited for even slightly warm weather. It’s a holiday in the City of Boston. It’s school vacation week. We have a world class athletic event, the Boston Marathon and there is a Red Sox game at 11 am. The only morning MLB game that ever happens. It’s planned that way because Fenway is about a mile from the marathon finish line. The game lets out, and the people can stream down to different locations to cheer on the runners. For many, it’s burned into our lives. Often parents bring their kids to watch somewhere along the marathon route or the game. Then we grow up, we go on our own with our friends, eventually being old enough to partake in bars along the route. Time marches on and then people are bringing their own kids to watch. It’s a day steeped in our history and psychology. It’s why 2013 hurt so much. It was like an attack on our childhood, our lives, this even that most of us have experienced and enjoyed. How fucking dare they?
So here is my story, which is only that I was somewhat nearby and knowing what I know now, we were never in danger. In that, we were fortunate, but also it haunts me. And I can’t emphasize enough: how fucking dare they?
I recently downloaded my Twitter archive, which allows me to access some real time thoughts from that week; perhaps the craziest week of my life. For a few years prior, we’d gone to the Patriot’s Day game with pretty large group. We met at the insane hour of 7am. Each group was responsible to bring a breakfast like food (and there ended up being so, so much food every year). But even prior, my friend would pick me up at 6am, then pick up another friend, then we need our trip to Dunkin Donuts for large coffees to kick off the day. One we arrive to the pre-game location, the drinking and eating commenced. It’s a fun day.
I been to Fenway earlier the same week, when Dempster also started. Things that seemed important prior to 2:49 PM.
Eventually, full of food and booze we make our way to Fenway, the most beautiful ballpark in the world.
We should also remember that 4/15 is also Jackie Robinson day for the MLB. All the players wear #42 in his honor, and let’s just say: what a enormous service he gave to baseball.
The game is always fun, win or lose, it’s always so much fun. But on this day, the Rays tied it in the 9th and then the Red Sox walked it off. Thank you, Mike Napoli. Everyone can go home happy!
(and I loved Cody Ross in 2012…. Loved him)
We made our way out of America’s most beloved ballparks. The previous couple of years, we had gone directly to the finish line as we had a friend who had run. But that year, she happened to be training for an Ironman (crazy bitch), and didn’t run. So we went toward Kenmore Square to get down Comm Ave where we had parked. I remember it being crazy crowed. To get across the street you have to go into the Kenmore T station underground to go under Beacon St. where the runners in progress. We made it across and were in front the Barnes & Noble. By the time we got there, there were cops screaming through Kenmore.
This is how we find out.
Almost simultaneously, we hear via a police officer’s walkie talkie(?): major explosion! Everyone roll out. Police came from all directions, jumped on a set of motorcyles parked in from of Barnes & Noble and peel out. It was impressive. Thank you, Boston Police Department. Standing on the corner staring at each other, we don’t know what to do. Twitter is telling us more and more about what is happening at the finish line, so we walk way down Comm Ave. Police, first responders from every city and town west of Boston are flooding in, coming down Comm Ave. It was terrifying and spectacular. Thank you, first responders! .k We go into a bar. Sometimes I can’t believe we did this, but our brains were scrambled, and we had so little information. The bar was quiet. No one seemed to know what was going on. We tell them: turn on the tv! The bar continued to fill out with people coming out of the game, everyone staring in silence.
I’m still not really sure. But the city, the entire area came together like I’ve never seen, because, once again, fuck those guys. One Boston Day has become a day to remember those who lost their lives, and those who were injured or impacted by the bombings. The resilience many of them have shown over the ten years since has been truly inspirational. See some of their stories here: https://apps.bostonglobe.com/metro/2023/04/boston-marathon-bombing-10-years/
On 8/16/01 I created my first blog. I wrote way more consistently than I do here. I didn’t write on 9/11. I was too stunned and I was sitting at a friend’s house at a time where there wasn’t wifi, I didn’t have a laptop and the iphone, the first smart phone was six years away from existing, though it’s possible Blackberries with internet access existed then, I didn’t have one and cell service was not always working that day. When I did finally return to my home at 11pm that day, I could only muster a reaction I knew from childhood:
I feel a great disturbance in the force.. it’s as if millions of voices cryed out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened…
On 9/12, I managed the below: all typos left as originally published. So much has happened since then, our lives all impacted, I’m not sure the raw reaction could do it better justice..
I think I’m in some huge sort of denial. How is it possible that something this huge could happen? How is it possible? The saddest scene I’ve seen is a shot of the people hanging out of the windows. What horror must those people have been experiencing to think going out a window 80+ stories was an a better option? What were the people on the airplanes thinking, knowing they were going to die? Did someone on flight 93 overcome the hijackers and drive the plane into the ground rather than into a national icon..and if so, God bless them and I wish I could express the pride I feel in their courage. I don’t know why I’m even trying to describe the thousands of thoughts that have gone through my head and will go through my head in the near future. I guess the most important message is of overwhelming sorrow for the families and friends of the victims. I think perhaps I’m in some huge sort of denial, a defense mechanism if you will. This experience made me realize that there was pure evil in the world, that people are willing to do the unfathomable for something they truely believe in. But this… this is unspeakable. It’s amazing the way the mind works, the way it can protect you. I got on the elevator a little after 9am yesterday and a guy I work with jumped on right after me. He said: I just heard that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. At first I thought he meant in Boston. Then he clarified he meant NYC. I’ve just seen on CNN an angle of the second plane that I hadn’t seen before and all I could think was: Jesus! I’ve seen it from every angle 10 times and every time it shocks me and astounds me. My first reaction: it must be a little 2 seater kind of plane, one that can’t really do any damage. I disregarded what he said: yeah, right.. sure whatever. It was my first day back from vacation and I had a lot to catch up on. My boss arrived a few minutes after I did said she had heard about it on Howard Stern. Well, I thought, it must be a joke. We found a radio to listen to and it started to become abundently clear that it was no joke, that it was serious… but I still couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t absorb it. I was totally numb. People came over and listened and walked away, it couldn’t be real… we have work to do. People would go to their desks. On the other side of the floor a television was turned on. We went down and saw a group of about 30 people standing around the tv, mouths hanging open. The news comes fast and furious.. the pentegon has been hit.. I run back to my desk to call my friend from DC. I can’t comprehend the magnatude of this.. I attempt to go back and work, to acheive normalacy.. just so as not to freak out. I start calling my friends. Everyone is starting to panic. Without being in NY, without being able to actually see the results.. it seems like a bad movie. Didn’t this happen in a Die Hard? We walk between our desks and the tv.. did a plane hit Camp David? A plane crashed in PA? What about this plane that suppossedly had a bomb on it that landed in Cleveland? Then the news that the 2 flights that hit the towers originated in Boston. That means the terrorists were here that morning. here. We hear that the towers are collapsing. It dosn’t occur to me that the whole structure is gone, I think they mean the part where the planes hit and above. It’s not conceivable to me what I will later find out is the meaning of the buildings collapsing. People are leaving my office, off to find their children and families. I work in a tall building in the financial district. At 11am, they tell us to evacuate. Imagine not being safe in your workplace in the U.S. I go to a friends house, we stare awestruck at the news all day: cnn, abc, nbc, cbs, anyone that will give us info or different views. Any news we jump on. The jesus fucking christ video truely awes us. At one point we hear a plane and look at each other in panic.. how could there be a plane? We run outside and see the F15 fighters, we later hear that they have been sent to NY. CNN is reporting right now that on flight 93 a man called his family and said that once they had heard the world trade center had been hit, they had voted to try to overtake the hijakcers. How did they hear that the world trade center had been hit? How did they process this so quickly and react? I can barely react 37 hours later. All day we watch tv.. we hear that there has been an explosion in Afganistan, no one knows why. We see images of missles being deployed over Kaul. We are convinced WWIII has begun, we stare wordlessly, too stunned to be horrified. Shortly it is declared that these explosions have nothing to do with the U.S. Interesting that Taliban has recently it’s most powerful enemy the day before, isn’t it? Throughout the day, we hear Bush is here, Bush is there.. why they are announcing it, is beyond us. No one is talking about where Cheney is. Very smart, eh? Bush is the decoy! I am relieved to get a message from my friend in DC that she is ok. Time goes by and no new news is coming out, we stare out. I come home, I stare at the tv until 1am, still disbelieving. I wake up today to see a tape of the first plane on Today. Nothing new seems to really be coming out. I continue into work. I walk to work, I have some fear of taking the T. Terrorists have been in my city. At one point we can hear a plane, everyone on the street stops and looks up. How long will it take us before the sound of a plane dosn’t make us stare up? It is an F15, I guess we should feel safe. I go to the newsstand, and I have to wait in a large line to get the papers. People are buying copies of every paper. I buy a Globe and a New York Times. At one point during the day we hear sirens and many people run to the windows, we see a collection of police on motorcycles. We later here that they have rushed the Westin in an effort to find some people related to the terrorists. I’m less than thrilled to hear that these people have been in my city overnight. What else were they planning? Through the course of today I have discovered that a man that worked where I used to work and his wife as well as a man that I went to graduate school with were on the flights from Boston. I can’t contemplate it. Imagine the horror of their last moments. God bless them. And God help the people who did this, because there will be retaliation.. this won’t handled the way PanAm was or the embassy bombings or the U.S. Cole.. there is no way they will not be punished. The Empire State building and Penn station are being evacuated. what else can happen? How is it possible that a new security measure is to not allow knives on planes. Why were knives ever allowed on planes? I’m sure that as I start to really understand what is happening I will have more reactions…
Other things I remember from 9/11 are sitting at my desk, our office not having let us go home, and my co-worker IMing me: are we supposed to sit here like it’s a normal day? A co-worker turning from the tv, horrified, saying: I’m out of here, I’m going to get my kids, when we were finally released to leave around 11am, the co-worker I rode the elevator with, where we watched the news on the elevator screen about what was thought possibly at 9:00 am to be a small commuter plane came over to my desk, shook my hand and said: I guess we will always remember each other (I do, Scott, I do). I remember being surprised that my boss, a woman in her late 40s with teenaged children, telling us what Howard Stern was reporting. She listens to Howard Stern? Note: at one point I listened to the recording of the Howard Stern show from that day and he and his staff were phenomenal, no rumors, no jokes, just facts. The oddity of the things you remember, the ways your brain protects you in the moment from the truly shocking. I remember seeing Ashleigh Bansfield almost push someone out of the way to get an interview. I thought I’d never forgive her, but perhaps I should because she went down there to report, she did. Subsequently we’d move on to the anthrax attacks. My office would be evacuated about twice a week for awhile until people started saying no one was allowed to have powered donuts anymore.
Twenty years on, I still don’t know how to process that day. Perhaps it should be left to historians to put it in perspective. Maybe those of us who lived it can’t sum it up just yet. It still hurts. A childlike view that it’s hard to believe people could be so cruel, could harm innocents for their own cause is still part of my psyche despite all evidence to the contrary.
Bless the victims, their families and friends, and the first responders who show us what is good in us and give us hope, and all the people who developed illnesses from helping or just being near the sites.
Today is the one year anniversary of the day my office sent us home to work remotely. One entire year. Thursday will be the anniversary of when it was declared a pandemic, almost everything else shut down, the day the NBA ended their season, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they had COVID (if they could get it, any of us could!), and Trump gave a truly atrocious, non-confidence inspiring address to the nation. Pack up what you need and go home, we were told. I truly didn’t think it would be more than two or three weeks. Anything else was inconceivable. Later, we’d be allowed back in, only two or more at a time, to pick up the rest of our things.
When thinking about this past year: the handwashing, the wiping down of groceries, the deliveries, the wash your hands for the length of the Happy Birthday song, the ‘don’t touch your face’ (so hard!), the days inside, the days outside (the only social situations I allowed), the times in the summer when it felt ok to go to the grocery store again, the times since the holidays when curbside is my best friend (even if I am the only one in the curbside pick up spot while everyone else goes right into the store. What is the issue? Curbside is amazing! So much less time. So many fewer opportunities to buy things you don’t need, for receipes you won’t make, that you will throw out a year from now), the claps for front line workers, the new neighbors you haven’t actually met, but only seen from afar (I’m not sure I remember how to meet a new person. Are we still elbow bumping?), Black Lives Matter (how to even express the horror of beginning to comprehend), the endless Zoom meetings, the desire to not be on video in every meeting, so get to know this picture I like of myself from (ahem) years ago, the staying home and staying home, the quest for masks (stylish or just plain), the desire to put a hex on people you encounter who aren’t wearing a mask, the time last spring on a walk when you notice that people will cross the street to not walk by you because are a stranger, the times on walks in parks that complete strangers will wave from afar because we are human beings in the same place, at the same time, encountering various rocks painted with positive messages or rock creatures on walks, doing the same thing and it’s just nice to have something with someone you don’t know, home projects planned (and some done!), the pandemic panic trip to the wine store when we thought maybe 8 bottles would get us through quarantine (and we certainly didn’t want to go without!), the later panic trip to BJs to stock up (once before the mass shut down when they actually had a 4 pack of Lysol and toilet paper), and one unfortunate one the day of the shut down when people were panic buying everything in sight (pasta, potatos, milk, eggs, toilet paper, paper towels, all gone. My contribution: a 3 lb. container of peanut butter M&Ms. If we’re to be trapped inside they have protein, a lot of calorie. It’s a survival food!), the handing over of my pet outside of the vets office and not being able to go inside with her (she’s fine!), ordering take out to help the restaurants, ordering books to help the bookstores, not really working out and losing my hard fought arm tone from a year of toning classes until I give in, buy a spin bike and give myself up to the cult of the Peloton app (I love it and I never would have thought gamification or positive thinking would work on me. My curmudgeon reputation is at risk), a year of non-work events also on Zoom (in truth, I sort of like this. I could never get to all these author readings in person), the initial rush of Zoom calls with friends which then triggled to none because we were caught up and nothing new had happened, leaving the only conversation the news, the election and people’s crazy behavior, which is exhausting, the texting on Jan. 6 to my friends; the MAGAs have run wild, the gratitude at being able to work from home, of having the choice to not go out, the fear for those who do, the full wardrobe of masks in various colors that I eventually acquired just to make things fun, the massive amount of television binged that you never would have had time for before, the books you intended to read, but just couldn’t focus (eventually I found audio books helped here), the joy on a day in a park when everyone at once looked at their phones and started yelling and applauding at once because the election had been called and the sane option prevailed, the endless lies and conspiracies by people who could not accept that the sane option prevailed, the day I realized that for the first time in my memory I would not go to Fenway this year (ouch. Watching Mookie win the World Series was bittersweet, but I am happy for him), time has no meaning, was all this just a year ago, the year was endless.
I thought about what I had accomplished this year. A big fat nothing (unless finally watching the entirety of The Sopranos is an accomplishment. Poor Adriana), but that is ok. We don’t have to do it all right now. Getting through is enough. Living to fight another day is enough. I’ve learned that I don’t want to ever commute to work again. The idea of spending an hour + to get to an office just for the benefit of idle chitchat as relationship building: I don’t care. Life is short. Do something big with the time you have left. I don’t care what you’re workout was yesterday and though I can speak at great length about the love I have for my spin bike, is that what anyone else should spend their time on? Go forth and figure out what makes you happy and get more of that into your life. If you’re still here, there is still time. Well, maybe plot it out for a bit, be safe for just a little while longer. We are SO close. Let’s not fuck it up now. We all want our old times back. We all do. We all want to hug people again. So let’s do this.
I’ve just been in a funk. Being at home for months and months and coming to the understanding that there are still months to go, plus reading an article that 50% of gyms could go out of business because people have gotten used to working at home and bought all the equipment. While I don’t feel like I’ve gained the COVID 15, I do feel… soft, gross, not in the shape I was in at the gym. So I did hours and hours of research (See my previous post on my spin bikesanity…), made a decision and clicked ‘order’. Ever since I’ve felt like my life will start again once it gets here. How crazy is that? It’s all part of accepting that pandemic life IS my life, as least for now. And I’m done hanging around waiting for things to change. This is one little thing I can control and do to improve my life, both for my health and my sanity. Yes, I know it’s a bit sad to be looking forward to purchase so much, but I really, really am.
I ordered last Monday, 1/25. At the time, the expected shipping time was 1 week. Later that day, the expected shipping time changed to 4 weeks on the site. Somehow my order still said it was expected to ship 2/1. Have I been refreshing my order status multiple times a day since? Yes, I have. Had I decided to give it until tomorrow morning to inquire about a realistic shipping date? Yes, I had. Had I resigned myself to it being 4 weeks? Yes, I did. I’m one an a half weeks in, so that would only be 2 and a half weeks to go. I downloaded the Peloton app and started checking out non-cycling classes. I like them, but I suspect I’m missing out on the real fun. 2.5 more weeks: gah!
And then… when I wasn’t even refreshing my status:
You’re Order Has Shipped
WHAT?!?! SO EXCITED!
Lower in the email is a link to track the package with a message that tracking will be available within 24 to 48 hours of shipment. Not one to follow directions (never did understand coloring inside the lines), I immediately click on the link to see if there is any information, yet. And it is scheduled to be here Friday. As in 2 days from now Friday!
I mean… WEEEEEEEE!
I’m so excited to getting back into the shape I used to have when I went to the gym. I just want to feel good about something. Possibly I’ll feel different after the first ride (ok, definetely I’ll feel different after the first ride), but for now: whoop whoop!
Yes, I’m buying a spin bike. I’m becoming more a home workout aficionado and the person talking about their workouts all the time. My background is in the before pandemic times I belonged to a gym and I loved it. I loved the classes, the energy from all the other people in the class, competing with that person who is always in the front to show of or the one who you know is in great shape. I miss the presence of my fellow gym people where our entire relationship involved saying hi and discussing the class or the equipment. I want to go back to the gym. And maybe for those reasons and hope at the pandemic coming to an end at some point, I have held off on a large equipment purchase. I considered buying a bike in the fall, but the cost combined with an optimism that by spring a return to the gym could be in the cards made me decide against it. Instead, I bought a fairly cheap, small elliptical. I get on it, I’m moving, but I’m not getting the greatest workout. Also it squeaks sometimes. I have no classes, I just watch in front of tv or movies. In the warm weather, I could get outside and hike/bike/walk/run. In the winter, I’m sort of a baby and don’t like exercising outside. But recent news at the slowness of the vaccine rollout, general world craziness and planning at work where we don’t know if even by fall if things will be completely back to normal put me in a funk. A real funk! I decided I needed to do something. I needed my workouts that leave me sweaty and breathless back, not only for fitness and weight, but for stress management, so I started researching spin bikes again.
Now, I had taken spin for a few years at the gym, as well as other classes, so I had a good idea of what it was all about and what I wanted. But I also had almost no idea what was out there and ended up spending days watching videos and reading reviews. I came up with the below information to help me make the decision. Hope it also helps you if you are also considering a spin bike. There are many other bikes out there, but this will help you frame that research. I hope you find it helpful, but my main tip is understand what you want from the bike, how much you have to spend and don’t feel the need to be pulled into big brands if they are more than you need!
The Peloton app has a free 60 day trial, but that offer ends 1/31/21. Not sure what happens after that.
As of 1/29/21.
Bowflex C6/ Schwinn iC4
Is resistance level important to you?
Make sure the bike has enough resistance for how you want to ride, especially if you are a larger person. If resistance doesn’t go as high as you’d like, you won’t get as good a workout and will end up frustrated. Higher end bikes tend to allow higher resistance. Some measure resistance as 1 – 100, others through different numbers. It doesn’t mean 100 is more resistance. Even if two bikes rank in 1 – 100, it doesn’t mean the resistance is the same. Peloton uses 1 – 100 and you can find translations between their ranking and the more popular bikes online. You’ll want this if you take Peloton classes as call out what resistance setting to use during the class.
1 – 100
1 – 100
Magnetic or friction? Magnetic is less noisy and has less maintenance. The pads used in friction will one day have to be replaced.
Friction (felt pad)
Is the bike the right size for you?
Check out the max weight and height range supported, especially if you are on the smaller or larger side.
297 lb 4’11” – 6’4″
330 lb 4’6″ – 6’6″
350 lb 4’11” – 6’8”
How adjustable do you need the bike?
Consider your size/shape here. Are handle bars and seat adjustable up and down as well as back and forth (4 way). Are there set adjustments or micro adjustments for more control? Do you think you’ll need that?
Seat: 4 way Handle bars: up and down only.
Seat: 4 way Handlebars: 4 way
Seat: 4 way Handlebars: 4 way
Seat: 4 way Handlebars: up and down only
How do you like your handlebars?
Do you like the shape, positions allowed, width and grip? Do you like the tablet/phone holder if you need one? Mostly personal preference, but something to consider.
Do you want an integrated screen?
Benefit is usually integrated to the bike to watch classes and view statistics, so no need to connect apps or tablet. If ability to swivel the monitor is important to you, check that, as well. Some are concerned that if integrated electronics are another thing that can break.
21.5 in monitor (Bike + can swivel) Can not be used to view other apps or the internet for Netflix/YouTube, etc. (officially, there are sites that will tell you how to jailbait the device, which is not approved by Peloton)
Small LCD for stats. Can’t be used to watch classes. You will need a table, phone or smart tv to watch classes or other.
21.5 in monitor, can swivel Can’t be used for other apps or internet. Reviews say it’s not HD.
No screen. Bike doesn’t have connection via Bluetooth.
What ride statistics do you want to see?
If you want to track how hard your working and be able to see if your working at the same level as an instructor tells you, you’ll want to see: Cadence (RPM), Resistance level, Time, Distance, Heart rate, Calories, Power (watts) Not all bikes display all of these statistics, so if particular ones matter to you make sure the bike you chose can display them.
all via integrated screen
all except power via LCD screen Some stats can be displayed via other apps
Doesn’t display cadence, distance or powe. They seem to focus on heartrate, so assume that is displayed.
None. You could buy a cadence monitor and attach to bike to synch with some apps. This is a good option if cost is concern.
Bike Price / Value
$1895 – Bike $2495 – Bike +
$949 (currently $50 off). Schwinn is $899
$389 – Sunny site $329 Amazon
Monthly membership. Bikes with integrated screens tend to require you to use their app, which has a cost. If your bike doesn’t come with a mat, you will want to to prevent floor damage and protect from sweat. You can buy one cheaply from sporting goods stores. I got mine at Dicks Sporting Goods.
Peloton app: $39/mo with bike $12.99/month with non-Peloton bike. (note: there is a 60 day free trial, but offer ends 1/31! I assume after that there will still be a trial, but for less time, but who knows)
None required, but other apps may have cost.
MYX app: $29/mo
None, but other apps may have cost.
Do you want to use clip in shoes?
If yes, make sure your bike has pedals that allow clip in. SPD is the most common type of clips. You can buy the shoes at most sporting goods stores. I got mine at REI. Also consider if others will use the bike who may not have clips. You may want hybrid pedals that can support both clips and regular shoes. Though you can most like change out the pedals that come on any bike to what you need later.
only supports clips, and are Delta, not SPD.
Do you want access to workout apps and/or ability to track your workouts?
There are many workout apps. Determine what you like to do and find the app(s) that work best for you (types of classes offered, live vs on demand, amount of classes available, do you want a leaderboard/shout outs during the class to motivate you, etc.) Consider the cost of the app and if it’s limited to certain bikes, etc. Other apps with biking/spin workouts: Zwift, Explore the World, Sufferfest, Rouvy, FulGaz and more. Also consider if you want to synch to a tracking app like MyFitnessPal or Apple Health, also can you synch with an Apple Watch if you use one. Whatever you want to track, make sure your bike can do it.
Peloton: tons of classes, with more added every day. Leaderboard/shout outs available only if using Peloton bike. Not all stats displayed in app if using a non-Peloton bike. $39/mo with Peloton bike, $12.99 without
can synch with Zwift, Explore the World, Sufferfest, Rouvy, FulGaz, MyFitnessPal, Apple Health, and more.
MYX app – newer entrant, so have less classes than Peloton, but say they add more often.
Classes on their YouTube site. I didn’t research much about them.
Do you want to use and/or synch with workout apps?
If yes, make sure your bike can connect to those apps. Many people want to use the Peloton app with a less expensive bike. If that is you, make sure it’s possible. Connection ability runs the gambit.
Peloton app completely integrated into the bike screen. However, you can only use the Peloton app. Requires wifi.
Can connect and synch with multiple apps via Bluetooth. MYX: App integrated into bike screen.
Couldn’t find any info on ability to use or synch with outside of having MYX bike.
No synch capability. Possibility of adding your own cadence monitor and connecting to an app.
Many bikes have shipping delays due to demand. If you want a bike sooner, this could be a factor in deciding. But if there is a bike you love, you may want to wait it out.
8 – 10 weeks
2 – 5 weeks
1 – 2 weeks Sunny site. Less than a week – Amazon
Do you want other accessories?
Some may want things like weights, kettlebells, mats… do you need to buy that with a bike or buy elsewhere?
multiple packages that add on weights, shoes, mat, water bottles, heart rate monitor, headphones for additional cost.
heart monitor, 3 lb weights
heart monitor, MYX + package includes weight, mat, etc.
Do you need financing?
Some bike manufactures offer financing. Be sure to check out the terms and understand the impact on your credit rating. Payment plan length and rates may vary.
0 % for 39 months
0% if pay off within 18 months. 29% after that.
0 % for 36 months
Couldn’t find any info on
Do you care about appearance?
Maybe this is silly, but if you’re going to look at it every day, you should like the way it looks. Complete personal preference. For me, I don’t like a lot of flashy colors.
Mostly black, slick
White or black.
Do you need to move the bike in your house?
Look out how much the bike weighs, if it has wheels and the quality of the wheels.
Bike: 135 lbs Bike +: 140 lbs
Not the sexy part, but you should be aware
12 months parts and labor 5 year bike frame Extended warranty available for additional cost
3 years parts & electronics 10 year frame Labor 1 yr Extended warranty available for additional cost
3 year structural frame 180 days other parts and components
Will the bike fit in your space?
Check out the measurements as they do vary
59″ L x 53″ H x 23″ W
Bike 48.7” L x 51.8” H x 21.2” W Bike + 59″ L x 59″ H x 22″ W
55” L x 47” H x 21” W
49.5L x 49H in x 20W
If you are interested in one fully integrated experience and have the money, Peloton is the way to go. If you don’t want to be limited to one app, look for a bike that can connect via Bluetooth or other to apps, if price is your main criteria there are many less expensive bikes with less tracking features that will allow you to get a good workout. At the end of the day, being healthy and feeling good is the goal, right? There is a lot of information out there to help you find the right bike for you. There are no wrong answers!
Buy what works for you. If you don’t need a feature or accessory, don’t spend the money. But do know what works for you, don’t blindly go into the purchase. Even if you buy a cheaper bike, you could end up with a brick if it doesn’t work for you.
People seem to LOVE the Peloton app. LOVE IT. When you research you will find many videos with titles like: Peloton: Is it worth it? Over 90% of the time they will be wearing Peloton gear when you watch. I have not come across anywhere near this level of love for any other app. Multiple times I’ve heard the instructor Atunde (spelling?). I haven’t tried the app, yet, but it makes me want to.
Understand the total cost of what you’re buying. Make sure it works for your finances.
Peloton bike: $1895 plus $39/mo. First year cost: $2363, Annual after: $468. Plus any of the accessories you chose. Will be different if you finance, based on the terms you chose.
Bowflex: $949 plus $12.99 for Peloton app. First year cost: $1105. Annual after: $156. Also plus any accessories, including other apps as this one can synch with multiple apps.
Google Peloton alternative and you too can spend hours watching people who have set up something similar that works for them, but again, know what works for you.
What did I decide?
Well, my needs were these:
Fit in my space and be movable
I currently use another workout app that I really like, so I wanted the ability to use different and possibly multiple apps. If I just want to sit on the bike and watch Netflix, I wanted that option as well. I didn’t want to be locked into one app system.
Related to the above, I didn’t really want a bike with a screen because those tend to be locked into a particular app. I have an iPad which I can use, so I was all set there. I also worried that a screen would make the bike look even more clunky. I am putting this in my guest room which is also a library and now, my office while working from home. I was afraid the room would feel claustrophobic with so many things in it. For this reason I also wanted a bike with a small footprint.
Since I have taken spin before and have spin shoes with SPD clips and enjoy using them, I wanted a bike that could support those.
Also because I’ve done spin before I find it important to see cadence/RPM, distance, time statistics. I didn’t have access to heart rate at the gym, but I am interested to see it. I could see it being very valuable. I am used to seeing power/watts and spin teachers tend to emphasize it as a metric, so that was interesting, but not a top priority for me.
I wanted to spend much less than a Peloton cost. I had limited myself to the guestimate of my gym membership savings during the pandemic.
I do still have dreams of going back to the gym someday, so didn’t a large app cost in addition to a gym membership. This translates to a concern that a Peloton would just be a giant brick without the $39/month app, on top of already being more expensive for just the bike.
Looks. I know some may think I’m crazy, but I wanted something I wouldn’t mind looking at everyday and splashes of bright colors, especially red or yellow would annoy me. To me, the Peloton is the best looking bike, but others look nice, too.
I didn’t really care about other accessories. I have weights and others already. I did separately purchase a mat to put under the bike. It was much cheaper than the bike I could buy from my bike manufacturer, which is (ta dah):
Again this is the same bike as the Schwinn IC4.
I ordered it last Monday, 1/25. At that time it had a 1 week shipping time, while the Schwin was 4 weeks. Later on same day I ordered it, the estimate changed to 4 weeks. My status continues to say it’s estimated to ship on Mon, 2/1. I really hope so. I’m so excited to receive it and get going. Yes, I’ve been refreshing my order status frequently to check.
I liked how the Bowflex looked better, mostly black with some pops of orange.
I did consider whether I really need the bike to synch with an app at all. I could buy a cheaper bike if I didn’t need that. But I knew I liked seeing the stats in spin class in the past. If I decided I wanted that later would involve buying a whole new bike, so it felt worth a few hundred now, especially if it’s motivating to me to track these stats. I may be burned a bit because I sort of wish I had ordered this months ago when I ordered the cheaper elliptical. What I learned from that is you get what you pay for.
I liked that the warranty was better, but that was more a confirmation that I made the right decision than a deciding factor.
Though I have another workout app, I am signing up for the Peloton app with the 60 day trial (again, ends 1/31) even though my bike won’t be here, yet. I’ll try the other types of classes and check out the other features available without a Peloton bike (more to come!)
Below are some of the bazillion videos I watched. Beware, once you search all you ads wherever you go will be about bikes, which will cause you to go down even more rabbit holes.
A disjointed, disorganized look through a chaotic year…
What was 2020?
The year started like any other of adulthood. Work, work, work.. Impeachment (remember that?) Can we not get this criminal out of our White House? Apparently we can not. Then hearing about a virus in China. I became concerned about it in late January. Because my college roommate works in public health, I was aware of N95 masks. I decided to order a few, just to make myself feel better, we certainly wouldn’t need them. Pre-pandemic they were readily available. Contactors use them, so you can buy them at Home Depot, Lowe’s, any hardware store. But they weren’t available, anywhere. Not in stores, not to order online, not from any stores in my area. One store offered them for a mere $275 delivery fee. Even Amazon didn’t have them, but possibly available in two weeks. Even Amazon! I texted my sister, a nurse, to see what she thought. Someone had to be making massive purchases for the entire commerce system to have no availability. My sister talked me off the ledge, but later told me people stole shipments of masks from her hospitals loading dock. But I knew this would be serious. Six weeks later when my office closed (the Monday before the big close: the day the NBA cancelled it’s season, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson tested positive, and Trump gave a pathetic, terrifying speech), I wasn’t surprised. I’ve been home since, and lucky to be able to work from home. Very lucky. The day we were told to take what we needed and go home, I said goodbye to a co-worker with: I don’t know when I’ll see you again. He looked up, surprised. Nearly ten months later, we still haven’t seen each other, except on Zoom with no real timeline until that changes.
New and exciting ways to live:
Curb side delivery.
A year ago I don’t know what I would have made of that phrase. Now I can provide feedback on the best approach to it: have designated spaces with numbers, pull in, text the space number to you and someone comes out with the order. Perfection (ahem Best Buy, Total Wine). I don’t want to download an app that insists on knowing my location, and then once it does tells me I need to be at the store to do curbside (hello! I’m at the store), then errors out and insists I come inside to get the order where I have to wait in a customer service line for longer than I would have spend shopping. Atrocious, BJ’s. It was the same customer service line for everything. I don’t want to spend 5 minutes listening to the attempt to upsell a credit card to the person in front of me who is renewing their membership. That is why I did curbside. Also thumbs down on stores who didn’t even do curbside, instead strictly limit the numbers inside (which is good, but not as good as curbside): Trader Joe’s, or only offer delivery, Roach Brothers. Roach Brothers is about 3 minutes from my house and where I would prefer to shop, despite their poor frozen vegetable selection, but something about asking a store so close to my house to deliver stops me. I ordered from them once, in the spring, but never again. I did shop there in the free for all, low COVID-19 (spell check told me it must be capitalized!) rates, summer, but not since. So sorry… your fresh produce is the best, but do improve the frozen selection.
Hikes and Walks as social life
I’ve always loved being outside, but my social life was dinners, cocktails and shows. This year it was hikes, walks, and even on one occasion, goats. In the spring, during my very first fearful attempt to leave the house, I walked with a friend a golf course, still not open for golf, which kept goats. I have no idea why. Do they help the grass cut?
I made it a mission to go to parks and other outside areas I hadn’t been prior. I joined the Trustees of the Reservations and started working my way though many of these places that I didn’t know existed before. I went to the Blue Hills, which I have been very aware of and loved, so many more times than any other year. I traveled to beaches I usually didn’t. I saw things I never would have seen.
That I would attend one and only one show I this year, is stunning. Even that one, I decided last minute to do.
Online creativity, from Bill Janovitz’s spring happy hour’s (viewable on Buffalo Tom’s facebook) to Josh Kantor (Seventh Inning Stretch), to whole conferences online, book festivals online, political fundraisers with the casts of your favorite shows online, my whole life online.
On the last day of 2020, my sweetest friend messaged me who now lives halfway around the world that she had been listening to the very same artist that, long loved, that I also happened to pick up listening to again the day before. “Remember when we saw her on Boston Common?”. Kismet. Synchronicity. Must be the moon. Ok, it’s Stevie Nicks, who has been a presence my whole life. (Sara, you’re the poet in my heart. Never change, don’t you ever stop. It’s never gone. It always matters what for. When you build your house, I will come by).
They happened, I guess. No fans, so weird. Mookie and Tom left Boston. Mookie won a World Series, good for you, dude! This is first year that I can remember that I didn’t go to Fenway and I can’t even talk about that or letting Mookie go.
My goal was to primarily read books I already owned, but I couldn’t really read this year. Eventually I discovered that I could manage audio books, so I did that though I don’t remember them anywhere near as well. So my reading goal in 2021 will once again be to read books I own.
An orange Cheeto, narcissistic man baby took way too much of my focus this year. Twenty days from now he’ll be ejected from our White House and I hope never to think about him again.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Lewis, Eddie Valen, Alex Trebeck, Dawn Wells, Charlie Pride, David Prowse, Sean Connery, Jim Lehrer, Helen Reddy, Olivia De Havilland, Regin Philbin, Peter Green, Charlie Daniels, Carl Reiner, Joe Morgan, John Thompson, Kobe Bryant (yes, that was this year), Fred Willard, Jerry Stiller, Mary Pratt, Bill Withers, Kenny Rogers, James Lipton, Neil Peart all left us, along with 337, 419 (latest CDC number of this writing) in the US of Covid, 1,798,050 worldwide (latest per WHO), most of whom we will never hear of, but who mattered to someone.
In the end this year was exhausting, terrifying, endless, full of poor role models, but nothing devastating happened to me, and that maybe that is all I can ask for, so I express my gratitude.
It’s Patriot’s Day here in Massachusetts, a holiday which commemorates the first battle of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord. Every year, the battle is reenacted on Lexington Common, but not this year. Patriot’s Day is also the day that the Boston Marathon is run. After months of arduous training, folks run 26.2 miles from the suburbs to the greatest city in the world, but not this year. Marathon Monday will be held in September, the first time the race has been postponed in it’s 123 year history. On Patriot’s Day there is morning baseball; an 11:05 start, the only morning MLB game, but not this year. Fenway park is less than a mile from the finish line. The end of the game usually works out well so the baseball fans can watch the masses as they run by. The day is truly a Boston tradition. Sure, it’s be interrupted before. Seven years ago for the Boston Marathon bombing, two years ago it rained and there was no baseball (sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. Well the Red Sox went on to win the win 108 games and the World Series, so..) The weather is not always good, but sometimes it’s stupendous. The true start of spring, but not this year.
We miss the daily rituals, the meeting a friend for coffee or a cocktail, the ability to run to the store for that one ingredient to cook up a masterpiece, leaving the house on a daily basis. I so very much miss fresh produce when I want it rather than making do with what is in the house… so so much. But the big milestone days, the days of rituals past. I miss Patriot’s Day. I do not want to be sitting on my couch writing this, I want to be out in the world doing things, seeing things, seeing people. Today will pass and tomorrow we’ll be back to missing coffee with friends, gossip at the water cooler, going to a movie or a party. I know it won’t be easy. More than a few people have started to hit the wall from being inside, from not knowing when this will end, from job and health insecurity, from lack of the social contacts we are used to having. This really sucks. We’re all grieving for our old lives. And just like in any situation involving grief, everyone handles it in their own way. No matter what your reaction, it’s ok. You don’t have to be productive right now. If you want to take up something new, if that will make you happy, then do it. If you want to watch all of Netflix, do that. If now is the time to track down every dust bunny in your home, go for it. I’m exhausted from feeling sad. I just want to do something positive.. Someday we’ll think back and say: remember that time we all had to wear masks, stand six feet apart, crossed the street to avoid walking by a stranger, only waved to our neighbors and communicated solely on the phone or on ridiculous, insecure Zoom calls? That sure was crazy. But for now, we have to preserver. What other option is there? Stay home if you can, wash your hands. You know the drill. Please think of every trip outside: is this worth risking my life? Is it worth risking the lives of every other person I come in contact with? Is it? Be a a Patriot and do the right thing. Please ask for the help you need, financial or otherwise. People want to help, you would be amazed.
Cheryl Stayed has a new podcast, Sugar Calling where she interviews writers. Episode One is George Saunders. This is the definition of my wheelhouse, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. In the podcast, George says to notate what life is like right now because maybe in fifty or hundred years no one will believe it, it will all just be the stories we capture.
I’m not George Saunders, so I’ll bullet point out what my weekend was like:
Just happy my exhausting work week is over at the job I am grateful to have and glad to be able to work from home. Now for some wine and start re-watching the Sopranos, which is, as you know, so uplifting.
I went outside, yes outside! I met a friend near a local bakery that we are scared will not make it. They no longer have pick up as the did at the beginning of the quarantine time. Now you can order by Wednesday, and pick up Sat morning. The sign on the door says only one person can enter at a time. A few tables have boxes and bags labeled with names. It’s certainly not enough to keep the store afloat. When I ask the sole person there, who stays well behind the counter away from him if they did well this week, he replies: it helps.
After pick up, my friend and I stood six feet apart outside on a sidewalk, both with scarves covering our faces and chatted. Behind us was a line to get into a grocery store which is limited the number of people allowed in at a given time. About half the people in the line had masks, almost no one in the line looked six feet away from the person in front of them. At one point someone walked by with a big package of toilet paper. I said to my friend: look TP!
I also gave my friend an unopened box of ten N95 masks that I panic bought in January for her to give to her sister, an ER nurse.
Next I went to a drive through pharmacy. The line took forever even though there were only three cars ahead of me. And then I realized: where else do you need to be? It was actually soothing to feel as if I was just running errands like a usual Saturday before. I was happy to see the person staffing the window had both a mask and gloves. I wondered if she’d balk at cash (the prescription is only $4 and I don’t really want to touch a keypad to use a card), but cash didn’t seem concerning to her.
I arrived home before noon and got ready for Zumba at home. The Zumba teacher from my gym live streams classes from his home via a private Facebook group which we pay him weekly for. So worth it!
I clean a little. Start a stew that will need to simmer for some time.
Late in the afternoon the singer from one of favorite bands will play acoustic from his basement. You can tip which he is donating to the people who work in the clubs his band were scheduled to play in.
Try not to eat all the baked goods I bought from the bakery after dinner. This is the most normal part of the weekend.
Read too much Twitter, watch too much tv. Actually stream too much online content. Decide I should be reading more, but fall asleep instead.
Watched the Sunday political shows because I’m not afraid enough
Went for a walk on a 60 degree day with a scarf covering my face. The people I came across reacted to my presence like they would to a person they encountered in a dark alley in the middle of the night. I was saddened when people crossed the road not to pass me. I was scared for the people who didn’t, none of whom had masks.
Back at home to more twitter. Make it stop.
Decide to write this up, but oh! Trump is doing another briefing. I thought I read he was taking the day off from that today, but no. These briefings are such train wrecks that it’s difficult to look away, but I decide not to watch for my sanity.
Take a break in the middle of writing this bulleted list to check twitter. It seems the briefing had no news, and was mostly about suggesting there is a drug that may help fight the virus. Dr. Fauci has however said there is only anecdotal information that it will. Who are you going to believe? . Fauci. I start to wonder who has money in the development of this drug because why would anyone sane push a drug that hasn’t been approved for this virus. Why would anyone do that? Where are those baked goods… and some wine?
Time to prep for the upcoming week at work, which consists of Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting.