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‘Floating gym’ could have you pedalling across the Seine

Have you ever been cycling at the gym and thought, “Damn, I wish I was on a river right now”?

Yeah, well me neither.

But if you are one of those people who find cycling or running at the gym boring, then an Italian company might have something for you.

Carlo Ratti Associati has just unveiled a design for a boat that may become the first ‘Paris Navigating Gym’.

The 20-metre long fitness vessel seats up to 45 people who can then joyfully (?) pedal their way across the River Seine, taking in spectacular Parisian views.

New York company Technogym contributed to the design by providing its ARTIS machines to convert human effort into the energy required to move the boat.

“Ah, there is the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower!”, you might say, providing you still have the strength after all that exercise.

According to Architectural Digest, the vessel is enclosed in a transparent glass during the colder months and is open air in the summertime. That means it’s a year-round option and you have no excuse not to get out there sweat across the Seine. Hey, go for it!

And just in case you get bored of some of the most breathtaking (forgive the pun) sights in the world, each guest will have an augmented-reality screen in front of them. This will be handy for reminding you that you haven’t burned enough calories and that you should just take your eyes of that bloody view and move faster.

Floating gym interior

While it is a noble goal to try make people fitter, I can’t help but feel this is a case of ‘just because we can, doesn’t mean we should’. (Does anybody remember the hamdog?)

The best way to stay motivated during a spin class is to have an instructor screaming at you over crappy techno music. That’s the method we arrived at, and it gets the best results. Fact.

Admiring Parisian views is a relaxing and romantic thing. It’s meant to be done at a gentle stroll, while wearing an overpriced beret you bought on the Champs Élysées. It’s not the kind of thing you want to be doing as you sweat like mad, is it?

At this stage it is unclear when and if the Paris Navigating Gym will actually happen, but they better get a move on because in Adelaide there’s already a pedal-powered device cruising the streets and it’s pretty damn Aussie.

It’s called the ‘HandleBar’ and proudly claims to be Australia’s “first and only pedal pub”.

It takes up to 16 passengers who then ride around the city, responsibly enjoying some South Australian grog.

And while Adelaide has nothing like the sights of Paris, there’s certainly competition when it comes to wine.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based writer who has returned to Australia after living in Taiwan for 14 years. In his spare time he plays nerdy board games, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin.

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