My indoor setup … 🚴🏻

I have setup a “pain cave” as an indoor cycling studio.

I don’t like riding in the cold or wet weather. And, I don’t want to return to the gym anytime soon. As long as it was sunny and dry, I welcomed riding outside, and training in the local parks. Now that the weather is changing, and we are experiencing an uptick in Covid cases, I’m happy to stay home.

But I need more equipment. I have some dumb bells, an exercise ball, and a mat. This is enough for strength training. But what about indoor cycling?

I decided to purchase a smart trainer. You know, one of those direct drive ones where you remove the back wheel, and connect your drive train directly. I have an extra carbon road bike I can dedicate to the cause, and space in my den – a converted walk-in closet – to set it up.

Which trainer?

There are so many to choose from. I began asking around, and calling the local shops. In the end, I chose the Wahoo KICKR CORE. I’m a big Wahoo fan 😃 It gets excellent reviews for reliability, features, and noise. And, it was available locally for a good price. I had it setup in a day.

Now, what software to run on this smart baby?

Until I started researching, I didn’t realize there are so many apps to choose from.

I was familiar with Swift. Everyone seems to be using it. But I don’t like the virtual reality aspect. It’s not real enough. It’s like a video game. And, I never liked video games 😂 I know the social features are popular, but that’s not the type of cycling I enjoy.

That’s where I had to start. What kind of cyclist am I, and what do I expect from an indoor trainer?

I’m not a racer. I enjoy century events and Gran Fondos, but I do them for the experience, never expecting to win, or even compete, except maybe with myself. I prefer solo rides to group rides, and I like to train with structure. Despite my age, I still think I can improve, become more efficient, and get stronger. I want my indoor experience to be like my outdoor road rides.

This helps.

Given that, Swift is out. Sufferfest is more for racers. The videos actually put you in races. That’s not for me. TrainerRoad gives you all the stats you need, but is visually uninteresting.

I want a more realistic experience.

Two apps come strongly recommended. FulGaz and Rouvy. Over the next 1-2 weeks I’m planning to test them out – they both come with a 14 day free trial – and select one for the winter.

Stay tuned 😂

PS – If you have experience with either, let me know your thoughts.

Remember me … 🤔

Remember me?

I have been remiss. For the past few weeks I have had family visiting at the cottage, and little time to post. They left at the beginning of the week, so I’m back 😂

A lot has happened in the past 3 weeks. We caught a lot of fish. Northern Pike and Smallmouth bass mostly. We paddled and explored the water in the canoe and kayak. We enjoyed shoreline fires in the evening watching the sunset glisten off the water. I read several murder mysteries. The perfect cottage read. And, we swam continually. Summer finally arrived in these parts.

I cycled most days, 35-75 kilometres, visited the gym at least once a week to do squats, and lunges, in preparation for the Horseshoe Valley Century ride. I completed the century ride last weekend, and was pleased with my result, but was surprised with all of the climbing, 1,200 metres of it throughout the entire course. I finished in 4 hours, averaging just under 25 kph, and felt good afterward. My goal this summer was to complete the century in good time (I was happy with it), and get down to 160 pounds. I tipped 161 on the scales today, so not far off, with a week left. My optimum cycling weight is 155-160 pounds. All of this is in preparation for the Whistler GranFondo in September. It is a 122 km course with 1,900 metres of climbing. Longer, and more climbing.

And, I buzzed my beard off, the day after saying how much I liked it. I was by myself, got the buzzer out, and decided I needed a change. I liked it but have to admit it was a food magnet. I no longer have any grey 😂 and am told I look younger. That’s a good thing. Right? I thought I might lose all my strength, but completed this morning’s ride in record time with less effort. Maybe the beard was slowing me down.

I track a lot of numbers. I’m a slave to them. But they keep my training focused. Among other things, I record my resting heart rate (RHR) first thing every morning. I use it to determine if I am adequately recovered for another workout. 2 months ago when I first arrived at the cottage to train (Camp PedalWORKS), I was pleased if I recorded a RHR in the mid forties. 42 was unusual. After 2 months of “polarized” training and regular gym visits, my RHR is often in the 30’s. I have seen it as low as 34 bpm. This morning it was 37. The new normal. This tells me that regular cycling, cottage life, and being alone more frequently agrees with me.

It has been a good visit this year.

 

I walk too …

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I don’t want you to think that all I do is cycle. I can walk too. I may always be thinking about cycling but I’m not always on a bike.

My son is racing in the RBC Whistler GranFondo today. If you have never heard of this race, don’t worry. I’m going to tell you. Later. My son has been in this race for several years, and done reasonable well, for an amateur. You see, professional cyclists also compete. I usually drive to Whistler the day before so that I can watch him finish. Last year I was at the cottage and couldn’t. Minutes after he finished, I received at text from him with his time. Just his time. Not “Hello. How are you?”. Just his time – 3:42. That’s fast. Really fast. You see, he almost won the damn thing. This is a 122 km ride with 1,700 metres elevation gain. This is one tough ride, let alone race.

I didn’t want to miss the finish this year. I didn’t want him to finish without someone to cheer him on.

I booked a hotel room in Whistler and headed up with my daughter yesterday. They’re close. We both had the day off, and made a day of it. On the way up, we hiked to a glacier fed lake. You see, I can walk too. And last night, we celebrated her birthday. I had missed it this summer when I was at the cottage. I treated her to a 3 course dinner.

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It’s 8:06 am. I’m lying in bed writing this. The race started at 7:00. He’s on his way. At about 10:30 am he expects to be rounding the last corner, preparing for the final sprint to the finish. We’ll be standing at the corner. Waiting. Watching. Worrying. Hoping. Hoping he didn’t “bonk”. He did the first year. Hoping he didn’t get a flat. He has in other races. Hoping he doesn’t go out too early. He did last year, and lost precious time.

I need a coffee 🙂

“Why aren’t you doing the ride?”, you ask.

That’s a good question. I’m certain I could finish. I wouldn’t contend. Not even in my age class. But I could finish. One day … Maybe next year. I have done half the ride to Squamish on both Thatch and Lou.

Lou: “Come on. We can do it.”

Chas: “Not without me, you aren’t”.

Thatch: “Why don’t we pack the camping gear, and make it a 2 day trip.”