That’s what it feels like. Riding indoors on the trainer is so very different to being outside. I don’t hate it, but I far from love it. I do it because it keeps me moving and enables me to start the spring outdoor season is relatively good shape. But it’s not like riding outdoors….at all!
But no grumbling allowed. You can still make riding indoors a fun and challenging experience, and I typically do that by trying to beat my previous best time each and every time I get on the bike. Hence it feels like a time trial every time!
I was hoping to commute to work well into December. I had read some report in the ever truthful internet that we could expect a mild start to winter, but that fell apart when the above arrived on December 01! As I have long maintained, I can ride in the cold, but I stop as soon as the snow and ice arrives. I don’t need to be arguing with cars and lorries when the roads are slippery as hell. So the VR2 comes indoors and spends the winter in my hone office.
What a view. Whenever the going gets tough on the trainer I look at these two and imagine the burn they were feeling. You can’t see it from the shot here, but when you inspect the gearing on the bikes it’s rather fun in that Bartali in front has the Vittoria derailleur system that includes the distinctive chain tensioner suspended from the front chain ring. Behind him, Coppi, who always liked to use the latest and greatest in technology, appears to be riding with a more conventional rear derailleur, which would certainly have been an early Campagnolo. History lesson over.
I’ve done three indoor rides so far, and each of them has been record setting. While that sounds terribly exciting, note that these are obviously not world records, simply me beating my previous best time. To me, however, that makes me World Champion. I’ve ridden the Imperia Sanremo (last 32 kms) and set a new personal best of 53:10. I followed that a couple of days later with the Monteceau-les-Mines where I shaved 30 seconds off my previous PB. I culminated this morning with a stellar showing on the 22 km TT in Salzburg when I eclipse my previous record by 1:40 to set an impressive average speed of 40.5 km/h!
I have plenty more courses to try and continue this impressive (if I say so myself) trend. I know and expect that I will slow down as the winter season progresses, largely due to the fact that I tend to ride a lot less than during the outdoor months, and I suppose as the novelty of being indoors wears off I lose a little motivation. But for now, I am seeing the improvements made this season translating into some great times and fast average speeds! I am certain that riding a fixed gear for over 4,000 km since March has helped in this improvement. You get used to swallowing the pain and grinding away, regardless of the weather (read wind) being thrown at you.
Tomorrow I am riding in the annual time trial hosted by one of our local bike shops. It’s the same route they select every year, 16.6 km over varied terrain, and I am keen to see an improvement over last year’s time. I shall be quite despondent if I don’t improve. Regardless of success or failure, I will share the results.