So last year I got a mountain bike to hit the trails with my husband. Its been a rough go as the trails tend to hit back. My first time on the bike I slid on gravel and went over the handlebars and down a ravine. Over the summer I had issues with my saddle being comfy enough to ride. It turns out that I needed a wider seat because my sit bones are farther apart. I’ve spent most of this past year just getting use to riding. The geometry of my mountain bike is very different then the crusher I rode on the green ways in Tucson.
Since its getting colder and I’m a temp wimp I’ve decided to kick up training on an indoor trainer. Pros use these all the time and truth be told its harder then riding your bike outdoors. Sure I don’t have weather, people or animals to deal with while on the trainer. (Ladybug just stares at me with a weird face then goes to sleep) But I also don’t have hills to go downhill and catch a breeze. I used my trainer a few times when it was hot in the summer but it was loud and just felt odd.
This time around I’m doing things different.. I’m using Zwift to keep me entertained while I get some time on the bike. Zwift is a digital online biking world. For only $10 a month I can cycle with people literally around the world. Its almost like an interactive video games. As I continue to ride I can gain points to upgrade my jersey and bike for my avatar. There is a made up world called Wattopia that has everything from mountains to flat areas, I can even bike in an tunnel under water. You can bike in real life locations like London, complete with rain!
The hardest thing to get use to is the digital world compared to real life. I know I’m going to be slow going up a hill but on a trainer I’m still peddling at the same speed but my avatar is crawling up a hill. It took me a while to realize what was happening. The fact that I have to still pedal going downhill is weird too. Since gravity isnt there to pull me down I have to pedal continuesly. Something I’m not use to when I ride outside. In real life I can stop to cool of or get of the saddle while going down hill. On a trainer you pedal 100% of the time and that can take a lot out of you.
I’m still getting use to how Zwift works. I know there are group rides and specific workouts but for now I’m having fun just riding through. A few things I have learned so far is to have a table near by to hold your laptop or phone so you can use it as a game controller. You can changes views and other things from the keyboard. Also if you tend to get hot quickly invest in a fan. Since your not outside catching a breeze you can get hot quickly cycling indoors. I’ve had issues with my computer connecting to my trainer. I think this is mostly because I’m stretching the wifi limits with my bike in the dining area and tv in the living room.
There are a ton of helpful videos you can watch on YouTube to learn more. As I continue to ride and learn I’ll post more about my riding adventures. Overall it is very east get set up, especially if you already have a bike.. I won’t lie the trainers can get pricy. Early winter they usually have them on sale before most people start riding them. What we did is go on craigslist and find some used ones in good condition. I’m excited to see how training helps me in real life building up my endurance. Happy Peddling!