I had a cool opportunity yesterday to try riding an Elliptigo outdoor elliptical bike. My friend Robert Travers is an experienced Elliptigo rider and rode one of his Elliptigo outdoor elliptical bikes in the 100 mile Fletcher Flyer in June of 2013.
I was excited and little nervous when we met at Hominy Creek River Park in Asheville to start a casual ride on the Greenway into and around Carrier Park. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to mount this hybrid of an elliptical machine and bicycle without falling over, but it was really easy. It took a couple of minutes to become comfortable with the motion and operation and a few more minutes to become comfortable with turns. But after 10 minutes of orientation on the Ellipito on Hominy Creek Road, I was ready for the tighter environment on the greenway. Since the weather was nicer than it has been in the past couple of weeks with temperatures in the low sixties, the greenway was densely populated by men, women, children, dogs, bikes, scooters and even one unicycle.
Robert and I had an easy ride of about three miles or so. It’s a different experience; you’re upright all the time. There’s no sitting on a bike seat and leaning over the handlebars. The leg motion is somewhat similar to the motion of running without the impact. It seems like a terrific training/cross-training device and a very enjoyable way to tour. Standing upright on the Elliptigo with your feet about 8-9 inches off the ground you get a great vantage point.
Because Elliptigos are not something you see often, we definitely attracted looks from just about every person (and dog) we encountered. There were plenty of comments and stares. As Robert pointed out, some of the best comments come from children. I remembered one youngster saying to his mother, “Is that a bike?”
Watch for Elliptigo riding opportunities coming to Asheville in the near future.