Burn calories, light your house at the same time!


Now this is an idea that I can really get my teeth into.  It is WEIGH overdue!

Please. ‘Scuse my lame puns, but I haven’t been so excited about something since Pringles came out with a fat free potato chip!

I just read where a fitness club  in Connecticut has struck a deal with a company called The Green Revolution to offer the coolest feature on their stationery bikes and other cardio machines. Now, as members pedal or climb off unwanted calories and build up their heart muscles, they can also generate power that goes back into the Club’s grid to cover the cost of operating the equipment.  It will eventually be funneled back into community grid if the members can generate more power than the Club needs.

Isn’t that revolutionary? They report that a class of 20 cyclists can generate more than 3,000 watts an hour. Over a month’s time, their combined output can provide enough


power to light six homes for a month!  Wow.  The possibilities are intriguing.  We could sentence criminals lengthy periods of pedaling to pay electric bills for their victims.

I’m not completely sure how this system works, but apparently a simple device attaches to the stationary bikes which in turn, are attached to a generator to convert the “pedal power” to energy. It also features a small readout so the user can monitor what amount of power they are generating, thereby injecting a spirit of competition into the classes.

I MUST have one of these devices.  I can see myself now, rushing home from lunch with the girls. I’ll hop on my stationary bike and begin peddling madly.  In no time I’ll have burned off enough calories to negate that piece of pie I had.  But even better, I will rack up enough energy to power my television and maybe a lamp or two.  Come dark I can turn into a couch potato without all the guilt.

I’ll be pedaling in the bathroom as I dry my hair and pedaling in my office as I work on the computer. I’ll be in the best shape of my life!

This is a dream come true. Not only could I gain the monetary incentive to exercise –  I can’t eat until I pump hard enough to start the oven! I bet we could slim Americans down in no time flat.

I can hear the naysayers now, questioning the feasibility of generating our own energy.

Think back, folks.  When they said the Wright brothers were going to fly – we asked, “like a bird? Are you kidding?!”

Later, Americans said “You’re going to do what – bring the toilet ‘inside’ the house?”

I remember the first time I heard someone had a telephone in their car.  “No way,” I thought.  “Why would anyone need a phone in their car much less their pant’s pocket? And how will it be connected to a power source?”

See what I mean?

I say “more power to anyone willing to invest in pedal power.” I’m told the company is using the fitness club as a test to refine their product with intentions to market the system nationally by the end of the year.  They will also be talking to universities and corporations about installing them in their fitness centers.

In the meantime, I suggest they hook our politicians up to similar machines and harness all that hot air to actually do some good in the world. In fact, I think a requirement for Congress should be to generate a kilowatt or two each morning before plopping into those big comfy chairs in the nation’s Capitol – and dozing off while the pork barrel appropriations sneak in unchallenged.

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