Friday, January 08, 2010
Not that long ago, Travis discussed some of the benefits of a treadmill desk, a set-up that allows people to work at a desk while walking on a treadmill. Particularly for people who are desk bound for the majority of their workday, this quirky method can definitely help add much needed physical activity to an otherwise sedentary day.
Of course, to make use of a treadmill desk one needs a treadmill (not cheap) and a specialized desk to work with the treadmill (also not cheap). Thus, we could not have been more excited when a colleague of ours, Katya Herman, sent us pictures of a contraption she threw together to increase her level of physical activity while she works on her PhD thesis. Behold the Herman Cycling Computer Desk – a much cheaper alternative to the treadmill desk that you can build using things you probably already have at home.
Here’s what you need:
1. Bicycle – any bike will do the trick, even the one that’s been collecting dust in your garage or basement over the past decade (although, you may need a bit of oil to lubricate the rusted chain).
2. Indoor Bicycle Trainer (or wind trainer) – This nifty piece of equipment allows you to turn your mountain bike or road bike into a stationary bike that you can ride at home (especially during the winter months). The device hooks up to your rear bike wheel and allows you to pedal without accelerating into the wall. There are countless makes and models of indoor bicycle trainers. One of the cheapest I could find was the Bell Motivator Mag Indoor Bicycle for $79.99, which despite its low price had a very high customer rating. On the pricier end of things ($296.99) is the CycleOps Fluid 2 Indoor Bicycle Trainer which Travis recently purchased and is currently in love with. Personally, based on the reviews I’ve read and the fact that while I do plenty of bike riding (mainly off-road) I’ve never owned an indoor trainer, I would go for the cheaper option for the time-being. Of course, if you have a bike ergometer (or stationary exercise bike) this may be the best option.
CORRECTION: I was just informed by Katya herself that in order to make the bicycle trainer work (easily) on a mountain bike you should purchase a Rim Drive Bicycle Trainer. The one Katya uses and recommends is the Minoura RDA80 Rim Drive Bicycle Trainer (~$220). The ones I've listed above are apparently indeally used with road bikes, although CAN be configured to work with mountain bikes.
3. And finally, the special secret ingredient to the Herman Cycling Computer Desk is…..an ironing board. That’s right – the ironing board is not just for ironing your socks, as it can also double as a laptop stand. In case you don’t own one (like yours truly – really who irons anymore?) then you can purchase this archaic device online for under 40 dollars.
As pictured below, the set-up is relatively easy. First you hook your bike onto the indoor trainer. Next you rig an ironing board onto your handle bars, ensuring proper balance. Once the ironing board is more or less secure, place laptop on top of the ironing board and you can work/cycle away.
Note of caution – the current model of the Herman Cycling Computer Desk is only meant to be used with laptop computers. I think a desktop computer would be challenging to configure, and thus we’d advise against such practice. Then again, if you’re daring and inventive enough – anything is possible.
Try it ut and let us know how it goes in the comments section below!
Have a great weekend,
Special thanks to Katya for sending us the pics and for giving us this great idea to share with our readers.
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