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  1. #1
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    Do You Count Trainer Miles?

    After giving up on running in the cold (single digits to below zero by 20 degrees for several weeks), I broke down and got a bike trainer - Cycleops2 fluid trainer. I am in the 'frozen tundra', and my cutoff is about 45F.

    After being on the trainer for several weeks, I am wondering how many people call 'trainer miles' into their annual mileage total. That would definitely help my annuals, but don't know if this is the 'ethical' thing to do. After all, the fluid trainer is supposed to be very close to the feel of the road for energy expenditure. Or do you only count the 'road or off-road miles' and not trainer miles.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    No. I think trainers provide great excercise (maybe more than riding) and help develop strength and skills for cycling, but I think it is silly to count the distance your wheel moves while attached to a trainer as mileage. If you must keep track of everything, count the time you spend on the trainer. If you just cannot stop yourself from pretending you are riding miles on your trainer, at least list them as an aside, not as part of your total mileage.
    But that is just my opinion. I know that many others think differently.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  3. #3
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    I gave up riding in the great out of doors when temps reached the mid to upper 40's. Also the switch to Standard Time eliminated my after-work rides.

    I have access to an exercise room with a Diamondback 1100R recumbent stationary with all sorts of controls and data output for resistance, calories, time etc. I've been recording those miles in my log, but I'm not sure, either, whether to include those miles with my great-out-of-doors miles or not. Even with a reasonable resistance dialed in, it's like riding with no wind at optimum temperature on perfectly level, perfectly smooth roads. I'm inclined to believe that these miles aren't equivalent to actual bike miles, but I also believe that they should count in some manner toward the annual total. I suspect that some factor, such as 0.7 to 0.9 should be applied, but I'm not sure how to arrive at an accurate factor. However, I can tell that the indoor spinning is keeping my legs in shape and my weight in check and keeping me somewhat sane until Spring arrives.

    By the way, I was up in Madison, Wisconsin (a/k/a the "frozen north") last week on business. The word "cold" falls short and fails miserably at describing the conditions I experienced (I'm southern boy; live in central Louisiana and work in northwest Arkansas). Google "A Southerner Moves Up North". I did visit the Budget Bicycle Center in Madison, the used shop and the new shop. I was amazed, especially at the number of used bikes available, about 2,100.

    So let's see how others weigh in on trainer miles.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Keep track of trainer miles and actual road miles. This would be helpful data for you. Count anything you want, but keep them separate.

  5. #5
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I count them. I track mileage and time on the bike for the purpose of measuring where I'm at in conditioning, so that time counts. I classify them, like any ride, according to the goal, e.g. base, LT intervals, etc. That being the case, trainer rides never get classified as recreational, i.e. riding just for fun.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    If you are in the situation where you cannot ride for 4 months of the year due to weather- you should count your trainer miles-providing you are working at them and not just turning the wheels round.

    Trainers may not give as much enjoyment as Road miles but if that is all you can do for extended periods of the year-count them
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  7. #7
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    This thread might also prove helpful:

    Do "Trainer Miles" count?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  8. #8
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    I count them. Of course I'm doing the majority on a Computrainer with realistic power & weight parameters loaded, as well as 'real' courses loaded in the system. I challenge anyone here to prove these miles aren't as hard or harder than any ride outside...

    I too live in an area that prohibits outside riding for 3-4 months.

  9. #9
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Why not count trainer miles. The rider does the work doesn't he (she).
    Do you divide road miles by 2 or 3 because they are easier than off road miles.
    do you double miles up hills.
    There is no real way to compare miles between different riders so count them if you wish or not.

  10. #10
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Count 'em. There are no rules. Make up your own. Count 'em.
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  11. #11
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    I don't count trainer miles or miles at the gym. If it ain't road, it ain't real.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
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  12. #12
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    Here is a thought. Have one bike with a rear wheel computer pickup so it will log mileage on the trainer. So how is it if you ride for an hour on the trainer at high rpm, say 90, your mileage stinks. Like 12-15 miles. And on a moderate hilly road ride you can do almost 20 miles in an hour? Just a thought, any ideas?

    Count trainer time as a way to know if I am keeping on track toward my fittness goals.

  13. #13
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    On my trainer (rollers with a headwind unit), I sweat buckets, my heart rate is high, my legs hurt (during and after), I lose weight, and the miles seem much more difficult because of the boredom factor.

    Road miles are easy in comparision.

  14. #14
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    Sure , I count them -- but strangely, they're always zero. Might be because my computer only reads from the front wheel.

  15. #15
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    I do not consider "trainer" miles as something to be counted with riding miles. Part of what makes it riding is the happenstance of what you find out on the road or trail. Cold, windy, wet, or perfect, the changes brought about by different road surfaces as you ride etc. All of these make an actual riding experience much more meaningful to me.
    Trainers provide great exercise, but don't come near to an experience like riding.
    Last week on NPR there was an interview with a person whose family had purchased the new Nintendo Wii. She was lamenting the false reality it was creating for her children. They were using a tennis program and playing sets of tennis. She said they truly worked up a sweat and got a pretty good workout. When she wanted them to quit they complained that they wanted ,"just one more set". At this point she asked them whether they thought that by playing tennis with the wii, they could actually play tennis? They replied that, yes it was the equivalent of playing tennis. Her point of course was that they had mastered serve and volley on an electronic game, but put them onto a true tennis court with a racquet and she doubted they would be able to get a serve inbounds.
    Sort of my take on the trainer versus really riding.

  16. #16
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    I do not consider "trainer" miles as something to be counted with riding miles. Part of what makes it riding is the happenstance of what you find out on the road or trail. Cold, windy, wet, or perfect, the changes brought about by different road surfaces as you ride etc. All of these make an actual riding experience much more meaningful to me.
    Trainers provide great exercise, but don't come near to an experience like riding.
    Last week on NPR there was an interview with a person whose family had purchased the new Nintendo Wii. She was lamenting the false reality it was creating for her children. They were using a tennis program and playing sets of tennis. She said they truly worked up a sweat and got a pretty good workout. When she wanted them to quit they complained that they wanted ,"just one more set". At this point she asked them whether they thought that by playing tennis with the wii, they could actually play tennis? They replied that, yes it was the equivalent of playing tennis. Her point of course was that they had mastered serve and volley on an electronic game, but put them onto a true tennis court with a racquet and she doubted they would be able to get a serve inbounds.
    Sort of my take on the trainer versus really riding.
    I see your point, but I don't think the wii analogy fits. When I'm riding the computrainer at the LBS Fitness center, I'm on my bike, using my shoes, kit, gloves and water bottles. I have fans blowing wind in my face, our 'course' is displayed on a large screen in front of us, and I'm surrounded by other riders. The computrainer knows my power output and adjusts the load based on incline %, headwind and even drafting. There is an element of competition present because of the displayed mph, distance, cadence and power. We do drills for High/Low cadence, pedaling efficiency, power and sprints. Doing these classes actually improves my fitness, power and real cycling efficiency. When we start up the group rides in early April, I will hit the ground running, far surpassing my normal abilities. The only thing missing is long rides, because even with the artificial environment of the CT, it still sucks riding indoors for more than 2 hours.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetweenRides
    I see your point, but I don't think the wii analogy fits. When I'm riding the computrainer at the LBS Fitness center, I'm on my bike, using my shoes, kit, gloves and water bottles. I have fans blowing wind in my face, our 'course' is displayed on a large screen in front of us, and I'm surrounded by other riders. The computrainer knows my power output and adjusts the load based on incline %, headwind and even drafting. There is an element of competition present because of the displayed mph, distance, cadence and power. We do drills for High/Low cadence, pedaling efficiency, power and sprints. Doing these classes actually improves my fitness, power and real cycling efficiency. When we start up the group rides in early April, I will hit the ground running, far surpassing my normal abilities. The only thing missing is long rides, because even with the artificial environment of the CT, it still sucks riding indoors for more than 2 hours.
    I am not familiar with this computrainer system at an LBS fitness center. It sounds about as perfect as can be and I'd love to try it. I have no doubt that these classes do improve your fitness, power and real cycling efficiency. I don't say in my piece that you, or anyone else cannot count these exercise sessions as "miles". I only state that I do not consider them as miles. I don't consider the computer golf simulators with full course scenarios using your own clubs etc. as being the equivalent of truly playing the course at Pebble Beach either.
    Last edited by p8rider; 02-19-07 at 02:15 PM.

  18. #18
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Hey, we're over fifty, right? We've reached the age where we can do what we want! It's a win-win. Some count the miles, some don't, and it's all good!

    That said, I'm surprised no one brought up the analogy of cybersex. Using that analogy, I'd have to side with p8rider here. Of course, that's just based on what I've heard. I'm not speaking from experience.
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  19. #19
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I agree with all the arguements about what a worthwile, strenuous and beneficial activity trainer riding is. But that still does not mean that it is miles on a bicycle. If I climbed Mt. Everest or swam the English Channel it would be a great physical and mental feat. But in the course of doing it, I would have logged exactly zero miles on a bicycle, same as when I ride my trainer.
    But then, the only meaningful measurement to me is not miles or speed or time, but holes in my belt.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  20. #20
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    I keep track of trainer miles but don't add them to my road miles. I agree that trainer miles can be tougher than outdoor miles, but c'mon, it's not really bicycle riding, is it?
    Dennis T

  21. #21
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    I track road, trail and trainer miles separately. Of course my miles on the trainer are usually low as I can't do more than an hour before I'm bored to tears. I really prefer running on the treadmill over the trainer in cold weather.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Relative to what my A** sits on I go the same distance so I counts 'em
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  23. #23
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Count 'em. There are no rules. Make up your own. Count 'em.
    Heck, DG, I don't even count my road miles. What does that make me?
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  24. #24
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    What's the linear distance you've travelled on a trainer? Zip.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    Heck, DG, I don't even count my road miles. What does that make me?
    +1-seems like some of you people are selling the bike trainer short, very possible to raise your fitness level over the winter months by "getting after it".

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