So you know about the bike trainer. I've made friends with it. I find I like the way it makes my legs feel, the sense of power-in-reserve that I get. I want that for the rest of my body. So a few weeks ago I started doing pushups and situps and dips and whatnot. That hasn't quite caught on ... maybe it's all the cat hair on the floor that puts me off.

I needed more. Saturday I went to a garage sale and gave this dude $50 for a weight bench, two long bars, two short bars, and a heap of iron and concrete that outweighs me by a fair margin. You know what's really good exercise? Disassembling a weight set, carrying it up out of a basement in 95 degree weather, carrying it down into a different basement, and reassembling it.

I am now thoroughly overequipped - I know this is what I need, but I don't know what to do with it. I'm not going to touch the stuff yet until I have a basic idea of what's safe and advisable. My plan is to have a friend who's fitter than I come over and get me started with a few basic exercises and do's and don'ts. After a month or so of that, I'll hire my wife's trainer to come over for an hour or so for advice.

I've become quite enamored of the classifieds-and-garage-sales approach. I was looking at a $370 Schwinn flat bar road bike, but now I'm going to look seriously for a used bike. I know I'd be perfectly happy with a $100 ten-speed. That's what I've always had. Actually, what I'd really like is for somebody to show me how to mount my old Thule bike rack on my car. I've lost the manual.