No, the rumors of CrossFit being bought by Uber aren’t true, but the rumor of Forbes talking about it isn’t as outlandish as it sounds. Actually it is, but only because the article itself is outlandish.

Good morning and welcome to the WODDITY podcast for news about CrossFit. We are a daily podcast, Monday through Friday, doing CrossFit news in five minutes or less.

My name is Ben Garves and today is Tuesday, the 21st of April, 2020. 

Did you miss the joke at the end of the last episode? That we were going to talk about an article in Forbes about Uber purchasing CrossFit Inc.? C’mon man, that sounds hilarious. 

Except Forbes really did write that article. I just…can’t even…with these people, so I’m going to have to read you the whole article. But first, some quick hits. Links to all of these are in my show notes in your podcasting app, and at WODDITY.com.

  • The Mayan CrossFit Classic has been officially postponed until a later date. It was the final Sanctional event of the season, so this does not bode well for events like the Asbury Park Summer Games, which is the final holdout event that hasn’t postponed or cancelled.
  • Justin LoFranco caught up with a number of CrossFit athletes on the decision to move the Games to Aromas. Athletes include Patrick Vellner, Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, Kari Pearce, Kara Saunders, Carolyne Prevost, Ben Smith, Jacob Heppner, Sean Sweeney, and Gabriela Migala. 
  • If you’ve always wanted to work out with Rich Froning, now’s the time. He’s leading daily live stream workouts on YouTube.
  • If the name Heather Bergeron sounds familiar, that’s because she’s a two-time regional, one time CrossFit Games team competitor, blogger on hbunfiltered.com, coach, and mom. Well, Heather was on the *ahem* Morning Magic show on Magic 106.7 – your home for today’s hits and yesterday’s favorites. She talks through making healthy choices while everyone is stuck at home. Alcohol, vegetables, ice cream, and mint Milano cookies. All the topics you know you had questions about.

Forbes on Uber Buying CrossFit

This is from Rahul Razdon, a transportation contributor at Forbes. He writes:

“A previous article, ‘A Better Transportation Option Than A Tesla,’ compared the key performance characteristics of a Tesla around metrics such as autonomy and sustainability with a donkey. Let’s just say that Tesla did not do too well. For example, while Elon Musk has claimed that a Tesla is a rising asset because of the software updates, it is difficult to compete with donkey reproduction in terms of asset appreciation. However, donkeys are not a perfect solution. For example, they do not do well in highway driving, so we are really limited to the “last mile” problem. Finally, the elephant in the room is the donkey “output” problem.

In response to this column, many readers have responded with the alternative of a human powered last mile solution. The most prolific form of this already exists — walking. In terms of mechanization, various urban bike sharing or scooter solutions are also popular. These solutions are useful, but there are limitations.  Children, elderly, and disabled have difficulty with accessing these solutions. Also, from the point-of-view of a passenger, weather can be an issue, and perhaps one does not want to be perspiring in nice clothes. Thus, it appears that it may make sense to split the power source and the passenger for an effective solution.   Of course, solutions like these already exist in Asia with human powered rickshaws (pedestrian or bicycle enabled).  

The conventional wisdom is that something like a human powered rickshaw  would never work in the west. There is the cost of labor and of course, just the general social engagement dynamics.  One would certainly believe this prevailing point-of-view until one sees the action in the picture below outside various CrossFit gyms throughout the USA. 

The objective of this activity is exercise, but the thought which enters one’s mind is :  Couldn’t one connect these two worlds? Provide transportation, get exercise, and get paid for it ? Could this possibly work ?

The fundamental problem is connecting a population of people looking for rides with a population willing to provide them as part of their exercise regimen. Sounds like an application for a ride-hailing service such as Uber. Interestingly and somewhat surprisingly, Uber already supports rickshaws in India and Pakistan. Done on the demand front ! 

Now, we just need the supply side of the equation and the obvious answer is CrossFit.  Crossfit can extend their equipment stack with stylish rickshaw solutions and CrossFit members can be the natural initial base of suppliers.  The Uber Peak demand pricing model is the perfect inducement to get out off the couch and get some exercise. Overall, the model provides sustainable last mile transportation for the passenger and health benefits for the “power source.”  What is not to like ? 

Perhaps Uber should just acquire CrossFit and get the whole process started.”

OMG, I don’t know what to say. But if you don’t take it too seriously, we are often apt to do, it’s a pretty funny idea. If you don’t believe me that this exists, or if you want to read more of Razdan’s work, I have a link to it in my show notes and at WODDITY.com. 

And that’s it for news about CrossFit for Tuesday, April 21st. Thanks for listening. Please be sure to rate, review, subscribe, and share. For WODDITY, I’m Ben Garves. Behave yourselves out there.