When you can’t ride outside…

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The wonders of modern technology

As a motorcyclist, winter is a pain in the ass. As a cyclist, winter is my foe. As a motorcyclist, if it snows, I’m S.O.L.. As a cyclist, if it snows, I can ride a trainer. No, you sick puppies, get your head out of the gutter. I mean an indoor bike trainer. This is where I attach my road bike to my Wahoo Kickr, fire up a program called Zwift and ride.

Zwift has been around for just a couple of years, 3 tops at this point. Prior to that, the best you could do is use some program and trainer setup like a Computrainer and use their software to ride in a virtual world. There were others but not nearly as good. The idea and function is that these “Smart” trainers are able to simulate changes in elevation and through resistance, give the feel of climbing a hill or descending. It’s really quite remarkable and wonderful to maintain ones fitness.

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Cruising past the ocean and through the mountains of Watopia, a fictional Island in the South Pacific within the world of the Zwift.

Until I got my Kickr, I had a simple “Dumb” trainer and I would watch cycling training videos on YouTube and ride along with them. I was still able to hook up a bike computer to my rear wheel and gauge my speed and distance with a consistent resistance that felt as if I were riding on a table-top flat road. I was getting aerobic activity, lots of cardio and most of all, I was riding my bike. For about a year I tried using rollers to do the same thing, this required a crap load of concentration and balance. I really enjoyed the rollers, but damn, mentally and physically exhausted when I got off the bike. One flicker of distraction and you just might create the indoor yard sale of the century. Yard sale is the term for a bicycle crash.

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Cruising through London

What I like about Zwift is it gives me the opportunity to pack on the miles, get a good workout, meet and make new friends, ride my bike and do all of that in the warmth and comfort of my own home, while watching “On Demand” episodes of “The Walking Dead” or “Grand Tour”. On average, I do a 20 to 25 mile ride at least 3 to 6 times per week, depending upon my schedule. Each of these rides takes me about 60 to 75 minutes. Here it is nearly April 1st and I’ve already accumulated 839 miles so far this year.

Just prior to the 1st of every year and as I’m closing out my current year, I set a goal to best the mileage of the current year. 2017 had me finish with 2,126 miles and I had set a goal to hit 2,000. I’ve set my goal for 2018 at 2,100 and by the looks of it, I’m going to smash that number but good. Now once the weather turns nicer and I’m able to get outside to ride, well, the miles will tick away big time. And at that point, I will only use Zwift and my bike trainer when it rains.

I imagine that someday, there will be a method to ride your motorcycle in a similar way during the colder snowy months. While my Wahoo Kickr cost me $1500 at the time of purchase, it is likely that a motorcycle trainer of a similar concept is likely to cost closer to $5000 or more. Cruden makes motorcycle simulator but the bike isn’t running or wheels aren’t turning. It’s just a “simulator”. ISRTV produces their own version and like many others, it’s just a simulator.

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That’s me the long haired dude in front of this guy at the bottom of the photo. We all joined a massive group ride with 30 other people.

I want a motorcycle trainer/simulator that I actually put my bike on, sort of like a huge treadmill and in front of me is this massive screen broadcasting roads that move at the speed the treadmill is moving with moves at the speed I twist the throttle to. Sounds easy and simple but I’m sure something like that would be well beyond my budget and yours…. combined.

For now, when the snow falls with the temperatures. I’ll climb aboard my bicycle trainer and ride through a ficticious land with thousands of other people from around the world while I watch Back-country Discovery Route films and dream of warmer temperatures.

Ride safe? In here the only way I can’t is if the cat gets under my pedals.

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