So, after 15 years, my trusty treadmill broke down. I use it everyday, so it was important to me to replace it quickly. As a concession to advancing age and balky knees, I decided to venture into new territory and buy an elliptical, instead. After doing my research, I settled on the model I wanted and found which store carried it. I told the story on the air about going to the store and waiting 35 minutes for someone to help me. I got disgusted and left. I tracked down the elliptical I wanted on line and ordered it. When it came time to check out, there was an option for assembly of the unit for $120. I quickly decided that was too large a percentage of the purchase price and declined, so I knew some assembly would be required. It only took a few days for the box to arrive:

Bill Doyle photo / Townsquare Media

I opened it to find more than a little assembly would be required.

Bill Doyle photo / Townsquare Media

I carried the pieces down to the basement one by one and laid them out on the floor.

Bill Doyle photo / Townsquare Media

The manual said it should take about two hours to assemble and that I would need a rubber mallet and Phillips-Head screwdriver. One of the first things I did was drop a bolt into the flywheel housing and it took about half an hour to fish it out, so I knew that two hour target would probably be elusive. Also, I later let the electronics’ wires fall back in the tube and that took another half hour to retrieve, so the two hour things was history. I really don’t know how many hours it took me because I split it over several days, but rest assured, it was well in excess of the recommended time. Once I got the upright and fastened the upright to the frame, it got easier.

Bill Doyle photo / Townsquare Media

Soon all that was left were the pedals and various covers.

Bill Doyle photo / Townsquare Media

Behold the finished product.

Bill Doyle photo / Townsquare Media

Even though it took me at least twice as long as it was supposed to, I’m glad I didn’t pay for assembly, although every time I step on it I remember I’m the one who put it together and the narrator in my head intones: “And that was the decision that cost Bill his life.”

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