A patent just came across the tubes a moment ago for a treadmill with “a simulated cobblestone running surface,” the idea supposedly being that running on a flat, smooth treadmill belt doesn’t simulate the harsh old-timey cobblestone streets of Anytown, USA.
Here’s the patent’s abstract:
“An endless belt for a common exercise treadmill is made of a rubber like material having interwoven a fabric of fine steel mesh or nylon fabric leaving a smooth finish at upper and lower extremity over entire length and width thereof. An array of through holes penetrating said endless belt across the entire width and length thereof is to provide for fastening elements to be capable to affix prefabricated objects the like of simulated cobblestones of various size and configuration to the upper extremity of said endless belt and to be in contiguous fashion with lower extremity of simulated cobble stone.”
The diagram shows a LOT of cobblestones, which would each be held in place by little metal pins. It almost looks like a cab driver’s seat cover.
For all you serious runners out there, would something like this be beneficial in the winter months when you can’t or don’t want to run outside?
Exercise treadmill having a simulated cobblestone running surface [freepatentsonline]