“In bike racing, a win by an inch is as good as a mile!”

Our top rider from the Tour d’Expresso now has both to his credit. In July he took the coveted Yellow Jersey home by a convincing 8 minutes over his nearest competitor, with a number of stage wins along the way.

More recently he took his talents outdoors where his Expresso training paid full dividends. Check out the photo finish and read about how this elite athlete put in 2500 virtual miles over the past year to pull off this victory.

Joe you are an inspiration to all of us at Team Expresso. Congrats on both of your victories. I feel for your competitor this is how I felt on the Stage 15 of the Tour d’Expresso.

Ride on!

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The Expresso Head Coach is looking for leaders and inspiriters to take on the responsibility and role of Expresso Team Captain. A Team Captain will need to inspire and recruit their team to compete in the Top 100 monthly challenges. Certified Team Captains will be recognized with a Team Captain jersey next to their name on the leaderboards and will be invited to the official Team Captains group where they can collaborate and provide feedback directly to Interactive Fitness to help shape future challenges and features. Details on Team Captain certification are as follows:

Team Captain Certification

To become certified you must earn your Century trophy by riding 100 miles and attend a team cardio training webinar. Webinars are typically held on the first Monday of each month in the morning and in the afternoon. View the training video below:

http://expresso.com/Learn/TeamCardio/TeamCaptain

Team Captain Certification

At the end of the training you will receive a link to an online form. Fill out the form by pledging to three tactics that will best inspire and recruit your team.

Team Captain Certification

Upon completion of your pledge, the Team Cardio Head Coach will review your form and provide your certification. Certified Expresso Team Captains will be provided special tools each month to help motivate and recruit their teams.

Upon certification, Expresso Team Captains will be recognized with the Team Captain jersey next to their name, unlock the ability to purchase the official Team Captains t-shirt, and receive an email invitation to join the official Expresso Team Captains group.

Become at Team Captain at the following link:

http://expresso.com/Learn/TeamCardio/TeamCaptain

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rebirth

To our dedicated Expresso bike owners,

Over the weekend this video was leaked on YouTube featuring myself riding games that are currently under development. It was, our intention for the new games to make their public debut at IHRSA, however, as this video has already come to light, I would like to issue the following statement to address the barrage of questions that have come in as a result of the footage.

A wise man once said that to discuss the future we must look to the past. Since the birth of Interactive Fitness in September of 2009, the Expresso experience has improved dramatically for bike owners with eLive. In 2011 we added Rabbit Run, Falcon Flight, Camel Country, and Grape Stomper to your bikes. In 2012 Mini Mayhem, City Express, Ravens Roost, and Lost Valley took center stage. In 2013 we launched the CyberCycle, Expresso HD and introduced the Top 100 Team Cardio program.

Last year “new games” were our most requested feature, which is why today, after 4 years of hibernation, we are proud to announce Project Khaleesi: The Rebirth of the Dragon.

 Project Khaleesi

Over the past year we have been hard at work building not one, not two, but nine new maps for you and your members to explore, enjoy, and conquer. Each map presents different elements and challenges that will put the fun in fitness like never before.

NEW WORLDS AND MAPS

Pictured here is the menu for the new games. The three different colored icons on the left show the different worlds – each with three maps outlined with the same color.

Treasure World

The maps of the Treasure World are littered with coins and other goodies. Your members will need to explore and collect as much treasure as possible, picking up speed and point bonuses along the way. Conquer the Coin Toss map to unlock the Pirate’s Cove map. Then plunder Blackbeard’s booty to unlock and teleport over to the Outpost map.

Dragon World

The maps of the Dragon World are fraught with peril. Your members will need use their brains and brawn to catch coins and tame these mythical beasts. The master hunters of the Dragon’s Island map will unlock the Dragon’s Return map. The legendary riders who return victorious have one battle ahead of them upon unlocking the Dragon’s Revenge map. Strong legs and an even stronger will are needed to achieve greatness in the world of the Dragon.

Puzzle World

The maps of the Puzzle World each present a unique challenge for your members. Only after navigating the zoo in Animal Adventure will they unlock Downhill Drama. A quick descent will open up the entrance to Maze Mania. Enter with caution and ride with passion.

GAMEPLAY OPTIONS

In addition to the nine new maps we have added 35, 40 and 45 minute options for gameplay and each map will be playable in 3 modes:

Speed Mode: Includes lots of speed bonuses that don’t expire! Speed mode is great for kids and adults who like to live fast. Its also great for getting the lay of the land before advancing on to Tactics or Power mode.

Tactics Mode: Max out your score with both speed and points bonuses. Tactics mode will feel familiar for those who have spent time in Proving Grounds.

Power Mode: Includes only points bonuses. You will need to earn every inch in power mode but you will be rewarded handsomely with lots of points. Power mode is not for the feint of heart.

OFFICIAL LAUNCH DETAILS

You are invited to witness the rebirth of the dragon at IHRSA. The Interactive Fitness booth (2162) will be just off the main walkway behind Technogym. All worlds and maps will be unlocked for the show and you can contact me directly to setup a meeting and reserve a time to play.

Post IHRSA, Project Khaleesi will be released publicly to our HD owners with eLive who can expect to begin playing in summer of 2014. Moving forward, major updates will be focused on the HD platform so that we can continue to innovate and keep the fun in cardio fitness.

Ride On, Ross Stensrud CMO Interactive Fitness

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On October 27th, just before the Expresso Top 100 Ghostbusters II challenge ended, Linda Atkinson, age 60, rounded the bend to complete the ride she saved for last: Savage Revenge. She pedaled hard on this celestial 20-mile ride through virtual space at the Waterworld Geelong facility in Norlane VIC, Australia. “You’ll never catch me!” she yelled to Gary Simpson, who she was racing to the finish line on the bike next to her. Linda beat Gary by three minutes.

The GB II challenge required riders to beat “ghosts” or personal best times in past rides. Because she was new to the Expresso bikes, she had not ridden this route before and opted to ride it twice that day. With her friends cheering around her, Linda completed Savage Revenge the second time. “I had a cry when I finished it because I knew I was at the top [of the Expresso leaderboards] and I was so proud,” explained Linda. Linda went on to ride 600 miles in October, 350 miles in November, and 400 this month.

15 years ago, she would not have been able to accomplish this. Linda has a condition called Hypothyroidism – her immune system is attacking her thyroid gland – as well a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Linda worked 20 hours a week and was also a room attendant which is tiresome for anyone, but Linda suffered from extreme fatigue and tightness in her chest. After being placed in many hospitals, she was diagnosed and treated. Slowly her energy returned. “I’m very grateful to have my health back and now I look forward to riding the bikes every day,” she says.

Linda joined Waterworld nine years ago and began using the spa mostly. It was a six-year process to become active again, but she slowly fell into an exercise routine. In July, the instructors at her facility created an active adults program called Livewell. This program is designed for adults over the age of 55 to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. The program’s participants are required to get a doctor’s approval, meet to exercise together at the facility, and are given weekly exercise goals to meet. “My instructor, Pam, uses weight-training, balance exercises, and cardio with the Expresso bikes.”

During Senior Month in Australia, in October, Livewell created an Expresso bike challenge asking the members to compete for the most miles. Linda won with 500 miles and was awarded a t-shirt and gift bag. She continued to ride the rest of the month and reached 604 miles by the end of the month. This was her first win on the Expresso bike and not the last. “It made me stronger and very happy,” she explains. “It was quite a social event too. I met a lot of people through it.”

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She competed in the Ghost Busters II Expresso Top 100 challenge while simultaneously racking up miles for the Livewell challenge. On that day at the end of October, she chose to do Savage Revenge twice to get it done and over with. She took only a half an hour break between the rides. She explained that the first Savage ride was harder because she rode slower to leave a margin to beat her personal best time. The second ride went much quicker. “I felt elated [after completion].” she says. “It was very emotional for me because of my history of illnesses. It was like winning a gold medal.”

Hypothyroidism and her B-12 deficiency cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Linda is more than managing – she’s competing and conquering. “I love seeing that you get in front of a ghost,” says Linda. “I’ve got a competitive nature and I love seeing the finish line!”

LindaThunderball

Risher Fitness to Distribute the Expresso HD and CyberCycle products.

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Sunnyvale CA, December 16, 2013 — Interactive Fitness, the leading provider of interactive exercise equipment and exergaming software platforms, today announced the partnership with Risher Fitness in Texas.

“We’re delighted Risher Fitness Equipment is joining the dealer family at Interactive Fitness,” said Roger Reina, Senior, Interactive Fitness Senior Director of National Dealer Sales. “Well known for exemplary customer service, innovation and a progressive product line we’re confident the Risher team will be a dynamic addition to distributing the new Expresso HD product line in their region.”

“On behalf of The Risher Companies and Risher Fitness Equipment, Inc. we are very excited to announce that we will partner with Interactive Fitness and Expresso,” said Josh Mann, Regional Manager of Risher Fitness Equipment. “With much anticipation, we will represent Interactive Fitness in the new phase of the Expresso Bike. We believe Interactive Fitness is a great fit for our portfolio of products. Not only because its a unique bike but the fantastic people behind the product that has made it such a success over the years.”

About Risher Fitness

For 20 years, The Risher Companies (TRC) has been providing fitness and wellness solutions for your work, community and home. TRC provides commercial fitness equipment sales, fitness center design services, facility management, staffing, programming and corporate wellness.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, and serving major metro areas of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, TRC has garnered an excellent reputation across the fitness and wellness industry. TRC’s portfolio of clients consists of multi-family, corporate/office properties, health clubs and studios, master planned communities, country clubs and hotels, universities, school districts, and government entities.

About Interactive Fitness

We believe that exercise should be fun instead of boring. We believe in engaging people in their workouts instead of distracting them. We believe technology should connect people through Team CardioTM rather than encouraging isolation cardio. We build products for people who think like us. Learn more at http://ifholdings.com.

Contact
Roger Reina
rreina@ifholdings.com
(215) 983-1109

FallFrenzyChampion

Click to view the bracket

On Tuesday, October 15th, 93 colleges all over the U.S. and Canada hopped on Expresso bikes in their rec centers and turned on the Glee soundtrack to ride the most miles in the Expresso Fall Frenzy Tournament put on by Interactive Fitness. This March Madness bracketed tournament whittled down each week, in 48-hour rounds, until one college would take home the golden spokes trophy and claim the Fall Frenzy championship title. After five weeks, students and faculty gathered with sore legs at the Football Operations building gym on Louisiana State University campus to celebrate their victory over SUNY Binghamton college in the final round and 9,074 miles it took to get to the end.

LSU champs

The Expresso bikes have a visual screen with over 40 digital roads and trails to choose from. The bike reacts to the terrain that appears on the screen allowing the rider to shift and steer as they ride. The resistance increases when the rider pedals uphill and decreases downhill – but there is no coasting on an Expresso bike. Kevin Mawae, retired NFL player and Louisiana State University alum, added 43 miles to LSU’s totals. “It’s a whole heck of a lot better than riding a regular stationary bike,” says Mawae. “You feel like you’re accomplishing something. I feel like I’m working harder.”

SUNY Binghamton went into the final championship round as the underdog with six bikes against LSU’s ten bikes, but that pushed them even harder. In the end, their 3,102 miles could not beat LSU’s 3,348. Jenna Domin, Binghamton’s Fitness Program Coordinator, worked with Chris Griffin, the Aquatics Program Coordinator, to promote and rally riders to represent Binghamton. They extended the rec center’s hours, put a table in front of the bikes with a laptop on it to register riders, and created prizes for top riders. “We don’t have a ton of sports [at SUNY Binghamton]. A lot of the students who are working out in the fitness center aren’t athletes,” Domin said. “The Fall Frenzy gave them a chance to be on a team.”

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SUNY Binghamton racking up the miles against LSU in the Championship round

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The Expresso bike is hooked up to the internet to record mileage and calories for riders to challenge themselves further each time they ride. The riders were required to register through the Expresso.com website to sign up for their school’s team in order for their miles to count. From there, they could choose whatever tour, challenge their “ghosts” – or past rides – and race against their neighbors. All miles counted towards the Frenzy. “I like how innovative the bikes are,” said Josh Patkin, top rider at Binghamton. “It allows users to track a wealth of information very easily and even allows for an aesthetic and exciting bike ride as if you were outside, in the comfort of a gym or at home.”

At Louisiana State University, the excitement grew exponentially as the tournament progressed. Tommy Moffitt, LSU’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, explained that they just rode for fun in the qualifying round, but after they won and moved into the Sweet 16 against Lorain Community College, the human competitive nature took over. The amount of riders to strap on their purple and gold sweatbands grew exponentially from 45 to 214. Moffitt used Facebook to encourage the cycling team to join. “It took off after that [qualifying round] and everyone wanted to be a part of it,” said Moffitt. “Everyone banded together and said that we were going to do whatever it took to win the competition.”

Carnegie Mellon University went all the way to the Final Four, leaving Harvard Business, Cedarville, Ithaca Wellness, and IRSC, UNC Wilmington, and University of Texas at Arlington in their wake. This 12,000-student school may have less than half the population as LSU, but these Tartan Scottie Dogs had bark in their bite. Pattye Stragar, Fitness Operations Manager, brainstormed with the students to jokingly hack the LSU fitness department to cut off their power. In the end, they were no match for LSU’s powerhouse football and cycling teams. Kim Farrah, Carnegie rider with 44 miles in the Frenzy, achieved her only personal victories anyway. “Until that time I had not used those bike much,” Farrah said. “The challenge encouraged me to work out. It challenged me to bike distances I never thought I could.”

Carnegie Mellon celebrating in their Final Four Frenzy t-shirts

Carnegie Mellon celebrating in their Final Four Frenzy t-shirts

The Final Four winners, Marist, SUNY Binghamton, Louisiana State University, and  Carnegie Mellon received a $250 Professional Development scholarship as well as a set of 25 Fall Frenzy t-shirts. Mirroring the Tour de France, Interactive Fitness recognized Lorain Community College, University of Rochester and Carnegie Mellon as the “Most Combative” because of the extreme milage their riders put into the tournament. Marist rode to the Final Four but fell to SUNY Binghamton with a student-run team and only 26 riders. As Marist rider, Nicholas Di Gruccio’s famous Fall Frenzy tweet once said: “What I’m about to do on this Expresso bike isn’t for me, for the team, or for the school, but for America.”

On Tuesday, November 19, Louisiana State held a Fall Frenzy award ceremony and Interactive Fitness presented the team with the official golden spokes trophy and the Championship title. Although Carnegie Mellon did not make it into the Championship, Pattye Stragar, was honored to make it so far: “They [students] started talking about their favorite trails and then riding the same trails side-by-side so they could see each others ghost and, once again, we created this competition not only with UT Arlington but with each other.”

Almost 600 riders lined up to the Expresso bikes for the qualifying round on that Tuesday morning one month ago. By the end, over 1,500 riders registered to represent their school in the Fall Frenzy tournament. Marney Yu, 19-year-old Business Accounting major and top rider for University of Texas at Arlington, rode for seven hours in the qualifying round accomplishing 70 miles. “I am neither fast, nor strong, just determined,” she says. “I would like to show other people that even average people like me can make a difference.”

Tom&Dianecrop

Tom and Diane Walton have been married for 43 years and live in Powhatan County, Virginia. Tom and Diane are both retired teachers. For the past nine years, they’ve been enjoying their retirement by fishing in local ponds. On Monday, Tom hunted and caught a wild turkey by the James River in anticipation of the holidays. With the exception of the first Ghost Busters challenge in June, Tom and Diane have been ranked in the top 15 worldwide in the Expresso Top 100 monthly challenges for the past ten months. “I found out you could compete and competing is something I respond to,” says Tom.

In May of 2012, before the Top 100 challenges existed, Tom and Diane first hopped on an Expresso bike at the Greater Richmond YMCA. They spent time riding every tour and casually rode until December when they started to practice chasing dragons on Proving Grounds. The next month, the first challenge was released: Turkey Day Giveaway, a race for the most calories burned. Tom and Diane started to climb the leaderboards and in March, Tom and Diane took 2nd and 3rd place in the world for dragon chasing in the Dragon Hunter challenge. “People see us in our 60s and say ‘if they can do it, we can do it too’,” says Tom.

Tom & Diane's Stats

Click to view Tom & Diane’s Stats from the past year

By July, the Waltons were fully immersed in the Expresso world. The month’s challenge was Le Tour d’ Expresso, a competition in which riders needed to complete the tours allotted on certain days. Simultaneously, Interactive Fitness created a FUNraiser just for YMCA’s. They agreed to donate ten cents for every mile ridden that month to the facility that rides the most miles. The couple went into the gym every day, about 2 or 3 times a day, and use word-of-mouth to promote the program – resulting in about 30 Expresso participating riders. The strategy was to complete the rides designated for the Tour de Expresso that day, then ride as much as they could for the FUNraiser. 75 people rode 9,643 miles, won, and raised $538 – then a YMCA board member matched it. Their facility provides services for low-income residents, which influenced the gym to win. Although the Top 100 challenge spans the whole month, the FUNraiser ended on the 17th – but the YMCA members kept riding. Tom explains, “we were in it for the money at first, but then it was about pride!”

Tom and Diane grew up with active lifestyles and are driven by competition. Tom played basketball in school and Diane had less of an opportunity to play sports because her family moved around often, but kept active in her own time anyway. Diane explains that she may be more competitive than her husband, “I’ve got an older brother and he never let me be on his team until I started to beat him.”

Tom placed more importance on health after his father and sister passed away from stomach complications. The couple feel lucky to be healthy and vivacious. Diane proudly admits that they don’t need medicine to live day-by-day. Tom explains his emphasis on fitness, “you only get one body and you need to try to take care of it,” he explains. “I just feel like if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

Since retiring, Tom and Diane compete in half-marathons monthly on top of the Expresso monthly challenges. Their youngest daughter, Mary, a certified personal trainer, motivated her parents to enter a half-marathon at Disney World. It’s now the couple’s fourth year completing the Disney run, Richmond half marathon, and the Virginia Tech run. They average about 16-24 miles a week running around Powhatan. Tom explains how running and biking on Expresso have helped each other and increased his endurance. “It started out as more of a cross-training for running and now you could say that running is a cross-training for riding the Expresso bikes,” says Tom.

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In addition to running and biking the Expresso tours, Tom and Diane became absorbed in chasing dragons in the Expresso game, Proving Grounds – or the “chase game”. Tom says that he used to get 12,000 points in a 5-minute game and now get’s 44,000 points. He explains that his strategy is to recognize the terrain, stay away from certain parts of the map where it’s harder to obtain points, and even focus on some Chase game secrets. On the months when the challenge does not interest them, like the October Ghost Busters 2 challenge, they follow the Chase points leaderboard for the month and occupy spots in the top 5 or better. “I believe that my mind is mentally sharper now than before I started,” Tom says. “It’s good for the brain and makes me concentrate more.”

In August, Expresso released the Summer Sprints challenge with three sub-challenges. Tom and Diane participated heavily in the Chase portion called the Dragon Hunter Sprint. Again, Tom and Diane recruited riders to participate. Tom recalls the challenge, “a 75-year-old guy with both his knees replaced rode for eight hours that day,” he says. “We had more fun that day than any other because of the Expresso competition.”

One of the younger riders pulled up the Interactive Fitness Facebook page on his smartphone and noticed that a fellow dragon hunter by the name of Ken Dunn posted that Tom must have been cheating because of his accumulation of points. Ken later admitted that he knew the Powhatan facility closed at six so he stopped riding, thinking the YMCA would no longer be competing. But the YMCA stayed open late that night for the challenge. At seven, Ken saw the couple’s facility was still racking up points and gave up. Tom and Ken didn’t previously know each other but Tom wanted to contact Ken. “I called him and it was a lot of fun,” Tom says lightheartedly. “He said to me, ‘maybe you could give me insight into the Chase game,’ and I said ‘no, you’re too dang good!’”

There are about 23 YMCA’s in the Richmond area and the Powhatan one is one of the smallest. Tom explains that winning the Top 100 challenges is their claim to fame. “People ask us what we were doing and they would say it’s amazing that we could ride so much in a day, but it really isn’t,” Tom says. “Anyone could do it. If you set goals and work at it, you’ll improve.”

Mark Urlage Joins Interactive Fitness as Chief Revenue Officer / VP of Global Sales

Interactive Fitness continues to strengthen its executive team

Sunnyvale, CA, October 21, 2013 — Mark Urlage will be joining Interactive Fitness as the new Chief Revenue Officer / VP of Global Sales effective November 4th 2013. In this new role, Mark will be responsible for all sales and revenue opportunities as Interactive Fitness continues to grow and innovate.

Mark was one of the original idea men behind Expresso. After spending the last few years leading the sales team at TRX, his passion for technology and innovation has led him back to Interactive Fitness.

“I’ve always loved the Expresso concept and I’m truly excited by what Interactive Fitness has been able to do with the company and the technology. The competitive and fun culture that they have built and the ‘Team Cardio’ concept is a giant leap forward. I’m thrilled to be joining the team and I am looking forward to making good on the vision of transforming how people think of cardio exercise from what it is now to a fun, competitive and social activity,” said Mark.

“Mark has always been a visionary and a great leader. His relentless energy and passion for this business is second to none. We’re thrilled to have him back on the team as we continue to grow and change the industry,” said CEO Bill Stensrud.

About Interactive Fitness

We believe that exercise should be fun instead of boring. We believe in engaging people in their workouts instead of distracting them. We believe technology should connect people through Team Cardio rather than encouraging isolated activity. We build products for people who think like us. Learn more at http://ifholdings.com.

Contact
Ross Stensrud
rstensrud@ifholdings.com
(858) 699-7324

kencleardragon

Ken Dunn, age 55, is a man that’s built his career in insurance bonds at Liberty Mutual and it’s preceding companies for 33 years. He and his wife enjoy traveling, having just roamed the North Dakota hills last month. They tour doing mission work and have called Pineville, North Carolina home for the past 19 years. Ken eats regularly and rode a leisurely 19.8 miles on Expresso tours in September. He may not have high mileage on the regular tours, but Ken is the #1 rider with the most miles on the Expresso Chase game of all time with 309,080,939 points and 62,549.92 miles accumulated – more than doubling the circumference of the earth.

Ken first discovered the bike in August of 2007 at the Anytime Fitness gym in Charlotte, NC. After a few years of indulging in Expresso, the gym’s bike struggled with internet connection, limiting Ken’s tour options and records. So in March of 2012, Ken opted to scrounge up the funds to purchase one and create a home gym. For Ken, it was worth the cost. At the Ken Dunn home gym, he has the Expresso bike set up in his upstairs home office. He works out everyday at 6 a.m. for an hour a day, 45 minutes on Saturdays, and rests on Sundays. He sets goals day-to-day and if he doesn’t hit them in the hour allotted, he’ll ride longer to hit it. “The best time to work out is in the morning, about 30 minutes after you wake up so I try to get an hour in every morning.”

Ken chases the dragon on his Expresso chariot for an hour a day.

He’s been an athlete for much of his life and was into weight training and bodybuilding. But as he grew in age, weight became more difficult to manage. By the time he joined Anytime, he was 235 lbs, a frequent guest at the doctor’s office, and slept every night with machines and tubes connected to his face. Ken had sleep apnea. He visited the doctor and asked if losing weight would help his sleep. The doctor replied that it was doubtful. “I said ‘I don’t believe you,’” Ken disagreed. “I went to the gym, it was boring as heck and then I got on an Expresso bike and it felt like 30 minutes on there was ten minutes.” Ken became engrossed in the virtual cycling world.

But he isn’t interested in the regular Expresso tours on trails following a pacer and racing your past best rides. He prefers the Chase game where the rider scores points for capturing coins and hunting dragons. Five months after he joined the gym, Ken was up at 6 a.m. chasing dragons in a challenge put on by his gym to be the first to reach one-million points. Ken reached it by 11:20 a.m., about 20 minutes before the second place rider. Ken enjoys focusing on the fun, rather than the strain on his legs and the Chase game helps him achieve many miles without fatigue. “The Chase game makes you concentrate more than the regular tours,” he explains. “You’re going to find the right dragon and you don’t realize you’re going up and down hills.”

This internal gym challenge sparked Ken’s inner fire for dragon chasing. In March of this year, after Ken had been riding the digital chariot on Expresso at his home gym for a few years, Interactive Fitness presented the Top 100 Dragon Hunter Challenge on a worldwide scale.The challenge was that, for the month of March, the team – separated by different fitness centers – that gains the highest Chase score wins. Ken had a disadvantage with only one member at his home gym – himself. By the end, Ken, the one-man team in North Carolina, got 11th in the world with 8,593,227 points. But Ken’s goals are mostly internal. “It just makes me go into the gym every morning with a set regiment to reach certain goals,” he says. “Why?  Because I lost 40 pounds that first year – good reason to keep it going.”

In February of 2008, only after six months of riding on Expresso, Ken’s sleep apnea was almost completely gone. He explains that when he reaches over 200 lbs, his sleep apnea becomes a problem. The Chase game keeps him motivated to keep the weight off. Ken no longer uses the machine to sleep at night. “I don’t need it. I put it away in the attic and don’t want to ever use it until I’m too old to exercise,” he says. “The Expresso saved my whole sleep experience at night.”

A week after Ken’s first taste of competitive victory at the Anytime Fitness Dragon Chase to one-million challenge, Ken began to set personal goals for himself. At about November of every year, Ken sets a target to reach 10,000 total miles more than the previous year- mostly through the Chase game – by the end of the following year. He checks in and revises in the middle of the year depending on his progress. He’s expecting to reach 320,000,000 points by the end of this year.“I just like to compete,” he says. “And I compete against myself.”

Ken says all of his numbers – blood pressure, heart rate, etc. – in his annual physical are perfect. He no longer has pain when he exercises and sleeps peacefully every night. “I can honestly say I’m healthier than I was 20 years ago,” he says. “I can see myself doing this for 20 years to come.”

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Christian

Christian Fitzgerald, from Atlanta, Georgia is inventor of the Orion convection cooker. He specializes in smoked and steamed meats like turkey and ribs and reduced the cook time with his design. He spends his days running his business and residing with his wife and two daughters. On October 24th, 2013, he plans to ride from Atlanta to coast-central Florida in six days.

In February of this year, Christian went on a business trip to Los Angeles. He extended his trip so he and his wife could visit a friend in San Diego while in Southern California. His friend [remains nameless due to privacy policies] serves in the Naval force and took them on a tour around the base in Coronado Island. They visited a room that had pictures covering a far wall of all the Navy SEALs whose lives have been lost since the beginning of the War on Terror. “It just struck me how there are these warriors putting themselves in harm’s way 24/7 so that we can sleep at night knowing that our country is safe,” he says on his website. “I decided that day that I would do what I could to give back to sailors and their families.”

Christian devised a plan to raise $25,000 for the Navy SEAL Foundation. Rob Howells, Christian’s “bike sensei” and life-long friend, encouraged him to bike for the cause. He mapped out a 580-mile route of mostly flat land, crossing the border of Florida onto Highway 1A1. In hopes of a breeze off the Atlantic Ocean to his left, he’ll pedal all the way to his destination: the Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce. He looks forward to the solace of the road, having never driven this avenue or walked reenactment battle grounds at the museum.

Christian's 580-mile route to the Navy SEAL museum in Ft. Pierce, FL.

Christian’s 580-mile route to the Navy SEAL museum in Ft. Pierce, FL.

After two years as a member at the Metro Atlanta YMCA, visiting only for a relaxing sweat in the steam room, Christian prepared to start a rigorous training schedule. On March 5th, he tried Fruitdale, the 4.42-mile route on flat virtual terrain on the Expresso bike. “I can’t afford [biking outside] every day of the week to go out so I’ve got to find an alternative,” he explains. “I found the Expresso bike and completely fell in love with it.”

Christian began a carefully scheduled routine: get as many miles as possible before launch day. On weekends if the weather permits, he’ll bike outside from morning until 5:45 p.m. and reach 120 miles a day on the paved Silver Comet Trail through dense trees, over bridges and farmland all the way to the Alabama border then return home. During the rest of the week, he bikes 50 miles a day on Expresso. He chooses routes like Ascension, a virtual galactic 18.2-mile climb to it’s peak at 1788 ft. He aims for 25 miles in the morning and 25 miles after work in the evening. “When I’m talking to my friends about it, I don’t call it a stationary bike,” he explains. “I just call it ‘the trainer’.”

Christian will not be pedaling alone on his expedition. Ken Guillory, a retired Army vet and friend, will be his following in a car as his support with water, food, innertubes and an extra bike. They’ve spent the last six months pouring over maps and finalizing the details. Ken is completely capable of fixing any bike mishaps, is what Christian calls “more than proactive”, and will also be driving along for mental support. Christian describes his friend’s reinforcement, “He told me, ‘Christian, I’ll be doing everything to make sure the ride is successful.’”

With the many hours that Christian spends in the Expresso virtual tours and outside on trails, he still makes time to spend with his two young daughters and wife. His goal is to reach the Navy SEAL museum by October 29th to be able to fly home in time to see his kids trick-or-treat. “I have a goal of finishing this ride, but my responsibility as a husband and father is first and foremost,” he says. “The Expresso allows me to do just that; I can ride ride while they’ll sleep early in the morning and ride after work and still have time to kick the soccer ball around with them.”

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Christian enjoys tours on Expresso like Raven’s Roost and Ascension for the constant climb and strain on the legs. He explains the training he receives from it differs from biking outdoors because there’s no opportunity to coast. The rigorous routes command continuous leg motion. “I honestly like the elevation,” he says. “1700 feet in elevation and a ton of cardio. It’s a better workout because you’re constantly working your legs.”

To raise the money, he’s reached out to his local newspapers but with no luck yet. He mostly shares his hopes by word-of-mouth, his Facebook page, and website. Christian hopes to make it an annual event and looks forward to his first 100-mile-a-day trek at the end of October. “It’s going to be done. I’ve already made up my mind,” he says.

You can read more about his journey, track his progress, and donate on Christian’s website at: PedalFor.com. Or on his Facebook page facebook.com/PedalForPatriots.

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