Thursday, July 3, 2014

Giving the ElliptiGO a Go!

I'll admit it.  The first time I saw someone riding an ElliptiGO, I said to myself, "I am never getting on one of those things." As a lanky distance runner, "Game of Thrones" fan and someone who spent the bulk of my college years holed up in a TV control room, I wasn't really looking for anything else that established my nerdiness.  An elliptical machine on wheels?  How about I just give myself an atomic wedgie and save the bullies some time.

That was five years ago.  Years of wear and tear on my body from high mileage, a long list of injuries, a complete hatred for pool running and a New York City-developed lack of caring about what other people think have all drastically altered my perspective.  So, it came to be that one day late this spring, my friends Josh and Tanya and I were embarking on our virgin ElliptiGO voyage around Central Park.
Admittedly, I look like a huge dork here, but that has nothing to do with the ElliptiGO

On that maiden 19 mile ride, a few things became abundantly clear.  First is that most people think the ElliptiGO looks super cool.  It was a busy, beautiful Sunday afternoon and countless people stopped us to ask not only what it was we were riding, but how they can get one.  They seemed genuinely interested.  This has been the case on every subsequent ride.  Second, it's a lot of fun to ride.  You might have preconceived notions based on mind-numbing stationary elliptical rides where time seems to stop and all you can do is cover the clock with your sweat rag to stop yourself from going insane.  This isn't that.  You can pick up a lot of speed on the flats, fly down the hills and the uphills present a challenge that culminates with a real sense of accomplishment once you reach the top.  And third, it's one hell of a workout.  I don't want to brag, but I'm an expert on cross training.  I've logged a lot of hours in pools and on cardio machines and I can tell you, riding the ElliptiGO is the best thing you can do for running fitness besides actually running.  There is a reason the list of pro-runners using ElliptiGOs is rapidly expanding.

Just days after that first ride, I rode with one of ElliptiGO's sales managers, Jeff Caron then met with Bryan Pate, one of the founders of the company and their top spokesman, Boston Marathon Champ Meb Keflezighi  (Meb, 39, substituted some of his easy runs with ElliptiGO rides and became the first American to win Boston in 30 years). Their plan was to get more ElliptiGOs in the park.  This month, in conjunction with Bike and Roll, ElliptiGO launched a membership program allowing anyone to ride as much as they want.  I've already incorporated regular rides into my weekly training regimen in an effort to take some of the pounding off my legs and stay healthy for an entire race season.  As for my partners on that first ride, Josh and Tanya are riding the ElliptiGOs from San Francisco to Los Angeles later this summer.  You can follow their journey here.

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