Indoors at the V and Dime

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

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386 Replies to “Indoors at the V and Dime”

  1. @Nate

    @Vin’cenza
    (1) So much better than stationary trainers “” more fun and improve rather than ruin your pedalstroke
    (2) why would you consider anything other than Kreitlers?
    (3) get the 3″³ or 2.25″³ the 4.5″³ diameter won’t give you enough resistance; if you are in any shape you’d easily spin out your top gear on the 4.5s. More info on chosing the right size on their website.

    Have to disagree on point one. While rollers are undoubtably good for developing a magnificent stroke, a trainer will hardly destroy it. On the contrary, if you don’t pedal smoothly you’ll bounce about in the saddle and it won’t be a good workout at all.

  2. @Vin’cenza
    Yes, the belt is stretchy. The front roller has an adjustable mount on the frame to move it into the correct position for the wheelbase of your bike. As for the Lemond unit vs. rollers, see the picture at the top of the post.

  3. @Nate

    @Vin’cenza
    Yes, the belt is stretchy. The front roller has an adjustable mount on the frame to move it into the correct position for the wheelbase of your bike. As for the Lemond unit vs. rollers, see the picture at the top of the post.

    The correct answer — it was a trap !!

  4. As mentioned a bit earlier in this thread, Kreitlers 3.0 with one flywheel. Not sure what all this talk of gonad abuse is about. Maybe look to saddle adjustment. Sit bone comfort can be a chore at first. No road vibration, imperfections, or leaning into turns to micro shift your ass, but once you are comfortable enough to get out of the saddle it is no longer an issue. Biggest advantage of rollers over trainers is that rollers improve your handling and technique. Trainers don’t and can actually cause bad habits. Of course, go with whatever works for you.

    My preferred “quick” roller workout currently:

    10 minute warm up.

    1 minute max spin at “half” max effort level
    2 minute easy spin

    repeat 4 times, fourth time do 5 minute easy spin instead of 2 minutes.

    20 minutes of 30 second on/off intervals. On is at 90%+ of max effort, off is easy spin.

    10 minute cool down.

    Great for when life/weather/light/Acts of God rule out a proper ride.

  5. I like this — testing a bike with his daughter Sabrina present.
    1974 French film La Course en Tete. The film was directed by Joel Santoni.
    1973 photograph Pierre Vauthey.

  6. @itburns

    As mentioned a bit earlier in this thread, Kreitlers 3.0 with one flywheel. Not sure what all this talk of gonad abuse is about. Maybe look to saddle adjustment. Sit bone comfort can be a chore at first. No road vibration, imperfections, or leaning into turns to micro shift your ass, but once you are comfortable enough to get out of the saddle it is no longer an issue. Biggest advantage of rollers over trainers is that rollers improve your handling and technique. Trainers don’t and can actually cause bad habits. Of course, go with whatever works for you.

    My preferred “quick” roller workout currently:

    10 minute warm up.

    1 minute max spin at “half” max effort level
    2 minute easy spin

    repeat 4 times, fourth time do 5 minute easy spin instead of 2 minutes.

    20 minutes of 30 second on/off intervals. On is at 90%+ of max effort, off is easy spin.

    10 minute cool down.

    Great for when life/weather/light/Acts of God rule out a proper ride.

    Thanx. I will use this

  7. @Vin’cenza
    Great photo. My children usually laugh when they see me on the rollers aprt from the middle son who wants me to drill more holes in the frame so he can put his BMX on.

  8. Utter f**king c**nt! flatterd on the rollers again! I knew I shouldn’t be riding my tubs on the rollers but it’s so much nicer that the shit wheels. Bggr. Fck.

  9. @Chris
    What tubs were you running? I’ve been indulging myself by keeping the tub wheels on for roller sessions but now you’ve got me worried.

  10. @Chris

    Utter f**king c**nt! flatterd on the rollers again! I knew I shouldn’t be riding my tubs on the rollers but it’s so much nicer that the shit wheels. Bggr. Fck.

    Flatted on tubs on the rollers? What a bummer, and not cheap either! I flatted once with clinchers and that was bummer enough.

    But, I rode last week on the rollers on my tubs and as I was riding it seemed like I had NO LEGS at all that day. Just killing myself and then I went to stand up at around 15 minutes into it and I noticed that my front wheel was bouncing up and down a ton on the front drum. Stopped and checked the tires. They were very low on pressure. Inflated them up to 7.5 bars and then it was like I was FLYING! Never knew that tire pressure on rollers makes so much difference.

    Anyways, sorry to hear about your flat. Hope it wasn’t too expensive a tub.

  11. @Buck Rogers
    You found out the hard way, but that is a common recommendation for people that want to add more resistance to their rollers – reduce the tire pressure. Another one is to put a towel underneath the back roller. Glad mine has a resistance range that is perfect for me.

  12. Vittoria Pave. I’ve just ordered some Pit Stop but I think I might actually take the next step and learn to repair them myself. VLVV

  13. @all. I don’t own either rollers or a trainer so just wondering why you wouldn’t use your #2 bike or, if your lucky to own more, just your lowest quality bike (with the worst wheels/tires) on for these sessions? There can’t be any training or performance benefit to using a really good bike or am I missing something?

  14. @Chris
    Class.

    @Jonny
    I got my #2 when I was just getting back into riding and the frame is too big so I can’t get the setup very close to the #1. And in general the rollers don’t seem to wear my tires much at all, unlike what a resistance trainer does.

  15. @Chris

    Vittoria Pave. I’ve just ordered some Pit Stop but I think I might actually take the next step and learn to repair them myself. VLVV

    Ohhhhh, not cheap, but could be worse. Those are the same ones that I run. Might be using a different wheelset on the rollers from now on.

  16. @Jonny
    I think you meant to reply to me not Buck. I might use the 2 on the rollers. But the only harm that might come to the bike from rollers is if you fall off, which is most likely when you are first learning and that’s not me. So why not use the #1, especially if you enjoy yourself more as a result? Whereas with a stationary trainer, which I no longer use, I used to worry about stressing the frame because it’s clamped in place and flexes in alarming ways under a big effort. There I could see a reason for using the #2 instead.

  17. @Nate

    @Jonny
    I think you meant to reply to me not Buck. I might use the 2 on the rollers. But the only harm that might come to the bike from rollers is if you fall off, which is most likely when you are first learning and that’s not me. So why not use the #1, especially if you enjoy yourself more as a result? Whereas with a stationary trainer, which I no longer use, I used to worry about stressing the frame because it’s clamped in place and flexes in alarming ways under a big effort. There I could see a reason for using the #2 instead.

    This. On the rollers i try to simulate road riding as closely as possible and see no reason not to ride #1. On the stationary teainer I only ride #2 (“Who does number 2 work for???”) b/c of the worry about frame stress.

  18. @all cheers chaps. My #2 is the, er, hybrid that got me back into cycling a few year’s back. I should use it to commute on by the road bike feels so much better. Is it possible to become additcted to quality?

    @Chris

    @Jonny
    #2 – you could say that fit is an issue.

    Why, sir, that’s a whopper.

  19. @Jonny

    Is it possible to become additcted to quality?

    It certainly is and that’s exactly what had me using my nice wheels on the rollers when I probably should have been using the cheapo clinchers. Once you get used to them though, it’s so hard to take them off.

    I’ve ordered some Vittoria Pit Stop but I’m going to keep that for on the road emergencies, i.e., when slapping the spare on and gingerly riding home is not an option. I’ve also ordered a new Pavé (the older versions, black stripe down the middle with green on either side, are cheaper if you can find them on ebay) which I’ll glue as soon as I get it. At leisure, I’ll then repair the punctured one, the worse outcome being a useless tyre, the best being a perfectly good spare but either way it’ll all add to the learning experience.

  20. @The Oracle
    Chapeau. It took me a while to work out what you were talking about there! You would have thought I’d have a gold card with access to the lounges by now but I live in about the flattest bit of the country and any worthwhile tracks are at least 3 hours away which really means making a weekend of it. I haven’t been on it for over a year so I’m considering popping it on ebay and turning it into an aero carbone wheelset or some other form of shiny upgrade that’s beyond my capabilities.

  21. @Chris
    Yeah, similar thoughts have been creeping into my head about my CC rig, as well. I only get to ride it a few times each summer, but I don’t think I’m ready to part with it quite yet.

  22. Whooo hooo! Finally got the riding with no hands thing cracked on the rollers! Thought you should all know.

    Next, removing and neatly folding a gillet. Or maybe I’ll go for the classiest move of them all, the Petachi. Remove of shoe covers and hand to trusted domestique.

  23. @Chris

    Whooo hooo! Finally got the riding with no hands thing cracked on the rollers! Thought you should all know.

    Next, removing and neatly folding a gillet. Or maybe I’ll go for the classiest move of them all, the Petachi. Remove of shoe covers and hand to trusted domestique.

    Well done!

    I have not used my rollers for a few months now.  Wonder if I can even stay upright on them anymore.  I’m sure that sometime this month I will be back on them with the extreme heat and my work schedule driving me inside at least once or twice.

  24. @snoov Neatly folded not rolled.

    @mcsqueak My wife travels a lot with work and with three velonippers it’s the rollers or nothing for mid week riding when ever she’s away. I suppose I could put them in the garden but November seems to have come to the UK early.

  25. @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.

  26. @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):

  27. @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.

  28. @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.

  29. @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.

  30. @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.

  31. @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?

  32. @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.

  33. @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.

  34. @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?

  35. 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.

  36. @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.

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