Penny Halfbike: Healthy Creative Exercise

Halfbike parked at a 7 eleven resting

I had not been this excited to receive something for myself in ages and I was absolutely giddy to learn via email that the Halfbike I ordered a few weeks ago was now on its way to me.

There was a slight delay in shipping due to waiting for a part to arrive and then woosh! DHL had it in country and processed through customs from Bulgaria in only a week. One bit of customs fee to pay, streamlined through an online process, and it was out-for-delivery. My doorbell rang and it’s the Sagawa delivery driver with my Halfbike in it’s pristine box ready for assembly, just for me!

Who am I?

A slightly out of shape artist seeking to reconnect with a reasonable fitness level and the outside world through the shortest runway possible from my studio to a fun workout. 

This Halfbike I’m ecstatic to now have, it’s basically a stand-up bicycle and I quickly assembled it in 45 minutes after painstakingly following both the written instructions and a YouTube video. 

Practicing Figure 8’s & Circles

Out the door I ran with Halfbike’s clear and repeated warnings of a steep learning curve knocking in the back of my mind.

Helmet on, check.

Wrist guards on, check.

They were right. This was not easy, but I did make good progress in the exhausting 15 minutes I spent on the street in front of my house with a death grip on the handlebars. It was a tough workout to simply stay on it cycling in a straight line, I was soaked in sweat and my muscles were shaking. I lost so much fitness this past 18 months during Pandemic Times. But I still pedaled, wobbling unsteadily past the same Sagawa driver and thanked her for delivering my new bike.

I’d been searching for a simple low impact way to get and stay fit, a way to flush out my brain and get my blood moving to start or reset my days.

Who’s Penny?

Her father was a dark, stout unicycle, her mom was a sleek scooter, tricked out with 4 speeds and fenders, along with a bright headlight and red rear light. Penny Halfbike is made to zip around easily for those fit and skilled. She reminds me of a sleek, compact version of the old penny farthing cycles from the late 1800s.

The next day I made it another 12 minutes on Penny Halfbike. My neglected muscles again feel like wet noodles. Tried to turn a corner for the first time and took it too sharply, bashing my face and hand into a neighbor’s corner stone pillar. Yeah, that left a couple of deep marks, ouch.

Road Runner or the Coyote?

12 more minutes on Penny the next day. A nosy neighbor at the end of the block just stood and watched me for most of that time. Learning-in-public for sure. Managed to turn a corner twice today, taking my eyes off of where I’m going to check for traffic at the corner is more hand-eye coordination than I have talent as yet. Got lucky though, today I was the Road Runner not the Coyote like I was yesterday.

Halfbike, a stand up bicycle, at rest in a parking space
Convenient compact size

On Day 4 I made a few turns around the block, a Road Runner of a day. All of my muscles were trembling and a bit sore but I’ve been making progress. Already dreaming about folding her down and bringing her with me on my travels.

Another 10+minutes on Penny the next day. Sometimes I’m the Road Runner, sometimes I’m poor Wile E. Coyote. Today I succeeded in channeling both. Made it around several blocks a total of 3 times, a new record for Penny and I! Although on the second go round, coming up on a corner which I’m still super shakey about, I tipped right over onto the neighborhood garbage pile! Thankfully it was Saturday’s soft plastic recyclables day and not Tuesday’s sharp metals and glass day. Still, I road rashed a large area of my left butt cheek and thigh, ouch. As I looked over my shoulder while getting back up, I saw yet another neighbor laughing. Might take tomorrow off from my learning-in-public sessions to give my still tremulous muscles a rest.

Why a Halfbike is perfect for me

Penny Halfbike has been a great workout partner. She provides me with a low impact workout, if I don’t crash like the Wile E. Nor do I need to wrestle my girls into a sports bra. Penny provides me with a weight bearing exercise, but on flat, easy terrain it’s like running on a cloud. I have no painful bike seat, no need for special bike shorts, I can quickly jump on in the skirt I’m wearing. Also, I’m gaining a way to improve my balance. Penny fits perfectly in our genkan, out of the way but anxiously awaiting her next zip around the block.

I missed riding with Penny while I was away and the end of quarantine was such a great relief that going riding was the first activity I did upon exiting. We were together for such a short time before I went away that I knew I’d be starting back at Day 1 of the steep learning curve to mastering Penny Halfbike. 

Helmet and wrist guards on and from my first push on the pedal it was like I never left her alone. Penny and I had Road Runner day. Beep, beep!

Is a Halfbike right for you?

Let me know if you have any questions about riding a Halfbike. I’ve been riding since August and continue to increase my skills and workouts on Penny Halfbike. The weather here in the Tokyo Bay Area over winter is usually mild enough to continue to workout all year. I also have a discount code available if you are interested in purchasing from them.

Special Thank You goes out to @halfbikechesapeake for answering my questions this summer before I made my purchase!

Published by Studio Deanna

Metals + Fibers + Writing