Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Indoor Cycling that rocks???!!!

Imagine racing the Killington, VT, Stage 1 course in a 3-man time trial in the middle of January. Oh, the weather outside IS frightful, but there's a way to avoid all the ice and wind and darkness and temperatures in the low teens.

Welcome to the wonderful world of CompuTrainers!

My race club, the Summit Freewheelers, staged 2 separate indoor races last week at Ohio Indoor Cycling, our newest sponsor.

The course was 18.5 mile of rolling terrain. I competed in the 2nd wave, and my teammates and I soon began to work together to chase down the lead group. By the time we hit the section of 5.2% grade, we were starting to narrow the gap a bit. We crested the hill, and hung on until the last couple of downhill miles, but by then I was spent. My teammate, Stew, pushed on ahead, and I couldn't hang onto his wheel.

This was my first introduction to a Compu-Trainer workout, and I have to admit that I was blown away. This is so different than any other indoor cycling workout - a difference that was most noticeable at the end of the 'race'. I actually felt like I had ridden on a club night, complete with that satisfied, endorphin-charged, burned-my-last-match tired, not "windtrainer" tired (leg-cramping, ass-bruising, bored senseless - you know what I mean...).
It's the next best thing to riding outside.
Wave 1 (from left):
The Young Guns (Steve, Wes, and Matt) vs. The Dream Team (Ted, Bob, and George - with 180+ years of life and racing experience!)

A huge screen shows the course, the positions of the riders, and all the fun stats like speed, power, elevation, etc. The Compu-Trainers are just windtrainers with a computer interface. A special skewer through the back wheel interfaces with the system somehow. The tension on the wheel is automatically adjusted according to elevation gain, simulating climbs and descents.
Oh, and the best part: you can draft off of other riders!
Thanks to Brian Ray and Ohio Indoor Cycling for sponsoring the Summit Freewheelers in 2011!

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