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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    A trainer or ride in dark/winter conditions.

    I think we Californians are a spoiled lot. We expect to ride in ideal conditions. Sunny, warm, not hot. In Winter we might get maybe 30 days of drizzly, cool weather. Hate to reduce my ride time because we can not have summer all year.
    Would you rather ride out in cool, damp dark conditions or ride on a trainer? How do you feel when on your trainer? Is it like the real thing? I am thinking of getting one for winter. A trainer or a waterproof jacket? Which is better.?

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member UncaStuart's Avatar
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    Go for the waterproof jacket. Like a tin roof, the jacket (especially if it has a hood) reverberates with the sound of rain drop strikes, and makes you feel in tune with the cycle of seasons. The air is clean and tart. Especially since it is California and the rain will seldom be cold, go outside (I know, I know, members from MN, NE, Scotland, and the like will snort to hear the words California and winter in the same post). I have usually commuted (50-mi RT) a couple of days per week throughout the winter up here on the San Francisco Peninsula, and rarely have I needed a jacket at all--just a wool long-sleeved jersey and Gortex socks get me through any rain. In Fallbrook you may need even less. I love riding in the rain, which happens so rarely around here, so I urge you to find a way to get out in it!

  3. #3
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    I bought a trainer off a friend when he upgraded.

    I never use it because I use my bike so much, its a hassle to keep putting it in and out of the trainer.

    When I get a second bike I'll probably use the trainer more.

    I do find the trainer incredibly boring and because there's no wind I sweat buckets.

    I'd rather be out in the cold and wet.

    Stew
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  4. #4
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    I think I'd agree with Stew on this one,

    I'd go crazy staring at the wall in the garage!! The only benefits of a trainer that I can think of is that it keeps you training in the really nasty foggy and freezing cold weather...

    Oh, that's quite regular in the UK.....hmmm, maybe I should get myself one actually...D'oh!!!!

    R i c h
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  5. #5
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    In the UK, we have a special technology for living in cooler conditions. Its called "clothes". I belive they are also available in the USA. Try using them in the cool California winter, and you will be able to cycle outside with no problems.

  6. #6
    It's the fight in the man Rich's Avatar
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    lol at Michael!!!
    Making New Zealand a safer place :)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    I would advise to get both a jacket and a trainer.

    I bought a Blackburn Defender a couple years back and would ride it a couple of times a week for an hour each time using the training workouts included with the unit. I'm telling you, the workouts are not simple. I found that I was pushed to levels in the one hour, that I had never experienced before on the road. You are so busy counting cadence, shifting gears and watching the clock (you are in certain gears for certain amouts of time) that an hour will fly by.

    The workouts stress cadence and gearing. I found it beneficial to use a heart monitor and was surprised to find my rate reaching max on select workouts.

    I set up a fan in front of me for cooling, lay a towel on the carpet for the water works and crank the stereo.

    The result was road rides at greater speeds and farther distances and snowboarding that first winter was greatly enhanced.

    It is not as boring as it looks.

  8. #8
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    Very interesting Greg

    Do you have a web source for training sessions, or could you post yours to the forum?


    And you still haven't told me about those squirrels on your cheeks.

    Stew
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  9. #9
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    I found a workout here:
    http://www.triathletes-uk.org/info/turbo.html

    Stew
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    My 12.5 hour shifts, by the time I get home, along with the 40 minute commute, it is dark. that is my incentive for a trainer. The information provided by Greg and Stewart helps to convince me it might be what I need. Besides, TV news needs a form of stress release.
    What models are recommended. ? What makes for a good trainer. ? Actually, the solution I favor, is if we could have some kind of international job swapping program and spend the North American winter in New Zealand.! Any truth to report I heard, bikes on trainers results in increased flat tires?
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 09-28-01 at 10:07 AM.

  11. #11
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    I've only tried the one so, I'm no expert but . . .

    Mine is a wind resistance type and it gets REAL noisy. so if noise is an issue - neighbours or sleeping babies etc, then maybe a fluid or magnetic resistance would be better. but then you gotta dig deep in your pockets

    Stew
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  12. #12
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    by the time I get home, along with the 40 minute commute, it is dark.
    That's why NiteRider makes headlights.

    I use my headlights for the first 8 miles of my morning commute and the last 6 miles of my evening commute. As the season progresses I'll need them for the entire morning and evening commute.

    I don't drag out my trainer (I have a Cateye CS1000) until it gets too cold to ride, usually about mid-November to early December. I don't ride when the temperature is colder than 40-45 degrees. My commute is over an hour each way. That's a long time to spend in the cold.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---
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    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  13. #13
    Senior Member HuffyMan's Avatar
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    I'll put in a vote for the trainer. Sometimes you just don't want to go outside. Yes, it can be quite dull but I usually put on a movie or watch OLN coverage of races. I would recommend rollers Minoura, Kreitler, Performance etc. The Minoura rollers have been serving me well for a while. I do get out in the colder weather (my version of cold is around freezing or slightly below) but sometimes I don't want to put on all the crap just to get a workout, thus....rollers.
    The rollers require some attention for maintaining your balance and help to keep a straight line when you do go on the road and they require constant pedaling which has obvious benefits as well.

  14. #14
    Member SteveF's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cyclezealot
    My 12.5 hour shifts, by the time I get home, along with the 40 minute commute, it is dark. that is my incentive for a trainer.
    I hear ya', but that's what lights are for. A good "bang for the buck" light is a CygoLite Night Rover, which can be had for well under $100. It would be difficult to find something that out-performs it for less than double what Performace Inc. wants for it.

    That plus some bright and/or flashing lights for the rear should take care of visibility.

    As for clothes, look for stuff that'll keep you warm even when it's wet. Microfleece is good for this; add a water-resistant wind shell and some Gore-Tex oversocks and the outfit is complete.

    This may not be an option, but some of us also have the ability to flex our schedules around so the we can leaver earlier on riding days and avoid being out in the dark.
    SteveF
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    Lugged Steel Rider

  15. #15
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    As much as I love to ride, I feel that the best off road fitness training is running. I run on a treadmill regularily, and I believe I get a more intense workout doing this than I would on a bike. In fact, if biking was as strenuous as running I wouldn't be a biker! PS Did a century yesterday and can't wait to do another.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Steve. Here in San Diego County, winters are not that bad. It is just the lack of light. Often I commute to work. 26 miles, one way. . PM shift actually works better in summer. But gettting out for a ride at 9pm and getting up to go to work at 4 am takes its toll on riding. (when on day shifts.)
    A one hour intense ride on a trainer in front of the tv news is better than nothing. Plus, I like to do a steep hill. Fast descents on lights causes me worry.? A ride without a good climb is no ride. Go up a hill- gotta come down to get home. Afraid I will miss that rock on a night Rider Light? What to do so accustomed to getting my 600 mile plus month in, on the bike. Cut it down to 300 in the winter and I am an unhappy camper.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    The workouts in the Blackburn book are much more detailed and cover as much as 20 gear changes in a one hour work out. Scanning and posting it is possible. Any copyright infringment Joe?

    The Defender is a five resistance level magnetic unit and it also creates a lot of noise when spinning 53x15 at 100 rpm. All the animals in the house leave me alone during workouts. I think I picked it up for about $175.00 at a LBS willing to match an online price which has brought me back to them tenfold.

    I have not experienced an increase in flats associated with using the trainer, but then I avoid all the broken glass in my livivng room.

    A trainer, like a jacket, creates options for you to get seat time and more time on the bike is always better than less.
    Last edited by Greg; 09-29-01 at 10:07 AM.

  18. #18
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    "The Blackburn Book" - can I get it from Amazon? What's the full title/author/ISBN?

    Stew
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  19. #19
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    If the store where you buy the trainer has a 30 day money back guarantee, it will probably take you a minimum of 31 days to determine whether or not you will keep using it.

    There are people who genuinely like using stationary training equipment. But there are others who find that it bores them after a couple of months or so. Trying to figure out which type you are before sinking money into a lengthy health-club contract or an expensive piece of home training equipment can be difficult. (It's not by accident that Bally's uses high-pressure sales tactics to sign people up for multi-year contracts on the first day of a trial-visit.)

    If you have a chance to borrow someone's trainer equipment, perhaps that might help you make a more informed decision.
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  20. #20
    Junior Member MollySol's Avatar
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    I got a trainer last winter, and while I found that it was useful to keep some fitness, it got to be a real drag by winter's end. There's just no substitute for being outside, even in the wet/cold/dark. On a related note, how about cross-training? Or even spin classes? My local rec center offers several different ones that I'm thinking of signing up for -at least it wouldn't be down in the basement with just me & the tv. Anyone have any experience with spin classes?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Stewart, Blackburn is a manufacurer of bicycling equipment. Their site: http://www.blackburndesign.com/01trainers.html

    The book that came with the trainer is more of a pamphlete and I don't think it can be purchased separately.

    The idea to borrow a unit for trial is a good idea.

  22. #22
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    My local bike shop convinced me to get a Minoura. The contact point is about the rim and not adjacent the tire. Reports indicate pressure on the tire wear them out quickly. Any truth to that.
    Don't think I would get bored with a trainer's boredom. Better than nothing. This way my music will be live instead of in my head. I will find it an alternative on days do not have time to get outdoors, which of course we all prefer.

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    For the first time tonight I used my new Minoura trainer. You get up a pretty good sweat. I spent like 30 minutes in probably 42 and 21 gears. On the road I never feel like i keep track of my cadence that well. On the trainer it is easier. With the trainer in the fifth most resistant gear, I counted about 120 rpm's. I thought that was pretty good? I feel I do not maintain that kind of cadence while on the road. Yet, I do not feel I had the kind of work out, compared to climbing a steep grade.
    So what do you all think? Is this a good work out or not. I know I should have used my heart rate monitor. This was just my initial trial run. Did not have time to get out today, so tonight I did something about it. Better than nothing.
    Watching bombs fall over Kabul, could being outside watching nature be any better?

  24. #24
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cyclezealot

    Watching bombs fall over Kabul, could being outside watching nature be any better?
    One word: MUCH.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
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  25. #25
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    Trainers are BORING, BORING , BORING.

    Same goes for spinning at your local gym.

    Get out and night ride ,
    it has its own special rewards. nothing quite like riding with a full harvest moon overhead , riding in that silvery glow
    Magic.

    Willi`c

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