Francis Lowndes invented the first stationary bicycle in 1796 as a cure for ailments such as gout, palsy, and rheumatism. Burning 600 calories an hour in pursuit of six-pack abs apparently wasn’t on his mission statement. My, how the times have changed! Then again, people used to wear those ridiculous powdered wigs back then, which seems just as vain and even more preposterous. Given the choice, I’d go with the abs.