Friday Fun Video: How we got the treadmill underground into the DCR Cave

Earlier this week in my post about the DCR Cave, I noted the addition of a treadmill to the space.  However, getting the treadmill to where you saw it was not quite the cake-walk we had hoped it would be.  Rather, it was far from that.

First up, was delivery.  This part went off without a hitch.  A man showed up with a big truck and rolled the beast out and across the street:

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After depositing it inside the door, he said goodbye.  Leaving me staring at a multi-hundred pound paperweight…on the wrong floor.

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Worse yet, was that despite my rough measurement of the treadmill, it didn’t exactly fit down those stairs.  It did technically, but not once you account for the ballerina-like movement that had to occur midway down the stairs to make the turn.  It was perhaps an inch too long (~3cm short).

So, it sat.  Here.  In the middle of the hallway for weeks.

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Why the wait?  Well, we had to wait for the building peoples to get us a key to the main entrance to the cave system so we could take it underground.  While we could easily go from our space underground to the front cave door, and from the opposite direction on the street to the cave door, we lacked the key to open said door from either side.  Finally, we had success on the door front.

And with that success it became a late night team operation between The Girl and I to get the monstrosity through the twisting and turning underground dungeon of a tunnel system.  We decided to stick a GoPro on the treadmill.  Either it’d capture a hilarious movie, or, one of us getting flattened by an out of control treadmill sledding down steep concrete steps.

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Here’s how it turned out (and yes, the music is pure awesome – thanks to the artist, Parry Gripp, for giving me permission to use the song):

For the record: That beast is never coming out of there.  Never.

Have a great weekend ahead, and thanks for reading!

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68 Comments

  1. Please! The music is crazy! Well done Ray, I love The Cave!

  2. Hopefully that counted as the WOD for both you and Bobbie!

    Have a great holiday season in that beautiful city, Ray.

  3. ChrisG

    Er, you made that look easy! I guess the funky music was to obscure the vehement swearing??!

    • You got it… While the video looks pretty “efficient”, I had a few choice words for Ray that evening 🙂

    • MattB

      Haha! I love the fact at the end you are quite clearly expressing “Well, I got it this far, you can shove it in the corner yourself!”.

      Congrats on the new place, the successful treadmill move, and still being married after moving it! 😛

    • Terence

      I didn’t just see you on the downside (heavy) end of the lifting feat down the stairs, did I?

  4. Patricia Didone

    Awesome team work!

  5. Jonas

    And who said treadmills don’t give your arms a workout?

  6. Grant

    I like the fact that “The Girl” had the heavy end! Awesome

    • Tosin

      I thought the same thing….”Either it’d capture a hilarious movie, or, one of us getting flattened by an out of control treadmill sledding down steep concrete steps.” One of us!

    • Scott E

      +1 for TheGirl

      I can’t count the number of times MyGirl had to assist me with hair brain moving of odd sized items. Incredible strength can come in small packages.

  7. Marco

    This remembers me to the “Moving Sofa Problem”…

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    I had a similar problem two years ago. Moving a treadmill tow floors up… ooouuuch
    Today I think about to control the beast with a Raspbery PI

    Happy Running

  8. karl

    Awsome post and an awsome song. But Ray, why didn’t you put in post here. A bet a bunch of guys would have helped you by getting this beast down in your awsome cave. That way your girl wouldn’t have to get an hand on this heavy thing.
    Keep on rollin…
    Karl

    • Karl… I asked him the same thing! He said “this will be fun” 🙁 and just for the record he definitely would post the video of me getting squished like a bug at the bottom of the stairs! He would then justify it with “It will be funny …someday”.

    • As for why not asking others – the challenge was actually that we didn’t have the key to the door, and thus, I didn’t quite know when we’d be able to get it down there. When I found the door in a non-locked state – I knew we had to act fast!

  9. Scott

    Oh, yeah. Moving a treadmill is a nightmare!!! Good job getting it in place.

  10. George Raihala

    As soon as I saw the pic, was instantly reminded of this classic clip from Friends: link to youtube.com

  11. Rob

    I am still trying to understand why you even need a treadmill in the first place – winters there look tame.

    • David

      My guess is that it has little to do with the weather and lots to do with controlled tests of equipment. A treadmill takes two very big variables out of any test: weather and terrain. Sometimes you want to test how equipment handles those variables; sometimes you don’t.

    • Yup, David is spot on. It’s actually more for testing than anything else. Both for validating treadmill accuracy on watches, but also an easy way to reproduce many other running related tests, photos of watch data screens, etc…

  12. Phil

    When we got a treadmill years ago (a nice nordictrac model that Costco sold at the time), we were lucky that it was a snowy day, so we used a tarp and dragged it to our basement door. I don’t know how we would have done it otherwise, when we moved east and gifted the treadmill to my in-laws, it was a lot more of a pain to move that thing.

  13. Jessica

    Good luck getting it out again some day.

    Getting a treadmill in my house involved taking sliding glass doors off the track.

    But now I’m in negotiations on a woodway. That should be an even bigger feat.

  14. Greg

    Haha! I was wondering how you got that down there! You read my mind. Funny you thought of putting a GroPro lol. Thanks for sharing. They aren’t fun to move. Heavy. The Girl is quite the machine!

  15. GregTR

    Oh, the joys of living in Europe, the home of confined spaces! I wonder why The Girl was taking the lead on the stairs. It’s a lot tougher on the person out front! Maybe she *is* tougher than you. 🙂

  16. Greg

    Still have the shark blimp? You should attach a gopro and fly it around the new studio

  17. Nicholas

    Rest of the world on what makes a woman hot:

    Wow, that woman has a nice chest or nice butt.

    DCR Readership on what makes a woman hot:

    Wow, that woman can run ten miles at X pace.
    Wow, that woman can carry a treadmill down the stairs.
    Wow, that woman helped me build my own Batcave.

    My own wife was very generous and tolerant of me demanding we take a tandem bike on our trip to Catalina Island recently to ride the interior of the island. Any woman that tolerates her guy looking at ride elevation profiles for a weekend get away is a keeper as mine happens to be.

    The real question of course is that given the secret cave headquarters and disappearing for “job” around the world, along with the continual use and testing of utility gadgets, when is she going to realize she is married to Batman?

  18. Ryanovelo

    I once had my wife assist me with changing an O2 sensor on my car. As we were jacking both sides of the car up, it tilted her way, fell off the jack, and almost crushed her leg. She hasn’t helped me since.

  19. Matt

    Nice work! P.S. Never say never. LOL

  20. Mark T

    Ray, next time rotate the heavy end take that end down the stairs first. I feel bad for TheGirl having to take the lead.

    PIVOT!!

  21. Mr Nacho

    At least you had help you slacker. 🙂 I maneuvered my treadmill down to our basement by myself. While I didn’t have the sharp turn at the bottom, I did have one at the top. It was the second treadmill I’ve done this. You’d be surprised how easy it is once you have experience.

  22. D

    Was that a pair of the blue DS Trainers I caught a glimpse of? Really loving those shoes.

  23. Chris P

    Endless pool next, right? For umm.. testing accuracy of those swim watches 🙂

  24. Dan Lipsher

    Great video, Ray, and The Girl is a really good sport. But what the heck is a treadmill laxative?

  25. Nick

    Have you ever thought of doing reviews in a video rather than in writing? It would probably save you a whole lot of time. The downside would be that writing lets you compose your thought and add details that might be hard to elaborate in a video.

    • Not as a replacement, but adding it in in addition. Ultimately, there’s no method to cover the detail in a review – or the Q&A that occurs here – in a video. But, I have been supplementing most of my posts with videos, and will continue to do that (and increase) going forward. 🙂

  26. Frank D

    Ray ! The Guy is supposed to take the heavy end and be on the bottom, carrying heavy stuff up/down stairs. Not the Girl ! 😉

    Having moved lots of overweight and oversized items [ including a treadmill up and down a similar narrow turning staircase as the one leads to the bat cave 😉 ] web cargo straps / tie downs are incredibly handy to create web loops and hand holds around difficult to grab and/or hold items.

    Q: How long was the real time version of this endeavor? 😉

  27. Casey Shanks

    So the cave tunnel system is shared by your neighbours with caves, like a back alley of sorts, so everyone who is sharing this particular tunnel system has the same key to the cave door? Or are you sole cave man in this tunnel?

    • Yup, exactly, shared under the building. We’re the only one that actually has secondary access to it from our main area, everyone else just has their own little cave rooms for storage (as we also do).

  28. Ray Reynolds

    Why didn’t you disassemble it to move it?

  29. Brad Davis

    Tall person on the low end of the stairs! This wouldn’t help her at all, it would just keep you from straining your back so much. Just something to keep in mind for your next heavy load you two need to carry down stairs.

  30. Steve E.

    How did you manage to not knock the GoPro off at some point?

  31. Arleen

    I can sympathize – I live in a basement apartment and bought a treadmill (a Landice) about 6 years ago. I paid the extra money to have an “authorized” person deliver it and set it up. If you break something on the treadmill while setting it up yourself, you might void the warranty. Landice has a lifetime warranty, so I wouldn’t want to risk it.

  32. BK

    Hey Ray – can you share for DC readers why you chose that particular treadmill? Just curious if you hsve a particular preference for treadmills?

    • The main reason I bought that unit was for the iFit support (module). I didn’t actually want to buy that particular treadmill, as I would have preferred more modern models – but those were frustratingly not available in Europe, only US.

  33. habachnah

    Wheels? At least for some part?

    Kudos to The Girl! And to Ray!

    I need to move my home gym (multi station, treadmill, rower, bike and some smaller items) down a floor and a half. The multi station was moved into its current spot with a …crane. And wheels, And a towel.

    Any ideas?

  34. Tyler

    Appreciate the lengths you go to for your ‘hobby’.

    Been moving a lot of friends recently, and while we tend to muscle our way through it do to poor planning, opportunities suddenly opening up (like yours) or just machismo, a hand truck and lifting straps are always worth the extra time/money. Usually $20 or less to rent/buy.
    Hand truck would have probably worked here.

  35. Chris Cooper

    Can you tell us what you think of the treadmill and the iFit so far? I’ve been reading a lot of negative reviews on Amazon that gives a bad overall impression. Thanks so much for all of your efforts to help!

    • I’ve only used it a handful of times, but thus far, I’m liking it. I think they probably set themselves up for failure though in how they market it in terms of subscription fees, etc… It’s a bit deceptive.

  36. MikeJ

    Having moved our current (bought used) treadmill up a flight of stairs from a seller’s basement, I can sympathize.

    ps, I really like that tunnel system, kind of reminds me of a blend of Monte Python and Lord of the Rings. Do the tunnels pre-date the 1900’s? Just curious.

  37. Craig

    Ray,
    I am looking for a treadmill that can accept wireless HRM, Ant+, or BT 4, as I have both, and then export the workout for upload to strava or training peaks.

    Is this what ifit can do, or do you have a suggestion?

    Thanks.

    • Many (most?) treadmills can accept the legacy Polar analog signal. Only a couple of the $10K+ treadmills (Woodway) can accept ANT+. I’m not aware of any Bluetooth Smart accepting treadmills yet, though I heard last week a few are on the way, though mostly at the commercial space.

      With iFit you can export out the data afterwards a little, but not to Strava or TrainingPeaks directly unfortunately. Still kinda an isolated system.

    • Craig

      Thanks Ray, good to know…

      I have been trying to find a way to be accurate with pace/distance on treadmill workouts, and unfortunately both my TickrX and Garmin 920 HRM Run are terrible at anything but cadence. I guess a footpod is the answer for tracking treadmill workout data?

      Thanks!!

      Also, any chance you are running Boston this year?

    • Footpod is still the best way unfortunately.

      No Boston plans this year, just a bit too jam-packed schedule-wise already.

    • probly

      Been doing my own research on treadmills this week.

      BH Fitness/i.Concept offer Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart connectivity, generally supporting a handful of iOS apps (limited Android compatibility) which looks like subscription based model.

      I am leaning towards their product over the iFit ones. Any chance you could get one delivered to your man cave and do a 2000 word review for me, ideally in the next 10 days assuming you aren’t too busy 😉

    • Interesting. Any link to it?

      (And given it took a month to figure out how to get the unit in there the first time…probably unlikely for another one!)

    • probly

      It looks like Pafers are the company who produce the kit, which integrates with some treadmills (and other gym equipment)

      BH Fitness (Spanish based, with distributors in Europe/US/Australia) look like they are the main partner for this link up.

      So Pafers app “Run On Earth” looks like it offers very similar functionality as iFit/Google Maps – updates screen to show Streetview every few secs, changes treadmill gradient to match course elevation, etc.

      Couple of other brands with Bluetooth sold by Argos that I noticed today, Everlast and Matt Roberts. No explanation of what type of platform you get through these, but the price/spec looks a bit lower end than other treadmills with this sort of connectivity.

      A couple of hours research suggests a lot of these treadmills are being imported from China, and then branded to suit.

      I have ordered a NordicTrack with iFit, just got the impression that Pafers/BH Fitness thing might not have been tested by a wide audience yet.

    • Interesting.

      I’d agree that the stuff does look imported/rebranded quite a bit. Interesting to see the Kinomap logo on one of those pages. I might have to poke them and see what that’s about.

      I think you’ll enjoy iFit though. I’m slowly chunking away on a bit of a review of the iFit system as it pertains to a treadmill. Probably something for next month.

    • probly

      I think the Kinomap link up was what first grabbed my attention now you mention it.

      Looks like Kinomap have done a standalone adapted version of their app which integrates with the i.Concept device (contained within the BH Fitness gym equipment)

      link to bh.kinomap.com

  38. probly

    Another entrant to the VR treadmill market:

    link to runsocial.com

    Interesting approach hooking the device up underneath the belt – but probably pushes them more towards home users (safety issues using them in public gym?)

    I am thinking about buying the TreadTracker device to give it a whirl – have they appeared on your product testing radar yet?

    I haven’t done a lot with my free 12 months of iFit – found their system a bit clunky (having to schedule a workout through their website – that’s a minor chore and meant I couldn’t be bothered most of the time) and the results when I did test it weren’t great – the pictures I was seeing on Google Maps when I tried running locally were facing backwards to direction of travel.

    Some snippets of info on RunSocial founder here link to angel.co – he’d probably be keen to have you do a review I would guess.