Monday, October 12, 2009

Off-Season Ready!

Living in South Carolina has a huge weather advantage. Basically, we'll be able to ride our bikes all through the winter at least as long as it's light outside. That means mostly on the weekends as long as there is no ice on the road which we normally have ice and snow on the road a couple of days per year... Not too bad. I actually know of one group that is going out riding each Wednesday night all winter long... I respect that, but I am just getting cold too fast and also think that's pretty dangerous even with lights on the bike. Car drivers around here are fairly used to cyclists by now at least during the day, but at night, I think that would take them completely by surprise.

Even with the plan of riding through the winter, only on the weekends just won't cut it, to keep and hopefully improve my bike fitness. So with the b-day money from my parents, I set out to get myself a Cycle-Ops Fluid2 trainer and yesterday we finally set the thing up in the downstairs living room and I also tried it out right away. I don't have anything to compare it with, but the ride felt pretty good. The trainer was fairly easy to set up since we did it with family team work, held the tension I was putting on and wasn't too noisy either. That is the first impression and I'll keep you posted on how things develop. I did a 13.8 miles in 31 minutes which is very fast for me, so I wonder, if I set the bike computer up correctly. Given that I got the cheapest from the cheapest, since I use my Garmin on outside rides. On the other hand, I wasn't putting wicked tension on and still felt my quads burning quite some after the workout... The reason for that could be lack of cycling workouts recently. ;-)

I have been doing a couple of spin classes over the past couple of weeks and on the one hand, I do enjoy the group experience in a class, but on the other hand, the spin bike just feels very different from the road bike. Also, the classes I went to were more like an aerobics class on a bike and didn't feel like a preparation for the real thing.. If that makes any sense to you. Another improvement, that the option of working out at home on my own schedule brings, is to be able to sleep in on Mondays instead of getting up at the crack of "two hours before dawn" to be in the gym by 6AM... In general, I hope that it is going to decompress my days a little and give me a couple of hours more sleep per week.

Areas of improvement on the current set-up: I need a piece of wood or something to elevate the front tire to have it on the same height than the back tire. We need to put the TV from the guest bedroom down there, because that one actually works properly. (DONE!) The TV that you see in the picture has a horrible picture, the remote doesn't work and I have no clue how to change channels on the TV itself. So I ended up watching CMT during my test ride yesterday... The conclusion of "Footloose" and the beginning of "Coyote Ugly"... Oh well, I guess it could have been worse, but it could also have been much better. I need to organize a DVD to put there... We should have a portable somewhere. Remember to put the fan next to the bike before I start.

Other than that, I think I am off-season ready!

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