But those fancy internet bikes still aren't working!
By JACKIE ORCHARD
UAlbany’s SEFCU gym replaced some of its equipment this summer, providing new treadmills and bikes to students.
“There’s six new treadmills, three new ellipticals, and a new stair-stepper in SEFCU,” says Sam Axley, director of campus recreation.
Axley manages three fitness centers: SEFCU, Indian, and Colonial.
There are three new treadmills and five new ellipticals in Indian Quad.
“We moved things around in Colonial and Indian,” says Axley. “So not everything in Colonial or Indian is brand new but it’s newer to that space and in a lot better condition than what had been there in the past.”
The budget for replacing equipment comes from student fees.
“All undergrad students pay an automatic rec. fee every year, I think it’s 88 dollars for the entire year,” says Axley. “That goes to fund campus recreation. Not just the fitness centers but group exercise, intramural sports, outdoor activities, all of those different programs.”
Axley says a treadmill is about 7,000 dollars and each one has about a seven-year lifespan. Campus recreation staff plan out when equipment will need to be life-cycled.
“We had built up some reserves over the last few years,” Axley says. “And we were able to use that. We were able to do this internally within the department’s budget.”
Sophomore Alanna O’Hagan likes the new treadmills.
“I think they’re more spacious,” O’Hagan says. “I like them better. It looks more sleek and modern and newer.”
O’Hagan thinks the new equipment might be bringing in more people. “It’s always packed, no matter what time I come.”
Axley says they lifecycle cardio equipment more frequently due to use.
“A treadmill itself may get used 12 hours a day,” Axley says. “Where a machine weight, someone may do 10 or 12 reps, that’s 30 seconds, so over an hour it may be used 15 minutes over that hour.”
You may have noticed the two new bikes with the large flat screens attached at face height. These are called Expresso bikes and they have had “out of order” signs on them since they were installed over the summer. Axley says they work but there is one problem.
“They are internet capable,” Axley says, “And our challenge is trying to get them to interact with the University’s wifi.”
Axley is uncertain on the details but there is a way the wifi resets itself on campus every so often that causes issues with the new bikes logging in. Axley says it will be worth it once they are connected.
“When you come in and sit down and say, ‘hey today I want to ride the French alps,’ there’s actually a program that it’ll take you through,” Axley says.
Campus rec. is working closely with IT to get the bikes connected to the campus internet. There is no estimate at this time of when the bikes will be up and running.
“I want to be on [the bike] as much as anyone else does,” Axley says. “I’m hopeful here before too long that’ll be something our students will be able to participate in as well.”
Barring any broken equipment, there are no other large purchases scheduled for the gym this year.
Campus recreation employs about 150 students, around 40 of which work in the gyms. If students would like to provide feedback on gym equipment or any other recreations, the Twitter handle is @UAlbanyRec.