Coronavirus

COVID NIMBYs Shame NYC Man for Renting Out Peloton Bike While Gyms Are Closing

A NYC quarantine fitness entrepreneur stirs up controversy on Nextdoor

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In early December, a resident of New York City we'll call J had what he thought was a good idea. With Mayor Bill de Blasio threatening to shut down gyms (again), the Upper West Side apartment dweller placed an ad on Nextdoor.com, the hyperlocal social networking site where people can swap goods and information. 

"Hello all," the ad read. "I recently purchased a Peloton to keep in the office/gym of my apartment." J and his girlfriend used the exercise bike, which streams video workouts, "5-10 times a week combined," which left plenty of time for others to rent it "a couple of times a week at pre-agreed upon times for a fee of $50 per month. This is a great deal." 

 J saw no downside to the arrangement. A self-employed fitness trainer whose livelihood had taken a hit during COVID-19, renting the Peloton would put some money in his pocket and, considering a gym membership at a Manhattan Equinox can run $260 per month, help others save money too. It also sidestepped the ongoing capriciousness (some say cluelessness) by officials that had left New Yorkers not knowing from week to week whether they'd be able to work out or eat out or send their kids to school.

J thought his offer, to let people into his home and use his equipment, was straightforward, even generous. His neighbors, not so much. 

 "I think 'great deal' is a stretch," wrote someone from West 72nd Street. "If you finance the bike itself it's $50/month."

"Yes, I have a Peloton too and it's $40/month," added West 58th. "If you have a Chase credit card, they even automatically reimburse you monthly if you pay with your card." 

"The $50/mo. wouldn't cover 10 min of a civil defense attorney worth their weight in salt… the penalties for infringing IP are steep," wrote West 67th, and included a link to Peloton's terms of service and its 27 sections of restrictions.

Apparently, people shut up in their apartments are a little cranky, maybe a little insecure. This is understandable. Since March, new rules set in place by politicians seem designed to foster insecurity, to refashion a global pandemic into local pain. For instance, instead of allowing bars to just serve alcohol, Gov. Andrew Cuomo decided in July to mandate that bars also serve food. How was this helpful? Was this the same arbitrariness that had Cuomo declare gyms "high-risk" in the spring but this week say they "are not major spreaders"?  

In his ad, J addressed COVID-19 concerns, assuring potential customers the space was private and clean and, because the user would be in the room alone, "you will not be required to wear a mask during class, blah blah blah." J was not being cavalier about the virus, but offering some freedom from the mask, which during a workout can become suffocating and damp. Lift your mask for a moment in public—even when on an outdoors run or ride—and you risk the stink eye or reprimands from people nearby. 

But J's neighbors—despite not being personally at risk—weren't having it.

"Although a nice gesture you should be careful as covid aerosols live in the air for up to 3 hours," wrote 9th Avenue. "So unless the room is going to be totally unused for the day between people this seems like a bad idea."

They also had qualms about the offer. What was J trying to get away with, anyway?

"We have a Peloton, the monthly subscription is $40," wrote West 72nd. "Your pricing seems a little steep!"

"That's your opinion," responded J. "Clearly you're not even interested–and just here to vent. I don't see you offering to rent out your bike to help others."

"And you'll be declaring this on your taxes?" asked West 74th.

"I appreciate your concern," wrote J, but your unsolicited tax advise [sic] is not wanted at this time."

"It was not advice," answered West 74th.

"Wow this is really an entitled group," wrote J. "If you are really opposed to it, that's great for you. Just keep your thoughts to yourself. I'm not trying to rip anyone or screw anyone over here."

Not all neighbors were naysayers. West 65th said, were it not for COVID-19, "I would totally do this," and West 86th, who mentioned he owned a $2,400 Peloton, explained that J's proposal was, in fact, "a great deal."

"For $50/month, and not having to buy the bike, it makes TOTAL sense," he wrote, "especially as 'Winter is Coming' and pandemic restrictions."

Pandemic restrictions that may or may not end as the temperature drops, as New Yorkers honeycomb away during the dark days, their lives upended by what a pal of mine calls "the whims of Lord Cuomo."

Three days after placing the ad, J took it down. What he saw as ingenuity and friendliness, others eyed with suspicion. As far as J knows, no one actually threatened to report him to the city, but perhaps it was only a matter of time.

"Such a weird time. Everyone is so opinionated," he told a friend of his Nextdoor foray. And while he did get a few takers, including a woman interested in replacing her $32 per class Soul Cycle regime, J does not plan to repost his Peloton. The combination of erratic threatened government closures of gyms and local busybodies means J's Peloton will sit idle and neighbors who might have enjoyed a good, relatively safe workout won't get the chance.

NEXT: California Judge Says Los Angeles County's Outdoor Dining Ban Isn't 'Grounded in Science, Evidence, or Logic'

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  1. considering a gym membership at a Manhattan Equinox can run $260 per month

    Every workout better come with a happy ending.

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    2. How much does J charge to let someone sniff the seat between customers?

      1. You work for Biden?

        1. Watch out USS Drumpf!
          I’m a JOEPEDO and I’m heading for the White House!

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  2. They are passed he might make a profit. The horror!

    1. Pissed

        1. I was SOOO passed off, pissed off, and poosed off, that I passed gas off! (Best not to light any flames around here for a wee tad, or it will look like the “Happy Ending” of that SpaceX Starship “hard landing” late yesterday)!

          1. Better than pussed, which that peloton seat would get fairly quickly.

  3. “So unless the room is going to be totally unused for the day between people this seems like a bad idea.”

    Ever hear of disinfectants?

    1. The complaint was about aerosols hanging in the air. You can disinfect surfaces but you can’t just “disinfect” the air.

      The original complaint may be silly but your criticism of it doesn’t hold up.

      1. No, you can’t so easily disinfect the air (maybe bathe the room in UV-C). But you can turn on a fan and a humidifier and open the door and -boom- you’re done in a couple of minutes. Or alternatively you can let the smelly, sweaty, virus-infused air linger for hours — note it was infused by someone who just cruised like 20+ miles on a Peloton and so obviously must be in the death throes of a respiratory infection.

        1. ad the virus in question cannot survive in still air at indoor temperatures for much more than a minute or two. Putside air with UV light, as in daytime, maybe twenty or thirty seconds.

          Review the TRUE SCIENCE of this sort of thing. It is known……

    2. the virus in questin does not survive on hard dry surfaces. So the “scamitising” between users is just that.. scam.

  4. The Centers for Disease Control Protecting health care workers makes sense since we want to make sure that our hospitals and physicians’ offices remain adequately staffed as the winter surge of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rises………….. VISIT HERE FOR FULL DETAIL.

  5. We have moved to a low trust society. This is what happens.

    1. But diversity is our strength!

    2. Eh, it’s New York City. While there will always be trolls, this would be received much better in more personable societies.

      1. Agreed. We need to reduce the amount of hate in our great society by limiting hate speech with targeted legislation.

  6. Social media once again is terrible as humans rarely know how to behave in public. Whether in line, in the car or online they are reverting to throwing feces. Add democrat imposed totalitarianism this year and beyond and we can expect even worse.

    1. I think so. Getting along with people takes practice and the practice has to be in person. I think the Dems are pining for such a hard lockdown that none of us will ever see a human face outside of our immediate family (well those who have an immediate family). It will be like living in a small tribe of primitive hunter-gatherers.

      1. Well, isn’t that how you solve climate change?

      2. I just wanna get some poon tang again.

        1. Nancy and Mother, kissing in a tree!

  7. in Ewing, New Jersey, a local landlord issued a cease-and-desist letter to the operator of a coronavirus testing center amid complaints about congestion in the parking lot. As The Trentonian reported, one resident who wanted to be tested in meragk order to protect his three-year-old child wasn’t subtle about how he felt about the decision: “It blows my f**king mind.”

  8. I get paid over $190 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Here’s what I’ve been doing… Here is More information.

  9. Since walking, running and bike riding outdoors costs nothing and pose lower risks of covid transmission, I don’t understand why any rational person would buy or rent these very expensive devices for indoor use (that typically end up in a basement, garage or spare bedroom a year later).

    1. Since walking, running and bike riding are not activities commonly enjoined by people sick with respiratory infections, I’m not sure it matters a hoot whether they are exercising indoors or out.

  10. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

    /slides mask back on.

  11. These people obsessed with the proper protocols seems to have missed that pretty much every bit of guidance about masks says that you should not wear one while exercising or otherwise exerting yourself. And asymptomatic transmission seems to be extremely rare.

  12. A LIBERTARIAN ARTICLE? IN MY REASON? It’s more likely than you think…

    Thanks Nancy, you’re a treasure.

  13. “Wow this is really an entitled group,” wrote J.

    Upper W Side NY, at that. I can only imagine all of the virtue they have to spread.

  14. >>and you risk the stink eye or reprimands from people nearby

    and?

  15. This isn’t really a NIMBY situation. It’s more a Not In Your Backyard situtation.

    1. More of a MOBY (Mind Your Own Business) situation.

    2. Not only that, but I’m not sure why this qualifies as a story at all. If “Idiots yell at people on social media” is a story now, we better save a lot of space, because idiots yell at people on social media, for all sorts of stupid reasons every day.

      If these people had the power to shut him down, or if they were actually impeding his ability to advertise and provide his service, that would be different. But all they’re doing is expressing their (stupid) opinions on a crappy social media site. Isn’t that what freedom is supposed to be about?

      If I were him, I would have kept running the ad as a big “fuck you” to the whiners.

  16. The haunting fear that somebody, somewhere, might be happy could be a good thing–if only those who experience it possessed the good grace to drop altruistically dead.

  17. From someone out west; I had no idea that “tough” NY’ers would let themselves be led like sheep to slaughter? We are starting to doubt your integrity. Time for you to stand up for yourselves.

  18. Exactly the caliber of a-holes I would expect for that place.

  19. Those blocking such innovations, whether openers, stimulus advocates, and these nimbys are in clinical denial.

    We have a pandemic reality to adapt to and the success of innovators like this man are key to that adaptation.

  20. Is their Karentown or Karenville?

  21. I’ve gotten that “stink eye” and more the couple of times I ventured into Chicago. The go to response: Mind your own fucking business!

  22. Equality of suffering.

  23. I guess I got off easy and early on that Neighbourhood snoot-fest. I had the temerity to comment when some busybody nannie type declared “DON”T go into such and such business when I went in there the guy was off on the other side of the floor WITH NO MASK ON and didn’t put it on quickly enough to make me feel secure and SAAAAAYFF.Another chimed (clanked?) in and allowed as to how when THEY were inside that store, someone else came inWITHOUT A MASK, and the employee FAILED to ground andpoundand drag the loutoutside, gosh I nearly had an apopleptic FIT I was SO SCAIRED.

    I made a comment about the ACTUAL effectiveness of the mug nappies, citing numbers, and that in the whole”time of covid” I had seen perhaps three normal folks properly wearing a mask, the rest had theirs on but were somewhere between useless andh harmful.
    Oh the shrieks of horror, telling me I was puttiing THEM at risk, did not care a fig for anyone else’s safety, and how if EVERYONE does not “mask up” everywhere all the time we’re all gonna die. Next week.

    I went to bed, it was late at night, woke up the next morning to an email from “da manglement” of NextDoor… we’ve ssupended your account.. SOME people claim they do not know who you are”. WHEW!! I was SO GLAD they did not. Some were so furious I’m sure they’d have come round to MY house and built a gasoline soaked bonfire of used masks, right in my front yard. As I reviewd the names that hatd piled on me the night before, I did not recognise one of them, and I have lived in this house for thirty years.
    I was glad to find out the REAL chracter of Next DOor so soon. Faux righteous busybodies, nannies stuck in hyperdrive, trembling with fear over someone twenty feet away from them in a store who did NOT HAVE A NAPPIE ON HIS MUG. No wonder I’ve been here thrity years and don’t know one of the Nasty Nannies. I signed up with a nickname I’ve used for fortyyears, and NONE of the busybodies know who that is. Good.

    The Peloton rental was a good deal…. use of the “bike” was only part of it. The space, secure and PRIVATE, that came with was worth ten times that in NYC. You can’t even rent the basement of a Chick Sales for fifty bucks.

  24. We all know the peacock. These huge proud birds have something to be proud of. Their tail is huge, wide, and full of colors. This is often blue and green but can deviate from this. This is also why they are so famous – that beautiful tail.

    The tail can be very small, but they are only too happy to show their tail. If they make their tail bigger, the tail is bigger than half the size of the peacock itself! The peacock is also known for having a special eye color. You can find red, gold, blue also other colors. Peacocks are very special and beautiful birds.
    The Peacock

  25. Why do so many people insist on sharing their misery with others. A simple ‘no thanks’ would have sufficed. Better yet, don’t respond at all. The guy was simply offering a service.

  26. You know, we’re talking about A) New York, and B) NextDoor, so the chances of this ad being attacked by entitled, obnoxious, NIMBYs was approximately 99.9999%. Was this guy new in town?

  27. it is shame to collect rent during covid 19 from sd movies point download here

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