Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beating the winter blahs

Think about distraction!!

The folks at Global Ride hooked me up with a copy of their Giro D'Italia inspired cycling DVD. This one has portions used in the 2009 Giro D'Italia's epic TT. My initial thought was to set-up my Computrainer and run it in its general exercise mode and change resistance as the video gorgeously captured climbing up the 30 minute Pignone to Paradise climb.

But as time wouldnt allow me to set-up the software in my Mac's Windows OS partition I used my trusty and leg busting Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. The DVD warm-up is a collection of pictures of architecture and sights in Italy. I watched a bit then skipped chapters to the Passo del Giro which I used for warm-up.

The Passo del Giro was the portion used in the 2009 St.12 TT. The camera work is very steady and uses a nice combination of head-on (first person) shots at realistic road speeds, side glances of the beautiful countryside as well as shots of the actor/riders. What I liked was how well the slope of the roads was represented and how shots to the side and behind let you know the grade so you could simulate it in your efforts. Though I personally think they should hire a skinny dude from Cleveland Heights to do the climbing videos!!  I'd work for Gu and Cliff bars!! And yeah, I'm just kidding.

For those who may be newer to cycling or riding a trainer I let my rpm drop a bit as the roads got steeper and hit the big chain ring and went up the cassette (21>19>17, etc). Its not truly realistic as increasing the load of a trainer, but a KK trainer is fluid and not variable. But it feels like real climbing to me.

Had I been on the Computrainer I could change resistance and actually go down the cassette (19>21>23, etc) in the small chainring.  But in the end it doesnt matter. What matters is that I was totally distracted from the blahs of the basement and was engaged on the roads and riders. When the passed I accelerated and when the videographer passed the riders in the video I also attacked.

Another nice touch to get you in the "race" mode was the pre-ride course profile. All I needed was Phil Ligget laying out the days sufferage. There were also choices of coaching or no coaching, music or no music. I chose the music and no coaching the first go round. For me the music was awesome on the PIgnone to Paradise climb. An upbeat electronic mix that kept you pushing on the pedals all the way to the top.

The last riding portion included a steep switchback climb also in Italy of course. I cooled down for that, but it would be an awesome 10 minute interval if you included it in your ride. The music was a mix of original modern rock tracks for this chapter.

Like Ebert I give it a thumbs up simply due to its ability to distract you and immerse you in the riding and getting your mind off of the fact that your in your basement. A very clear picture and steady camera work, choices in play (sound, no sound, etc.) and a 30 minute free yoga workout at the end are the icing on the cake.

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