It started on a brevet. Chris N. (from PA) and I discovered that we both have trained on Concept2 indoor rowing machines or "ergs" as the rowers call them. Chris used his over the winter to cross train. I have had one for over a decade, but since I started Randonneuring it's been off in the corner of "the man room" surrounded by bikes and bike parts - unused.
Chris mentioned the indoor rowing and I replied with my story about competing in the 2010 CRASH B World Indoor Rowing Championships. This may need some explanation. Indoor rowing is a sport. It may be the niche-iest of sports since it involves competing in a rowing distance event on a device that actually doesn't travel an inch or ever touch water; nevertheless, it is a hotly contested sport that has at its core the requirement that all of its athletes inflict intense anaerobic suffering upon themselves. So it that sense, it's kinda like bike racing.