Posted by: Bike Rider | January 20, 2009

What’s a cyclist to do?

Let’s look at the last several weeks, shall we?

  • The temperature hasn’t been above 40 F in…well, along time.  If it has, it either rained, snowed or both.
  • There’s about 4″ of snow on the ground from what the National Weather Service called “snow showers”.
  • A stiff westerly wind has been blowing since October bringing cold Arctic air from Alberta, Canada.
  • Salt, ciders, brine and other nasty materials litter the roads.
  • What hasn’t melted and dried is now ice and solid-packed snow.

So…what’s a cyclist to do?

Well, you could just wait it out for a nice sunny day-like in late April or you can brave the elements and saddle-up your trusty steed and head out on the road.  Of course you will need to contend with all the above, but at least you’re riding.


You could sign-up for a spinning class at the local gym or Y.  Sure, you’ll get on a “bike” and pretend to ride, but let’s be honest…it’s not the same, is it?  Not that I’m against spinning, it’s just that I really don’t get much from it.

Then there’s the trust, albeit painfully boring, trainer.  Like spinning, it’s just not the same.  Especially when the kids are hawking around the bike asking, “What’s that?”, “Whatcha doing Daddy?”, “Why are you riding your bike in the living room?”, etc..  So, for some peace-and-quite I moved the trainer to the basement.  Mind you, I’m probably breathing lethal amounts of Radon gas and other toxic airborne contaminates, but at least I can train with relative immunity.  That is until my cat comes down and starts investigating the noise.  Ugh!

I still ride the trainer every morning (much to my wife’s disapproval), but again, it’s not the same as being on the road.

Last weekend (during one of our Arctic freezes) I decided to participate in a indoor cycling ride at Hootfoot Cycles (and no, this is not a shameless plug either).  Unlike riding my antique trainer, this particular indoor ride adds a element of competition against 7 other riders.  Plus, the computer controls the resistance based on the terrain program selected.  A heart-rate and a cadence allow the rider to view their heart-rate, cadence and power output (in watts).  Pretty cool!

Beats the snot out of riding in the basement staring at the workbench.



  1. Your experience mirrors mine in many ways, and I have discovered something similar, but it doesn’t require a special bike or computer program. I saw this at a class I went to in Denver where they showed a “virtual cycling” training DVD during class, and the instructor coached us through it like we were all on a club ride. It was VERY cool, and these DVDs are for sale to anyone – I bought them and they’ve made me look forward to riding my trainer – I know, completely wierd huh? They are called Global Ride and I bought them on Amazon.

    • Thanks for the feedback. Do you have the name of the DVDs?

  2. I got the series called “Global Ride: Hawaii Series” from Amazon – you can search under Virtual Cycling too, either of the above should bring it up. It’s cheaper than buying each DVD separately, and winters get a bit long in New England 😦

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