Indoors at the V and Dime

Indoors at the V and Dime

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If we liked breathing stale, recycled air, we’d all take up a sport like wrestling or indoor fly-fishing. But we love the feel of a gale on our faces. We cherish the smell of cow manure filling our nostrils with its almost tangible grittiness. We hold scared the privilege to breathe in diesel fuel while doing hill repeats up l’Alpe d’Huez.

But such whimsy is not for every day. Occasionally, we find ourselves faced with the prospect of an hour of solitude upon the wind trainer or rollers, where our sport is transformed from a glorious experience of powering ourselves along with only Nature for company to one where a ride of 30 minutes is barely tolerable, 45 seems like a lifetime wasted, and 60 minutes is more than most of us can even consider enduring. 60 minutes on the trainer at a leisurely pace or a 4 and a half hour death march up a barren, heat-riddled climb? I’ll take the 4 and half hours every time, thank you very much. 

We all have to do it, and there are even some redeeming qualities to be had.  You get better at Rule #5, for one. You develop a more magnificent stroke, for another. Whatever the redeeming qualities, we all have our way of coping.  Jeff in PetroMetro returns with his view on how to make it suck just a little bit less.

Yours in Cycling,

Frank

Either due to life-threatening  weather or poor scheduling of life’s lesser priorities (see Rule #11), we Velominati spend a little time each year riding indoors.  Whether one enjoys a ride on rollers or a trainer, and no matter if one methodically spins (as all good recovery ride specialists do), grinds out intervals, or practices ways to improve one’s magnificent stroke (scrape the mud off your shoes, scrape the mud off your shoes…), death-by-boredom is always a possibility.  I’m not one to go for videos, or read books, or hook up to a computer.  Call me old fashioned. I like to meditate on the V with only the voices inside my head screaming for mercy from the pain of a complete lactic acid meltdown.

Or, sometimes I like a little music.

Back in the Dark Ages, I used the yellow (sweatproof) Sony Walkman to play my favorite homemade training cassette tapes.  But in our modern days of inexpensive digital storage, and with the brilliant invention of the “shuffle” command on my iPod Nano, I have some seven hours of musical motivation to keep my indoor sessions lively and loud.

I thought I might start a little conversation regarding favorite training tunes.  Now, I know ALL of my fellow Velominati strictly adhere to Rule #62 when riding outside.  And of course, we prefer strict adherence to Rule #9, but, as I stated above, shit happens.

While I have eclectic taste, I don’t fancy Al Green, Buck Owens, or Duke Ellington when loving a Rule #5 beatdown.  No.  I tack to the loud and fast.  My preferences are punk and “classic rock”. (It was just rock when I first heard it.)  So here’s a little flavor of my indoor training selection, in no particular order.

Hate to Say I Told You So“”The Hives””from the album “Your New Favourite Band”

Tick Tick Boom“”The Hives””from the album “The Black and White Album”

American Idiot“”Green Day””from the album “American Idiot”

The Rock Show“”Blink 182″”from the album “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket”

I Fought the Law (Live)””The Clash””from the album “The Clash:  Live at Shea Stadium”

Batman Theme“”The Jam””from the album “In the City”

Communication Breakdown“”Led Zeppelin””from the album “Led Zeppelin”

The Real Me“”The Who””from the album “Quadrophenia”

Rock Around the Clock“”Ten Pole Tudor””from the album “The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle”

Of course there are many, many others.  But I offer these few picks-to-click to perhaps start a little discussion and get some musical ideas for my next indoor shopping spree at the V and Dime.

A-Merckx

// Guest Article

  1. @Chris

    Similar boat for me — by the time I see the wee ones in the evening it’s too late to ride outside, so rollers with sufferfest during the week.  The fact that I do this 1-2x per week seems to indicate I actually enjoy it — otherwise it wouldn’t happen.  Although this time of year I get an occasional 6 am ride in during the week as it’s light enough to be out riding.

  2. @Chris

    Ah yeah, that’s understandable. You can’t just lock ‘em up and go for a ride without someone calling Child Protective Services”.

    Or you could kidnap a few neighbor kids and do this (holy god that seems like a cluster-f):

  3. @mcsqueak

    Only in Portland.

    Another variant::

  4. @Nate I’m trying to get three sessions in a week at the moment to get fit for my holiday – I’ve not ridden as much as I would have like since Roubaix. Takes a bit of motivation. I also try to get out in the morning when my wife is around but it’s a 5am alarm to give me an hours ride, shower and get out of the house in time to make the train to work. I’m not averse to Rule #9 riding but I do struggle at that time of the morning if it’s wet and this summer has been rotten.

    HHNF last night. Local Hero tonight. Downward Spiral on Friday.

  5. @Chris

    Interval sessions 3 days in a row seems like it might be a bit much?  Are you also riding on the weekends?  I was doing two sessions weekdays for a while to go with usually 2 weekend rides.  I started to feel overtrained and my knee was bothering me so  backed off for a while in June, backing off on volume and intensity.  Feeling fresh again just in time to Cogal on Saturday, then I’ll take some time off the bike to take the family on vacation.

  6. @mcsqueak You’d certainly build up some mighty guns doing that but in grand scheme of n+1, Dutch bikes don’t figure.

    (Nothing against the big guy but I can work out where you’d start with the upgrade program)

    @Nate That’s a bit more like it although you could work on the gearing so that they’d actually be contributing.

  7. @Nate Today is Wednesday isn’t it? I lose track sometimes. I’m not doing anything on Thursday and I can’t do my usual Saturday ride. I’m building up and playing it by ear but so far so good.

  8. @Chris

    Are you kidding?  Look at the size of Junior’s big ring — must be a 55t at least!

  9. @Chris

    It’s Wednesday where I’m sitting and in the British Isles AFAIK which I think is where you are.  No idea about Oz/NZ but then they’re not relevant, are they?

  10. @Nate

    Yeah, no kidding. And while I’m in the solid Portland, “left-coast hippie” mentality camp of “a bike is a bike and it’s better than an extra SUV on the road”, that just seems like rolling mass-insanity. I really try and reign in my snob-ness regarding getting more people to bike and that not everyone gives a crap about light racing bikes.

  11. @mcsqueak

    I know a couple parents around here (Berkeley) with those things.  Have to admit I kind of like them, it would be fun to have one to use for kid-transporting on the weekends.

  12. @mcsqueak

    @Chris

    Ah yeah, that’s understandable. You can’t just lock ‘em up and go for a ride without someone calling Child Protective Services”.

    Or you could kidnap a few neighbor kids and do this (holy god that seems like a cluster-f):

    Jesus, my VMH has been asking for one of those, but without the trailor-bike on the end.  So far I have not given in as they are REALLY expensive, like bike #1 expensive!  Suppose I should work a deal with her where if she gets one iI can get one of equal value?

  13. Golly (just for you @Dr C although it really doesn’t quite convey the emotion) that hurt. Sufferfest’s Local Hero is hard. Didn’t quite make it to the end. Bit of cramp and the legs were moaning after last nights 2 x 20.

    Anyway, time for a steak and a bit of pasta whilst watching today’s stage. I could almost convince myself that I’ve done enough to have a beer with it but would st a dangerous precedent.

  14. @Chris I need to try those sufferfest dvd’s.  I have never used them.  They sound really great.  I always just watch old Cycling vids or listen to music.

  15. @Buck Rogers

    I’ve used them a lot the last few months.  Use Angels, Local Hero, Hunted and Downward Spiral the most.  Angels and Hunted despite a bit much Dirty Schleck love.

  16. @Buck Rogers If you do intervals on the rollers or a turbo they’re great. Some good race fooother and tunes but more importantly all the prompts and timings for the session. Downward spiral has some nice cobbled sections.

    @Nate Hell Hath No Fury is worth a look. A good session or you can do it as a constant effort 2 x 20.

  17. @Chris

    @Buck Rogers If you do intervals on the rollers or a turbo they’re great. Some good race fooother and tunes but more importantly all the prompts and timings for the session. Downward spiral has some nice cobbled sections.

    @Nate Hell Hath No Fury is worth a look. A good session or you can do it as a constant effort 2 x 20.

    Yeah, I got the package set.  Downward Spiral is STOOPID, in the best possible way.  @Buck, I’ll add that they usually throw in something at the end, just to twist the knife a bit.

  18. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=120949778089546

    Doin the hard yards earlier this week, 77kph, 138 rpm, 179bpm, 58.6km in 1 hour = whole lotta hurt!
     
    Two sessions this week, got out on the road on Friday and took a solid 2mins of one of my courses.
     
    Hope this works!

  19. I did the new Sufferfest session, Blender last night. It’s one of the hardest sessions I’ve done on the rollers, I could barely stand up at the end. Definitely recommended if you want a longer interval session.

  20. @Chris

    I’m just about to pick that up as my first ‘fest session. Glad to hear it’s a good one.

    I might also get fight club unless you’e got a good recomendation for something else?

  21. @motor city I haven’t done Fight Club but I’ve got Local Hero, Hell Hath No Fury and Downward Spiral. I haven’t really got on too well with Local Hero but I haven’t done it that often.

    Downward Spiral is excellent and produces results quickly if you are prepared to turn yourself inside out – just remember that at most you got to keep going for two minutes at a time.

    Hell Hath No Fury is also great and can be done as instructed or as a constant rate 2 x 20 – pick a gear that you can maintain for 20 minutes at 100 rpm and get going. After the recovery do it again. The gear should be one that leaves you absolutely hanging after 20 minutes (the first 20 minutes – don’t chose your gear with the second 20 minutes in mind or you won’t go hard enough and theres no point in doing it – the second 20 minutes will be horrible but you’ll manage). Apart from the benefits to your fitness, I think it teaches you to really control your breathing and therefore your HR but also to get your head around the pain and the little voices that will tell you you can’t possibly keep this up for anther 15 minutes or so. My sensei swears by them.

    I’d go for DS and HHNF before Blender, get those nailed and you’ll get more out of Blender. It’s a bastard long time on rollers or a trainer.

  22. @motor city A lot depends on your riding style/terrain too, and what sorts of efforts you want to train for.  I have most of them but do The Hunted, Angels and Downward Spiral the most.  The first two focus on longer efforts, and the Downward Spiral on much shorter efforts.  I think I’m going to get the Blender too.

  23. @Nate cheers

    @Chris  I went for blender and I’ve just done it for the first time. It was hard, i’m broken.

  24. @motor city just picked the Sufferfest up in preparation for crap winter here in Downunderville and a need to get the rocket firmly up my arse in a training sense, your comment has left me in equal parts dread and excitement….

  25. And I would like to say (irrelevantly) I hate Windows 8.

  26. New sufferfest drops on September 15. I’ll be getting it, 64 sprint sections but i’ll use it for CX training:

    http://www.nonprocycling.com

  27. @motor city

    New sufferfest drops on September 15. I’ll be getting it, 64 sprint sections but i’ll use it for CX training:

    http://www.nonprocycling.com

    Scratch that, 2 new sufferfests drop on the 15th. They have made a 2 hour climbing movie called ‘it seemed a good idea at the time’. footage looks like its all from this years frozen Giro.

    I’ll be getting both.

  28. Didn’t want to further pollute the Saleté Sacrée thread with more roller talk, so instead I’m dredging this one up.  Anyone have experience on the floating rollers like the E-motion?  Is the feel really any better than regular rollers?  Is standing pedalling less scary?  I was thinking of trying to build this imitation version for the winter http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Free-Motion-Cycling-Rollers/

    Hmm, wonder what one of these with cobbled rollers would be like? http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/8706840/

  29. What are the benefits of floating rollers supposed to be?

    I can’t see how standing pedalling would be any less scary if the bike starts moving backwards and forwards as well as side to side. The fact that I can’t stand on my rollers is because I’m not smooth enough out of the saddle. Or does the backwards and forwards float prevent the bike from popping off the rollers that would otherwise be a risk if you’re not smooth enough?

  30. @Chris

    What are the benefits of floating rollers supposed to be?

    I can’t see how standing pedalling would be any less scary if the bike starts moving backwards and forwards as well as side to side. The fact that I can’t stand on my rollers is because I’m not smooth enough out of the saddle. Or does the backwards and forwards float prevent the bike from popping off the rollers that would otherwise be a risk if you’re not smooth enough?

    I can get out of the saddle on the rollers for very short periods but not at full or even moderate power. I am guessing these rollers allow you to crank much harder out of the saddle. I don’t really see the justification for the added cost though.

  31. @Chris Yeah, not sure.  I get out of the saddle every ten minutes for a solid 1 to 2 minutes while riding rollers to give “The Boys” some blood and comfort and I can push it pretty good while standing on my non-floating Kreitler rollers.

    Maybe it is supposed to make it even more difficult and force you to be an even smoother rider?

  32. @Buck Rogers If you’ve got the smaller diameter Kreitlers, I suspect you’ve probably got a bit more resistance going on. I think I find it hard out of the saddle as the lack of resistance make smooth pedalling harder.

    I got the latest sufferfest offering recently, it’s two hours of climbing based intervals so so low cadence high effort stuff. Only problem is that even at 53 x 11 I can’t get 8/10 intensity at 65rpm. I’m going to have to borrow one of Tony Martin’s dinner plates.

  33. @Chris Yeah, I have the smallest diameter Kreitlers that you can buy.  I think that they are the 2.25 inch ones.  They say that they are “crazy hard resistance” but I have no problem and I am NOT a Cat 2 quality rider by any stretch.  Not sure why they sell them with that supposed caveat.

  34. @Chris The main benefit to floating rollers is they are more forgiving, like shocks on a mountain bike.  The downside being they compensate for bad form.  I prefer the resistance of the small diameter rollers, like @Buck Rogers has.  The best thing I ever did for my pedal stroke was learn to ride a fixed-gear on rollers – definitely couldn’t hide any sins there.

  35. @Chris You could get the headwind fan, although it makes a hell of a lot of noise.

  36. The reason for the float is so that there is that little bit of give when you are standing and you dont feel that the bike is about to ride off the front of the rollers.

    I also thought it would make the suffering a little less so. 

    @Buck Rogers
    You must have some skills Buck to be able to hit it hard while standing that long.  I can do it for short periods, but not very hard.

  37. @Buck Rogers I traded the 3″ for the 2.25″ and they have a little bit more resistance but I can still spin them out if I really go for it.

  38. @seemunkee Don’t know about skills! 

    I still have a HELL of a time trying to go no handed.  I can drink and wipe sweat off and ride standing or sitting and sprint and watch videos but the no handed shit and one legged spin I just cannot get down.

    The hardest part for me is when getting into the standing or returning to the sitting position as the bike does want to jump forward and I have actually shot off the front of the rollers more than once!

    Definitely keeps it interesting!

  39. @Buck Rogers

    …I have actually shot off the front of the rollers more than once!

    Any video footage?  Would you be willing to do a reenactment?

  40. @Optimiste

    @Buck Rogers

    …I have actually shot off the front of the rollers more than once!

    Any video footage? Would you be willing to do a reenactment?

    Unfortunately no footage, fortunately for you I will probably end up doing it again this winter at some, dead, post-interval, time!

  41. @Buck Rogers

    @Optimiste

    @Buck Rogers

    …I have actually shot off the front of the rollers more than once!

    Any video footage? Would you be willing to do a reenactment?

    Unfortunately no footage, fortunately for you I will probably end up doing it again this winter at some, dead, post-interval, time!

    Perhaps I’ll work on developing that skill this winter as well.  Any tips?

  42. @Optimiste

    @Buck Rogers

    @Optimiste

    @Buck Rogers

    …I have actually shot off the front of the rollers more than once!

    Any video footage? Would you be willing to do a reenactment?

    Unfortunately no footage, fortunately for you I will probably end up doing it again this winter at some, dead, post-interval, time!

    Perhaps I’ll work on developing that skill this winter as well. Any tips?

    Have a clear path in front of you. 

    Not sure what brand my rollers are, bought them ages ago used off of ebay, but it has two small squirrel fans that you can attach with bands to the rear roller to add resistance.  Kind of a pain to do during the a work out, but while doing some of the climbing Sufferfests I’ll add them on.

  43. @Buck Rogers

    @seemunkee Don’t know about skills!

    I still have a HELL of a time trying to go no handed. I can drink and wipe sweat off and ride standing or sitting and sprint and watch videos but the no handed shit and one legged spin I just cannot get down.

    The hardest part for me is when getting into the standing or returning to the sitting position as the bike does want to jump forward and I have actually shot off the front of the rollers more than once!

    Definitely keeps it interesting!

    I am the opposite. It may be due to the larger rollers I am using, but standing is one hell of a time for me. riding no hands seems to be fine for a minute or two on my rollers though.

    @Chris I have an older style fan for added resistance. I some how came into possession of two. Not sure if they would work on your rollers but it’s yours if you want.

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  46. As I am doing more and more roller workouts at work and watching youtube videos of old races, does anyone know of a youtube channel that has old videos, esp in English?  CyclingHD was great but it is no longer maintained and I’ve burned through all of their selection.  I am looking for videos around an hour 15 minutes long in English.  Ya, I know, great time to work on my French but when deep in the pain cave, I prefer to hear old Auntie Phil or Brian Holmes.  Yup, weird fetish right there.  And prefer no Pharmstrong (which, unfortunately rules out most of the English vids from ’98-2011).  Thanks!

  47. Just an update for those of you stuck on rollers/turbo in the coming months.  I found this youtube channel and this race is a great one hour video to watch while training:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6p-HMxeMP8&index=23&list=PLfMbpzv46ZCJ6FMbifxRWu8v5Yt3Orshw

  48. @Buck Rogers

    Just an update for those of you stuck on rollers/turbo in the coming months. I found this youtube channel and this race is a great one hour video to watch while training:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6p-HMxeMP8&index=23&list=PLfMbpzv46ZCJ6FMbifxRWu8v5Yt3Orshw

    Buck, thanks! It’s blowing 50km/h on the Peninsula today, so I did my little interval session indoors. That was a stewpidhard-looking climb.

  49. Kids! Don’t try this at home?!

  50. @sthilzy Holy SHIT!  Who thinks of these things anyways???  Even though I ride rollers for hours every week I would NEVER try that stuff! Crazy!  Is this the same rider who fried som eggs while riding in that other video last year?

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