virtually useless

virtually useless

To love cycling is to live with disappointment. The highs are high and the lows are the norm. A fast ride punctuated by a puncture. A climb curtailed by a missed gear or slipped chain, a descent destroyed by a misread camber or simply lack of cojones.Kit is worse. Expensive Lycra that chafes, shoes that constrict, waterproofs that aren’t. The list goes on.

Cycling is seductive though. Bike industry marketeers have mastered the art of seduction. I lap it up, fall for it every time, (like a blue collar worker believing that a billionaire is on their side).

Smart Turbo Trainers promise pleasure through pain, experience the toughest climbs from the comfort of your own home, race other housebound cyclists in virtual reality.

Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Here’s the small print:

Zwift doesn’t work on iPad IOS. So it’s long wires & laptops perched precariously on furniture. Cycling is freedom, I want wireless. BKool doesn’t communicate fully with my Elite trainer so resistance doesn’t change as I climb a virtual mountain. Elite’s training programme thinks I’m averaging 60kmph uphill (I wish).

(FWCP: First World Cycling Problems).

Reading the Turbo Trainer Technical Forums I’m not alone it seems in experiencing very real disappointment in virtual reality. This feels like a valuable life lesson.

What now? Simple. Keep it simple. Close the door. Turn up the music volume (Turbo Trainers are loud!) enjoy the endorphins, copious sweating and ride hard for the real road in 2017.

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post-truth cycling

post-truth cycling

Winter Training means training in the winter, correct? Outside? So it’s the same as Any Other Time of Year Training?

It’s definitely outside?

Good because in my mind it’s definitely not in the comfort of your own home hooked up to the cycling-equivalent of a hamster wheel, trapped in cycling virtual reality. 

My Winter Training is outside – just with a few modifications from Spring/Summer/Autumn Training.

After a nasty fall on black ice a few years back, I mothball my road bike for winter in favour of my Mountain Bike, where falling is part of the fun.  Although a combination of cloudless sky/winter sun and a G!ro coffee ride is hard to resist, whilst wearing every item of cycling clothing I own to ward off the Siberian-esque chill, the road bike is dragged out of the cellar.

If it snows then there’s my ‘ under-used fat bike* – the epitome of Winter Training! And wind, rain or snow there’s still commuting.  Winter Training is definitely not an excuse for not going outside.

Currently this is all hypothetical. I’m off games. My 2nd hand operation means no cycling until 2017. This winter my Winter Training will fit the more widely accepted definition of Winter Training: in the comfort of my own home hooked up to the cycling-equivalent of a hamster wheel, trapped in cycling virtual reality.

2016 is the year of post-truth self-contradictions after all: “there is some connection between humanity and climate change”
. Who said that?

The Smart Turbo Trainer has arrived and assuming I can set it up, my 1 handed adventures in cycling virtual reality will begin…

*a bike-build vanity project that should be sold (to make room for an Adventure Road bike)