Surviving the ride inside


by Byron on Jan 24, 2007 at 5:30 PM

Cyclists come up with all sorts of ways to suffer through training, especially indoors. This year in rain-soaked Seattle, I’ve set an all-time personal record for riding inside, and have timed my workouts to repeats of Law and Order. Starting at the doink doink, I’ll get the Cosmos going, usually have a rest cycle during the commercials, and ride on through until the heinous crime is solved.

Nick at 53x11 composes music for his rides, some cyclists watch entire stages of Le Tour, the best of police chases, or a movie. My wife Pam finds the most gossipy skinny-model trash TV programs and noted that if MTV actually played music videos. she’d watch those.

How do you get through the trainer grind?

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Simple, I just don’t.  I’ve managed to spend all of about 30 minutes on a trainer at one point and that was it.  Wool pants & socks, fenders with massive mudflaps, and the promise of some delicious port or a crackling bonfire get me out on my bike in the most ridiculous weather.

Of course, it’s so much easier when the weather is like it was today.

Does the doink doink at least go through your head once or twice or when a light turns green. Green> “doink doink” > go

Any of the training videos, Spinervals, CTS Trainright, etc. does it for me.  I like the drills that they put you through, cheesy music, and something about the riders suffering along with me, it all breaks the time up and makes it better to deal somehow. is the only way. I’ve been listening to books since before I started using the trainer so it has been important from the get-go and I don’t think I could do it without. It gives me something to focus on other than pedaling and by the last third of a session there is no way I could look at a TV- I am hunched over in agony able only to stare at the computer to make sure I am at least maintaining cadence. But at least the reader is still there soothing my tortured soul with a delightful story, thank goodness.

I usually go for the movie.  The movie keeps me compelled to sit and watch until the end, and I can usually stay motivated enough to keep the legs moving.

For structured workouts, I usually just watch mindless TV or sports since the audio isn’t all that important anyway.

Also - a good fan, a towel, and remote controls helps.

i tried riding thru Gladiator but didn’t make it

The HBO “Band of Brothers” series is the best way for me to get through indoor training sessions. They’re an hour long and full of sweet (and highly accurate) WWII battle scenes. Plus it’s a cool story about real American war heros. The best indoor training stuff I’ve come across. Add the 2004 TdF and you have 16+ hours of indoor suffering.

I’ve given dvd versions of my helmet cam cx videos to friends.  They are popular for indoor training.

Word of warning: If you are using rollers don’t watch any riding/driving videos that will get you unknowingly leaning into the curves.  You will find yourself riding right off of the rollers!  Not that it hasn’t happened to me…  once… or twice…


I agree with Ian (though my “training” is more my “workout”). I do the podcast of my favorite shows: This American Life, Science Friday, Bookworm. But I do admit, I really ramp up the speed when I start listening to music instead.