Grit and Get On That Trainer

Ride Inside On My Trainer? Dear God Help Me. Ai yi yi. The snow has dumped on Seattle and that means no outdoor training. ICK. This is my 3rd day going down to the basement and getting on my trusty fluid trainer. The first day was fine, just a 60 minute ride, pop on the headphones and listen to some BIKE TRAINING mix I’d made and before I knew it? Training done.

Day 2? Supposed to be a team ride. That means 2.5 hours minimum. On a trainer? You must be joking. But I’m trying to be consistent this year, so I dug out a Carmichael Trainright DVD on racing and off we go - me and all those indoor Carmichael “we really train with these” team riders in blue.

I decided to warm up before I turned it on, why? Stupid idea, because the “training coach” has you do a brisk warm up right there AND his kind of a warm-up generally wears me out so much that I start worrying about how I will continue to breathe when we get to the “racing” part. When I can get my mind to shut up and just ride the race, I have to admit, it is a great workout. Well, I couldn’t get my mind to shut up on this day, so I made it about 45 minutes into the DVD this time before I gave up chasing down the breakaways on the hills. Then I continued with my own endurance pace. Good idea since this was supposedly a “rest” week.

Day 3. Another team ride day although this is optional. Still snowing, so now what? I dug out a 2000 TDF video with Lance winning. I chose the DVD with stages 14-16. I was hoping and pleasantly surprised to find these were a couple of stages with big hills. Amazingly enough, this was the best workout on a trainer I have had. Just watching Lance pedal in that high cadence made me pedal faster, watching Jan Ulrich try to climb over Lance made me dig deeper. When the breakaway’s stood, I stood, when people chased, I chased. Much more fun than the DVD hosted by that drill sergeant counting me down to the next steady state pace.

Tomorrow will be yet another day indoors, I’ll follow my training regimen and plow on through it. While you can try any of the things I did and then some, you can also send out an email inviting other people to ride with you in your basement. Misery loves company and company helps on that trainer. Spin classes are great too, but there you can’t really run your own drills and program, something I try to do during this time of year.

Whatever you do, I hope you find ways to be creative with your training without getting bored out of your mind. What do you do to keep your training program interesting? Write and let us know, we can all stand a little help while we are stuck inside.


Well, “interesting” is relative, but it was about 0 degrees F in Bozeman this morning, with between 5 and 8 inches of fresh snow.  I did about 15 miles on my bestudded fixie, outside where my bike likes it best. I was interested enough that I’d'a kept riding, but I had to get to work.

I’d like to thank you for a refreshing opinion, on behalf of everyone in the interior northern states who are completely unimpressed by winter weather elsewhere in the country.  It seems like snow was a perfect vector for an epidemic of Californian self-importantitis in the Pacific Northwest.

See here how [I survive the ride]( inside. Also note here, whining aside, we’ve got a wet climate so we’re talking ice—not dry, fluffy snow or even snow pack. I usually do not ride below 32, studs or not. That’s not the cold, it’s the potential for ice.

Singletrackmind - I want that fixie studded anything! 

Champs, YES, you are so right, it is hard to hear all this whining from the West.  Wet whining wimp I am.

Send me a photo of that fixie to post!

Champs, you are so right!  No question it is a whining West Coast wimpy commentation.

I don’t mind cold, I don’t mind wet. That said, the prospect of hitting ice, falling, and snapping my collarbone has kept me from riding. Yes, the storm in Seattle is nothing compared to what other parts of the country deal with every year. However, there is one BIG difference: people in other states have enough brains to invest in snow plows! Seattle is too stupid to do this and as a result there are only 27 plows in all of Seattle (Portland has 55 by comparison!) This is a great town but the snowtards here really need to learn deal with the white stuff!

As for me, I’m riding the trainer while watching Paris-Roubaix and Belgian cyclocross videos. Seems appropriate for the weather! Next year I’m thinking a Surly Pugsley might be in order.


That’s correct and while not wanting to sound like a pussy compared to those that are out there riding . . . I also don’t want to ride down my steep hill and onto an ice path. The studded tires will help, but also team rides are absolutely out for me until the roads clear.

A pic of my, well, one of my commuters is here
fixed, studs, fenders, all that jazz.

CXmech and DL - Ice is the best surface there is to ride with studs. You’re much much safer than cornering on dry pavement where you might encounter gravel in a corner or at an intersection. My dad and I do rides on the frozen lake behind my parents’ house every Christmas. Oh, and by the way, Montana doesn’t salt roads. And plowing in Bozeman? Mainstreet maybe, but only after a couple feet of snow. For the most part you look for the track that’s packed the most and hold a line. There’s pretty much solid packed snow and sheets of ice from December to March. But good studs (I like the Schwalbe Marathon Winter) hook up on all of it, much better than car tires do. Frankly it’s a lot of fun.

Don’t get me wrong, rollers have their place, if for no other reason than they teach you a smooth cadence. Of course, I like a fixie for that too. My only point is that riding inside sucks and riding outside, especially in the winter, is very exciting.

SingleTrackMind - I can only imagine how exciting it would be on that ride.  Looks like a total blast!  Happy holiday riding, looks like the rain has arrived back in Seattle and we will have nothing more to complain about!

I never spend more than an hour on a trainer and really don’t see the point of longer; especially in our climate. I do know cyclists that’ll watch and entire Tour DVD on the trainer. When my butt numbs, I stop.

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