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October 24, 2014

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Stationary bicyclist rides daily alongside I-15; destination is fitness for all

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Christopher DeVargas

Spencer Larson rides his bicycle on top of storage containers along the I-15 during rush hour to promote exercise, Tuesday March 20, 2012.

1Minute Exercise Challenge

Spencer Larson rides his bicycle on top of storage containers along the I-15 during rush hour to promote exercise, Tuesday March 20, 2012. Launch slideshow »

1 Minute Challenge

The next time you’re driving north on Interstate 15 at rush hour, look up to your right — chances are you’ll see Spencer Larson riding his stationary bike atop the storage boxes that sit just south of the Sahara Avenue exit.

The 37-year-old Las Vegas father of five bikes from home — about a 30-minute ride — around 4 p.m. every weekday to meet the afternoon traffic. He climbs up a large storage box situated near the interstate and rides the stationary bike for hours, about six to be exact.

“It’s a little bit crazy,” Larson admits. “I get hundreds of honks and waves and people videotaping me.”

Larson has been biking off I-15 for about a month now. He clocks anywhere from four to eight hours daily.

His aim, he says, is to promote fitness.

“My goal is to get people to say, ‘How can I find four minutes a day to exercise?’” said Larson. “It’s something people can do day in and day out.”

For each hour Larson spends riding the stationary bike each day, he challenges drivers to spend a corresponding number of minutes engaged in an intense workout. For example, if Larson rides six hours one day, he wants drivers to exercise six minutes.

Draped across the storage box he bikes atop is a large banner for promoting Larson’s “1 Minute Exercise Challenge.”

“I’ve struggled from my 20s to 30s with my weight,” Larson said. “I just realized fitness is freedom. Everything revolves around fitness.”

Three years ago Larson met with a doctor who told him that hours at the gym wouldn’t give him the results he was looking for, and that’s when Larson said he became a fitness fanatic.

He wakes up at 5:30 every morning and goes to bed at 11 p.m. Beyond the six or so hours he performs on the freeway, Larson has a treadmill desk that allows him to walk while working at his home-based advertising and marketing business. At lunchtime he jogs or swims, and even when he’s “relaxing” at home he’s riding his spin bike.

“I’m not asking anybody to do what I’m doing or to even try,” Larson said. “I just want people to be consistent with (short and intense) workouts. Results come from overload not how long you work out.”

In the few weeks he has biked for the public, Larson said he had received several Facebook posts and e-mails with people he inspired to work out.

"It comes down to when you set a goal and figure out ways to make it happen,” Larson said. “It’s all about baby steps and slowly progressing.”

Larson plans to keep up his stationary biking until the end of the year, and he said he’s prepared for the Las Vegas summer heat.

“I plan on doing it as long as possible,” said Larson, who regularly hikes in 100-degree-plus weather. “I’m now an exercise extremist (but) I try not to be.”

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