Friday, August 26, 2011

Steps for dealing with The Hell Wagon

The Hell Wagon (1). A demon-spawned machine of medieval horror ... a purchased-from-Big-W exercise bike on-loan to me from the exquisite Casso.

With my hip well-fucked, as I politely describe it (2), I am now supposed to do non-load-bearing exercises like cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer.

Mikey being Mikey, and, like physics, who takes the easiest path chose the bike. Since I can literally walk two-dozen steps to reach it, hop on, and start peddling.

But it's laborious. Walking, until that is my hip became well-fucked, was easiest of all. Clothes, shoes, Mp3 then off I went. As far as pain and effort went it was largely minimal. Cycling on an exercise bike however is not largely minimal. There's more exertion and you're far more acute of the knowledge that you are exercising and not enjoying it.

So steps are needed to drain this message of not-like out.

Enter the steps!

Step one. If you have meds, take them. Yes, pain killers. I am in pain when I use the bike, because I have a skeleton that could be best described as 'renovator's delight'. So if you're on pain killers then that dials back the pain you're getting from exercising. Thus drowning that nasty message out.

Step two. Music. Or, as my son calls it, Muse-gick. No, that's not right. Sound. That's better. For me my preferred sound poison is a long-play interview-style or subject-discussing podcast. If I can concentrate on that then less pain message coming in.

Step three. Pad the seat. Exercise bikes for some reason have uncomfortable seats. Perhaps they're designed by flagellants or members of Opus Dei? Whatever the reason you need padding. I have an old strangely-silky-to-the-couch hall runner that I use to pad mine.

Step four. Text a friend during the ride. Today I managed to blank out nine minutes, thirty seconds of the ride by texting a friend. Then lazily adapting that text and sending it to my boss minus all the emotional sentiments. Hey, I am a writer (3). Writers recycle.

Step five. Take it the fuck easy. If you go hard core you won't want to go back. Well, you never want to go back. But hard core then return the next day makes it that much harder because you remember the effort needed. Start slow and only speed up towards the end. Maybe the last thirty seconds go flat out so you have a bit of a heart race at the end when you get off.

Oh, a tip. If you have a fucked hip do not treat the bike like a regular cycle and stand in the saddle to give extra power. Because when your leg hits the end of the pedal turn your full weight will drop on your bad hip. You will experience some discomfort. You may even get some nausea and/or nearly topple off like a US cavalryman shot from ambush in the first volley by Native Americans.

UPDATE—Monday 29 August

A discovery! theWife had a go on The Hell Wagon. Being more mechanically minded and generally all-around more perceptive she noticed that the difficulty control wasn't working at all. She dismounted and ferreted around. Aha! She was correct. A short fiddle later and the control was restored. It turns out I'd been riding The Hell Wagon on highest difficulty the entire time. No wonder I found it grueling! I just assumed that my life curse of semi-shitty body flowed on in to yet another exercise medium. You know ... on account of how shit I am (according to those people with such concerns).

On a related note I just did an e-translation of The Hell Wagon into German, since I'd developed a background for a graphic novel concept of the same name where the novel follows the non-Nazi crew of a German tank during World War Two. The translation is Die Hölle Wagen. Awesome.

(1) So named to the owner, Casso, by text by me. I decided The Hell Wagon would also make a dandy graphic novel which follows the non-Nazi crew of a World War Two German Tank. Their core aim is to survive the war and look after each other (I suspect that's probably a common passion of many soldiers in mass conflicts). They have to endure many privations—bad food, poor sleep, exposure etc. as well as the enemy (soldiers and minefields) and of course incompetent or fanatic superiors (1a).
(1a) As a side note my favourite tank-themed comic as a kid was The Haunted Tank; the plot being the ghost of J.E.B Stuart looking after a descendant who commands a US Army Tank during World War Two. It was kewl. However it would have been better in retrospect for a Union general to have been the ghost but I can see why from a character viewpoint they chose Stuart.
UPDATE: Oh their tank was an M3 Stuart ... named for the general. Hence why he was ghost guarding it. Noice.
(2) Aka the Steven Bradbury.
(3) Not...


  1. Yeah, you definitely shouldn't do that last bit...

  2. I think I actually screamed ... which turned into a grunt because I fell forward, sprawling across the console as I gasped in pain-breath.


    Riding fail.

    Once when I was teen I was riding my dodgy old mountain bike. I was pushing off to cross the road when traffic was clear, and stood to get extra power. At that point the front handle bars sheered off cleanly at the centre strut and I fell over the front wheel and onto street.

    The car behind me was an early-model valiant. Its occupants happened to be Indigenous Australians. They stopped, got out, and helped me to my feet and to take my bike off the road. Being a teenager, and an idiot, I had moronic-notions about Indigenous Australians, though it didn't help that I didn't get on with some kids in my school who happened to be also indigenous. The fact they happened to be just normal people doing a normal thing actually surprised me. Again, I was an idiot ... remember the various-epithets for dark-skinned people motorbike starting impression? I used to think it was funny. For shame.

    Anyway ... I then spent hours walking my bike home. Which was somewhat of a trial given I had no way of wheeling it along with the front wheel in use. I pretty much had to carry it.

    Later I got angry at it for hurting me and I threw it at a tree. Later that same anger power was used fuel the picking up of a sheep and throwing it at a gate to stun it. Though in that case I should point out the sheep had just butted me in the leg.

  3. I didn't know it had a difficulty setting. You mean it was causing me hate too?!

    Also, throwing sheep? Dude, hardcore...

  4. You can retrieve your machine of course now that you know. TheWife had to fiddle with internal connectors and the like to fix it. Chances are it just wasn't fitted out right when you got it.

    PS Four folds of a hall runner works best for anal padding. Except that actually made my anus numb. So if I ever get another prostate exam I'll be sure to ride the bike for an hour before I go in. That way the Doc can fish on around in my back passage to his heart's content and I won't feel a thing!

    Mikey ... always thinking ahead.

  5. PS That sheep totally had it coming. Though I admit I thought that until it took unsteadily to its feet that my throw and blow combo had killed it ...

  6. Nah, the Hell Wagon is all yours until you don't need it anymore! :)


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