I am preparing for the Tour de Tahoe on September 7. Team members Sean, Mike, Glenn, Crystal, and Terry are going to participate as well.:

"The 72-mile Tour de Tahoe – Bike Big Blue course circumnavigates the highways clockwise around Lake Tahoe in both Nevada and California. It includes a challenging 800-foot climb to a rest stop overlooking Emerald Bay and a 1,000-foot climb to Spooner Junction. There are also many short rolling ascents and descents totaling over 2,600 vertical feet of elevation gain! The altitude ranges between 6,300 feet and 7,100 feet above sea level and the ride is recommended for conditioned recreational bicyclists, not for beginners."

I am not in cycling shape. The summer heat combined with smoke from the local wildfires combined with a degree of laziness has created many excuses to do lots of other stuff rather than get in shape. However, I am making a last ditch effort to log a few miles before the ride.

Along with cycling, I am adding strength training to my routine. I hate going to the gym (there is a lot of wasted time getting motivated, making the trip over there, finding a parking spot...). So I decided to streamline the process and bring the gym to me.

Uncle Steve has been using his Bow Flex for about ten years. He is a monster downhill/back country skier and he logs thousands of miles every year on his mountain bike. Uncle Steve is a fine physical specimen at 59 years old and I figured it must be the Bow Flex (and his obsession with fitness) that keeps him in shape.

So I searched CraigsList for a used Bow Flex. I found many listings for $800 - $1500. However, there were a few listings with prices in the $200 - $300 range (these are offered by people who bought a Bow Flex a few years ago, never used it and now they just want to get rid of it).

I called on a listing that was offered for $250, the guy said he was willing to lower the price to $200 as long as I would come pick it up. So the next night I drove about 30 miles to go check this thing out. The guy (Kevin) asked me why I was shopping for a home gym. I told him about FA and the ride. He wanted to donate so he gave me the Bow Flex for $100. He said that if his wife didn't need her hair done he would have given it to me for free. Thanks Kevin, I hope to put the Bow Flex to work.

I just set it up in the garage yesterday and I have not had the chance to try it out but I hope to make regular use of it...we'll see how it goes.