Riding the trainer is simply the worst. So much of what most folks like about the bike is missing from the indoor experience and therefore the indoor experience is extremely lacking. However, there is a light at the end of this tunnel and in many ways we are already there. No longer is the indoor trainer just staring out the window. No longer is it watching old VHS tapes of Le Tour. Today there are a ton of options that make indoor cycling almost fun, almost:
- Netflix, Amazon, etc. Today there are so many distractions that it is hard to pick. Whether you would rather watch a drama or a sports film, there are unlimited options. And it is easy to set up a chair, a set of headphones and a tablet for enduring distractions. Here are some examples of the cycling oriented choices from last year: https://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/10-cycling-movies-on-Netflix/
- YouTube Sure there are a lot of 2 minute video distractions on this site, but also there are a ton of races you can watch. I tend to watch cyclocross, here is an example: https://youtu.be/32KAt809cGo
- Regular TV I am sure some folks still have cable and can watch regular TV. The winter is fantastic for sports distractions. And if you have cable, usually you can stream or TiVo whatever you like. I enjoy working a specific type of interval in the commercial times and then recovering during the regular show. Just be careful, some sports like football can have more commercials than action and you can really be facing some hard work.
- Computrainer, Zwift When the Computrainer came out, it was a real breakthough. You could download courses, race against the evil silver racer and be fully distracted with a purpose. Now Zwift has become the latest evolution of this format. You hook up your bike through the varies options listed (this can require a power meter or a power equipped bike) and your off to the races. Literally. This is essentially a multi-player video game that allows you to race others or do structured training on their courses. Here is a great review: http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/category/accessories/training-software/product/zwift-online-trainer-videogame-49225/
- Spin Classes My first thought is Zoomba on the bike. Not so anymore (although there is a bit of that). There are some serious spin classes out there now that incorporate power metered bikes with displays for the entire class to see and even a race environment. These classes are deadly. In a good way. They can really push yourself and get an amazing workout in a very short timeframe. Here is an example for us in Longtucky: http://breakawaylongmont.com/
OK, so clearly there isn’t any excuse for not getting that training in over the winter. I guess that means I’m just lazy.