An exercise bike has arrived in our house. It sits there in the corner of the room, just daring you to get on and burn some fat. Once you climb on and start pedalling, it lets you know how far and how fast you’d be going if you weren’t going nowhere. It also lets you know how long you’ve been pedalling, and what woeful number of calories you’ve burnt off.
Perhaps we need exercise bikes that more realistically simulate an afternoon ride. Some kind of fan system that blows strong wind into your face, no matter which direction you’re going. An attached quadrophonic sound system to simulate a bunch of no-penises in a souped-up Commodore accelerating past you with the radio up full blast. A sprinkler system to spray you with rain water.
No, what it really needs is a better way of telling you how much you’ve burnt off. Instead of measuring it in calories or kilojoules, how about in terms of chocolate? "You have ridden for three hours and burnt off 4.2 squares of chocolate." That’d keep people pedalling.