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Walk through Rome from my guest room

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Ninalee Allen on a bicycle is the subject of Ruth Orkin’s iconic photo “An American Girl in Italy”, one of the most famous photographs of all time. Credit: Pinterest

One sleepy Sunday morning during a mandatory lockdown in Sydney, Australia, I decided to take a whimsical ride through Rome. It had been years since I had visited the Italian capital and after months of confinement inside, the desire to be somewhere else – Anywhere else – was palpable.

A ribbon of road that stretched beneath a series of ornate archways was difficult to navigate at first; a narrow lane where tourists congregated around market stall owners trying to cheat a few dollars. A seat in the distance gave me a bit more room to pick up the pedaling pace, with my legs missing some serious heat.

The next day, before work, I drove through the heady lavender fields of Provence in France. GRAZIA’s European team had shot our last cover there in September and I was sad that travel restrictions prevented me from joining them. After miles of hairpin turns and an uphill sprint, I was slumped over the handlebars of my bike and sweating profusely when my email rang. “Here are my stories for this morning,” read a note from one of my writers. Break. Back to reality. I got off my bike, turned off the virtual outdoor riding feature, and rode the meter to my office.

Technogym bike
Credit: provided.

My Technogym bike, set up in the spare bedroom of my house in Woollahra, has become part of my daily routine – as has my morning almond latte, and wiping down the bike’s 22-inch screen after a workout. coaching. This black and elegant instrument made me feel good. Physically it was hard! But mentally, the outdoor virtual riding feature was a lifesaver. There was something about rolling towards the horizons of far, far away places that felt liberating.

The freedom to go for a bike ride, while the notion of freedom itself was effectively restricted, was exhilarating.

The boom in the virtual driving business can be attributed to two things: the pandemic and Mr. Big. (That last one, of course, isn’t true at all, and for the record, it was a different brand of bike. But, in a story about cycling, how could we not mention that pop culture moment in the world? zeitgeist?)

“With gym closures around the world due to the pandemic, we were able to support our customers during the height of the home fitness boom and continue to build their home gyms today,” says Enrico Manaresi, director of media relations at Technogym.

“Now, as gyms reopen – and society still lives with the virus – access to fitness is now being undertaken in a completely new and hybrid way. Flexibility is a growing trend, with many people choosing to alternate between working in the office and at home, and it’s reflected in their fitness routines with plenty of gym mix. and home workouts in their weekly schedules.

The Technogym Outdoors feature isn’t the only selling point. The bike comes with on-demand classes from Technogym trainers. Admittedly, I don’t go to spinning classes at the gym, so I found these high-energy 40-minute sessions really challenging, but also incredibly exhilarating. You can spin the flywheel in a live class with others around the world, coaches cheering you on you all to increase resistance levels (there are 20).

If a live class isn’t your thing, however, you can take a pre-recorded session with a trainer that’s just as effective. Also, there is Netflix, YouTube and Instagram! (I pressed refresh for the first part of Emily and Gabriel’s love story while pedaling. It’s worth noting here that the pedaling sound is almost silent – less than 70dB – so you can hear the dialogue of the character.)

Technogym bike
Credit: provided.

Technogym’s origin story is sweet. Founded in a garage 38 years ago by a 22-year-old Italian named Nerio Alessandri, Technogym has bridged the gap between technology (TECHNO) and exercise (GYM) with science and innovation.

“In the 1980s, we innovated in our research and use of biomechanics, then electronics by introducing our cardio range,” explains Manaresi. “We also entered the digital and design space through collaborations with big-name designers.”

One of them is Dior. Technogym and the French Maison recently unveiled a global pop-up store showcasing the limited-edition “Vibe Line” collaboration range. (Read: Technogym gear has been branded with the Christian Dior name in a line aimed at financial customers. It’s currently available at Dior pop-up stories in Shanghai, Sanya, Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, London, Beverly Hills, Soho and Tokyo, plus a selection of pop-in stores in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, New York and Seoul.

Technogym bike
Credit: provided

At AUD$4590, the Technogym bike is priced higher than its competitors in the market. So why is it worth the bigger investment? What does the others not have?

“Technogym offers unique products with the best technology developed in collaboration with the most successful Olympic champions and is the only product that offers a wide selection of classes offering quality training in the best studios in the world”, says Manaresi in response. .

The Technogym Bike can be experienced in some of the most popular locations; world-class gymnasiums, private clubs, premier hotels and in the homes of premier athletes (the brand has been the Official Gymnastics Equipment Supplier of the Olympic Games since 2000). If you’re in Sydney and want to try the bike I rode, or any of Technogym’s cutting-edge products, you can head to their new wellness space at 20 McLachlan Avenue in Rushcutters Bay.

Now where do I ride next? Crete in the Greek Islands looks very tempting.