Travelling without moving

They told me liquid filled turbo trainers are much quieter than the magnet ones. They told me to use a weird type of blue tyre so I didn’t wreck my Conti GP 4000s. They told me to keep plenty of towels on hand because I’d sweat like an overweight swine in a North Queensland slaughterhouse.

What they didn’t tell me quite so clearly was just how bloody hard it is to ride trainer intervals with no hills to coast down, no fellow riders to draft, and no breeze to cool you down.

No, there’s nothing quite as knackering or, frankly, boring, as a solid session an indoor trainer, where for all your considerable effort you go precisely….nowhere.

One of mankind’s finest torture devices: the indoor trainer.

I get the whole no pain no gain principle, more commonly-known as ‘Rule #5’ in cycling circles. Suffering is your friend. Embrace it. Learn to love it. And if you ever feel like complaining, well HTFU. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Unless, of course, it leads to cardiac arrest a little later in evening.

Like many weekend road warriors, family commitments mean it’s not always easy to get out for a real ride. What is relatively easy, however, is switching on the computer, the TV, or both, and letting the electrical babysitters look after the kids while I smash myself into a smelly mess in the garage. This self-flagellation usually lasts for about 40 minutes; the length of time it typically takes for the kids to start tearing the house apart. Or each other.

Just look how much fun these guys are having.

Today, however, I ventured into truly unchartered territory. Miraculously the kids were behaving, so I managed to belt out 52km in just over an hour and fifty minutes. The average speed wasn’t outrageously quick, even by my decidedly-humble standards. But the average pain level was way up there, as evidenced by my Strava Heart Rate Zone Analysis which somewhat smugly reported that my ride was ‘Epic’. No shit.

Right now, my legs keep reminding me of my epicness every time I go to stand up. And my derrière keeps reminding me every time I go to sit down. By my calculations, two hours in the saddle on a trainer – where giving your bum a rest by standing in the pedals is just asking for trouble – equates to about four weeks on the road. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Maybe three weeks.

So I shall be in pain for a while yet, it seems. But I console myself with Rule #5. And figure I must be getting stronger. After all, I’m still alive.

One thought on “Travelling without moving

  1. Loved the blog Pete! I can relate to every word of that, however I am very impressed that you do the huge indoor sessions that you do!! Good on you mate! The trainer reminds me of being on the front of a large bunch, with a headwind in your face while going uphill. You cannot stop pedalling, as you will power down the peloton substantially and probably cop a bit of flack by riders shouting “up the pace”. You have to carry on, even though you feel like vomiting in your dry mouth and the only thing that keeps you going is the fact that in a few minutes you’ll be smiling as it’s all over and your heart can beat like it’s still inside your chest & your lungs and legs can thank you for HTFU.

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