What started out as a promising January did not continue. It got cold, snowed, stayed cold snowed some more with a very brief warm-up then more storms, cold weather and potholes. There was one pothole in Boston that was so big that when the driver hit it the airbags in his car were triggered.
So February was a tough month to keep my base up. I went to the gym, took and I am enrolled in a body toning class. It’s still no substitute for good road riding. Since I could not get out on the road, I found the next best thing. I went to a Cyclops computer training clinic and road 11 miles. This is not an ordinary resistance trainer. A bicycle is hooked up to the trainer with a heavier skewer for the rear wheel. The trainer is fluid filled and hooked up to a computer. Information is logged into the computer such as your height weight and if you have a heart rate monitor. You pedal for about two minutes to calibrate everything and then a course is selected.
I had two courses selected for me. The first course was climbing up Mount Wachusett. It is about a 4 mile climb and I actually did this ride this past summer. The ride on the Cyclops trainer was just as tough. The view on the computer screen matched my speed and when the grade steepened on the climb the resistance matched it. If I didn’t know better, I would swear I was out on Mt Wachusett. It was that real. The next ride was 15 mile relatively flat ride somewhere in Iceland. I could certainly distinguish the ups, downs and flat areas. Overall I got in 11 miles.
So, I think for next year I might sign up for some of these training sessions. One local bike shop has 20 session pass for about $175. They also have options for storing your bike over the winter. This would be a great option if you have a spare bike, that way you don’t have to schlep your bike back and forth to the training session in crappy weather. So if you are looking to add some variety to your training during the winter, I recommend that you look in to this.