First off, I wound up buying the pedaler. This one, actually:
I love it. If you're stuck at a desk for a long time every day like I am, this is a great little thing to put under your desk. Make sure your desk is kind of high, though, because otherwise your knees might be hitting the bottom. I think once I'm not working here anymore, this will be great to have at home to pedal away while I'm watching TV. And then it can come with me to my next job.
It's very quiet overall, although the second day it started squeaking a little bit. I'm going to get some WD-40 to take care of it, but the squeaking usually stops after I pedal for a few minutes and the pedals lube themselves up. Another noise hazard: if you're wearing jeans and your thighs rub together (ahem), then there will be a constant swooshy sound of fabric rubbing against fabric. Not a problem if you have your own office, or if your officemate wears headphones, like mine does. I would think regular trousers wouldn't make as much noise. I know skirts are silent because I've worn a skirt the last 2 days.
I pedaled for an hour and a half yesterday, broken up into 3 chunks throughout the day. I don't know what it's doing for me aerobically, but I can tell it's getting my circulation going as my muscles are all tingly when I finish and I usually get warmer, which is quite nice since my office is freezing. If nothing else, it gives me a little boost and wakes me up a few times a day. I've already done a half hour today.
My other new toy is an online toy: I joined ediets again. I actually joined in Spring 2005 on Dr. Phil's food plan and really enjoyed having my meals all planned for me already. Plus the recipes were yummy! I got pretty adept at substituting for things I didn't like and wound up losing about 15 pounds (all gained back now. Sigh).
This time I joined Bill Phillips's Eating for Life plan. The days are broken up into 6 mini meals, which seem to work well with my metabolism. I don't get hungry in between meals so much and I think having my metabolism constantly running makes it more efficient. I get a free day once a week, but I'm going to do my best to still eat well for 3 out of 4 of those and stick to my one splurge day a month plan.
Unfortunately because of work and trying to cram in as many hours as I can, I just don't have the time to prepare the meals. We don't have a full kitchen at work, so I'm left to do the best I can for now. For that I am using the ediets Nutrition Tracker where I'm entering in everything I eat to keep track accurately. It's kind of fun. They have an exercise tracker too, so I'm using that as well, including my pedaling. Even though I can't prep the meals right now, I'm printing off the meal plan, recipes, and grocery list for each week so that I'll have a stockpile once I get back to Boston and can cook for real.
Last year it was only $12 a month to join, but I think this time I'm paying $16. However, from what I can tell from perusing the site, I have access to more things with my basic membership than I did last year. Ediets should really hire me for marketing because I have raved about them before.