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Rollerblade Inventor Brings Rowing Workout To Pavement

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - There are many ways to move around and get some vigorous exercise, whether by pedaling wheels or pounding your feet on the pavement.

But Scott Olson's latest version of his "total workout machine" vows to burn more calories than all of them.

Olson is the creator of the in-line skate brand, "Rollerblade." Thirty-seven years later, he has sold his latest invention, a rowing machine on wheels.

"It's like a moving Pilates machine, so you really stretch out the whole body, and rowing works the core," he said.

It took nearly a decade to bring the prototype RowBike to market. It's billed as much more than a bicycle -- a total fitness machine.

Olson's idea was to take the full-body core workout of rowing and put it on pavement. In other words, take the boredom of working out behind closed doors.

"When he first came out with rollerblades, people looked at them and said, 'What are these things?'" RowBike President Rob Buntz said.

Buntz also sees the similarities in the two products, but he said RowBike takes a little more getting used to and can be mastered by a rider in about a week.

'It's like the first time you started to learn to ride a bicycle -- you're sort of intimidated and you thought, 'What is this all about?'" Buntz said. "But you wanted to do it so much, you learned. That's very true for RowBike bike as well."

Perhaps the greatest attraction to the product will be as a way to maintain fitness as we age. Buntz said one audience the company will target are men and women over 55 years of age.

"Save your knees, get a RowBike," Olson said.

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