I've decided to give up cycling and focus on a new, awesomely exciting vehicle for my outdoorsy efforts: human-powered wheeled extra-cyclic activities!
Let me describe my conversion process:
Tuesday night I was descending from Bethesda on the Crescent Trail, one bike among many. The commuters climbed toward me, each drearily seated on asses exploding with pain, the same posture they'd assumed all day at their desks, turning over the cranks in perfectly round, unnatural strokes, backs hunched unnaturally, eyes unnaturally dull.
Suddenly a bobbing helmet appeared, a man standing, appearing to be running, cycling and struggling to sustain the world's biggest shit-eating grin--all at the same time!
He was riding an Elliptigo! The sight of him led me to do some research and discover a whole world of machinery promising way, way more fun than the bicycle and its 98% efficiency.
What are we, the IRS? We want fun, not to get from point A from point B using as little energy as possible. We're American, and that means wasteful transport!
An Elliptigo, the first awkwardly inefficient piece of equipment I examined, provides an "endorphin rush." It's a "secret weapon" for runners. The Elliptgo can make you climb "like a mountain goat" because it has 8 gears--that's seven more than your legs!
Unfortunately, the Elliptigo doesn't meet all my fitness needs.
For example, what about my arms? I need to develop these guns, but on the Elliptigo the arms don't pump back and forth, and I'm afraid I'll lose the Howitzers I've developed on the elliptical machine at the gym.
Thankfully, there's the Extreme Strider BoXer which has that wonderful-slipping-on-ice motion of the legs seen on Elliptigo, but adds to it the arm-pumping action of the mashed potato dance, for maximum calorie burnage and muscle hypertrophicationalization.
The Street Strider Canada seems to do the same thing, except in Canada:
And the scientist behind its invention:
As far as pointless inefficiency, the treadmill bike takes the cake. It's for those more focuessed on pure inefficiently rather than the fun aspect of it all:
There's also the Trikke, which I saw several years ago on the Crescent, complete with a boombox (playing the Gap Band) strapped to cockpit. The Trikke, it appears, is about fun, and managed to be extremely inefficient at the same time. The problem for me, is that it propels itself entirely with pelvic thrusting.
In any case, as the video makes clear, it beats the bicycle, hands down.
And if you want to explore a new field (and I'm not talking about, say, a substantial field such neuro-science), you might want to consider blowing all your time figuring out new ways to break your ankles on a Trikke.
Consider these radical tricks done by kids.
I like the part where he bites the wheel. You can't do that on a bike!
C'mon everybody, let's move to the next phase of human-powered wheel vehicles, and meet out on the Crescent. It's 3D hump-propulsion time.