Friday, November 20, 2009

trainer time already?

The weather here is getting yucky quickly, not to mention quite dark, especially during the post-5PM uphill sprint home.

Not wanting to completely hang up my spurs until spring, I'm finding I am itching to ride more than I have been able to the past couple weeks. Think of a hamster with pent-up energy sans a wheel and you're pretty close to what I feel like lately. This morning I awoke to cascading rain over our gutters, so I didn't feel like getting soaked going TO work. Getting soaked coming FROM work is fine by me - I do anyways because I work so hard riding all the way home uphill that I get quite sweaty. The rain's a bonus.

Naturally, it seems we have the best weather throughout the remainder of the day on the days I do not ride to work. Right now I'm looking out on a wet and cool (but not freezing cold) city without rain actually coming down. Showers predicted for later today though. I don't like to think of myself as a "weather weenie" and have been able to keep riding throughout the year roughly 60% of the time, however, as the temps get closer to freezing, it gets harder and harder to maintain my routine.

So I guess soon, maybe this weekend, I'll haul out the bicycle trainer and set it up in the garage. It's pretty easy to work in a 30-40 minute spin a couple times a week. More challenging is to find something to keep me interested and focused. Uploading different mixes to my iPod (I have the cheapy clip-on one) seems to help.

For gear, I'm using a Ascent brand fluid trainer I picked up from Nashbar with a gift certificate from my VA inlaws last Christmas. Note the link is to a magnetic trainer available from Nashbar as the fluid trainer appears to be out of stock. Since I went the cheap route, it was priced at about $140 but it dropped to $100 when discounts were applied, I now know one feature I would look for in a trainer if I were to buy another one. I'd seek a quick-release for the rear wheel versus a screw in/out knob like my trainer has. It makes taking the bike off the trainer much less of a hassle. This Cycleops brand wind trainer pictured below - and other products by this manufacturer - features this.

So I gotta ask. What do you do in the winters (if you do indeed change your riding habits) and if you do any indoor training, what's on your iPod, DVD player, etc. If there's an interest, I might post a sampling of the songs I find most effective at pushing me to ride harder. The first that comes to mind is Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats".

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