This is the time of year that I transition inside. The time when I spend more time on the spinning bike than I do outside on one of the road bikes. It’s a sad time. Sure, there are benefits to training on a spinning bike. It is more focused. I have a power meter to regulate the intensity of the workouts. I stay warm, and dry. But, and this is a big but, it isn’t as much fun. Here are the 5 top reasons why I much prefer to ride outside.
- I like being in the fresh air. It’s healthier. More invigorating.
- It is more interesting. The scenery is constantly changing. I am careful to select scenic routes by the water, and in forested areas where the air is the best.
- The terrain, and subsequently the intensity, varies. Instead of regulating my workout by time – 7 minutes at 250 watts following by 3 minutes at 150 watts – the terrain regulates how hard I work. Some routes have long, steep climbs. Others are flat. And, still others are a mixture of rolling hills and flat sections. Some routes combine all three.
- I’m more focused, fully committed. I have to pay attention to the road ahead for potholes, pedestrians, and cars. Time passes quickly. One of my regular routes takes 90 minutes. And, the time flies by. I can’t imagine sitting on a spinning bike that long.
- It’s more fun. Nothing compares to negotiating a long, fast, and windy descent. Or, the satisfaction of summiting a tough climb in record time.
When I return from a ride outside, I feel refreshed, relaxed, and satisfied. There is no better feeling.
I schedule my rides with the weatherman. It is the first thing I check when I get up in the morning. When it is dry and sunny, I’m outside. No. It is more precise than that. When it is dry, and above 5C, I train outside. When it is cold or wet, I generally head indoors for a spin.
So far this year, it has been mostly dry and relatively warm.
You’re lucky, man. With the windchill it’ll be -36 here. Humorously, that’s so cold it doesn’t matter F or C.
I know. It’s why I moved to this part of the world 30+ years ago. We are fortunate. We can cycle all year round (if you don’t mind a little water).
I spend a fair bit more time inside these days than I should, I no longer do after-dark rides or wet rides (getting soft in my old age). I have an ace indoor training setup. I still MUCH prefer to be outside though, that’s where bikes were meant to be ridden! Fresh air, scenery, sunshine, changing terrain. No better place.