Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Twin Trainers...of DOOM!!

This fall Bike Nashbar, a good source for low priced bike stuff, was having a sale on bicycle trainers. For the uninitiated, a bicycle trainer is a device that attaches to the rear wheel of your bike, so that when you pedal, you pedal against a roller that may have some resistance, as opposed to the bike moving forward. So when I inquired of fellow Waffler, Bill, his opinion on getting one, his reply was “Yeah, you should get one. It’ll be good for you to ride on a trainer during the winter.” This statement should have set the alarms off in my head immediately. Anything Bill thinks will be good for me never starts out to be fun, but my desire to be a better cyclist won out over my fear of pain, and I got a nice, inexpensive trainer.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I got a call from Bill about doing the traditional, pre-Thanksgiving ride. The object of this ride is turn burn at least enough calories to get down that extra piece of pumpkin pie. This ride is normally a mountain bike ride, which can have a bit of a cold and wet component to it, and it was getting dark out early, so a ride on the trainer in the toasty warm indoors was starting to sound good.

I hauled my stuff up to Bill’s place, and after some fiddling around got the bike hooked up to the trainer. My trainer is pretty no frills, but Bill has a really nice one with all the bells and whistles. And as the icing on the cake, it came with a training DVD. I would have preferred cartoons myself, but at least we would not be pedaling staring at a blank wall. It turns out I was right, cartoons would have been better. The “host” of the video was annoying beyond words. I truly get bent when some who is not on a bike himself is yelling, “Come on, let’s keep that cadence up. Pedal faster!” For a while, I was able to amuse myself by hurling insults at my video tormenter, but eventually, I had to conserve my breath for the act of pedaling. As I dismounted the bike, my seat in pain, and my legs like jelly, I quietly hoped that it would be “good for me” soon.