I’m turbo powered!

Have you looked outside lately? The country appears to be mainly underwater although there is a jolly jest doing the rounds that the hosepipe ban is still in force. Although exactly what purpose artificial rain could perform is somewhat beyond me since everything outside is sodden and gloopy. And if you happen to be lucky enough to have a roof like ours, quite a lot of inside as well.

So all new for 2007, indoor riding is where it’s at. What other riding experience delivers a warm, dry and windless environment? Well summer of course but that’s almost years away and how would you feel careering downhill at 25mph+ while watching a DVD or reading a book? Broken and stupid, that’s how you’d feel.

That’s why I’ve borrowed a friend’s turbo trainer and by cunningly sequencing MTB DVD’s on the PC, a new riding style has been born. One could reasonably argue that spending an hour riding while traveling precisely nowhere is rather pointless but then I say again- have you looked outside?”

It’s all a bit more structured than passing a couple of grunting and wheezing hours before the pubs open. Dusting off the heart rate monitor and actually researching how one is actually meant to utilise such a heathen device was an eye opening experience. My previous regime of just riding as hard as possible until either you bested your opponent or you’ve died trying was conspicuously missing from the fitness book of words. Except for the bit that says if you do this, you will get sick although we barely need to mention this as nobody is that stupid“.


There’s a plethora of conflicting information awaiting the unwary internet browser much of it I’ll file under the heading obsessed body Nazi’s�?. However, it’s become clear that pedalling like a cocaine fuelled hamster until your heart attempts to rip itself out of your chest and black spots descend before your eyes may not be the elixir to long life and happiness.

So shuffle for rock music, stuff in the earphones and hit play on the DVD player before gentle pedalling prepares your heart for some three figure action. As your ramp up the revolutions, sweat rapidly exits every pore and rapidly creates an inland lake where the floor used to be. An hour is all you need and that’s sixty dull minutes you’ll never get back but it’s obviously been of use since you stagger off the bike having lost the use of your legs. The following hour or so could easily fill a wild west film sequence where the director is keen to show how an aged cowboy may walk after a few days in the saddle.

But let’s be clear, it’s not training. The great thing about the bike being clamped into the turbo means I can’t go and ride it on the road. And although my personal targets involve reclaiming “ by bloody minded force if necessary “ my 38 year old lung capacity and possibly shedding a little of the mid life, mid body excess, this does in no way constitute some kind of structured plan. Because sad old roadies do that and I’m only two of those things.

And the final benefit? You get to where all that old cross country Lycra without anyone outside chortling as your gut crests the waistband. I know it’s wrong but it feels so right 🙂

7 thoughts on “I’m turbo powered!

  1. Jay

    “actually researching how one is actually meant to utilise such a heathen device”

    so your research entailed asking me what to do? or did you actually read something?


  2. Alex

    I have enough trouble with two wheels. The great thing about the Turbo is it is almost impossible to fall off. Like adult special needs stabilisers 😉

  3. You get to where all that old cross country Lycra

    Have you not reached the point where you need to peel off your top and cycle in only your shorts? Gut hanging over the ever lowering waistband, using your top to ineffectually wipe yourself dry after each set, merely smearing the sweat across your man boobs instead of soaking it up.

    In the end to keep cool I resorted to setting the turbo up in the shed, with the door propped open to the elements and frost.

    Another body Nazi link for you…


    Not sure about it’s effect on asthma, intervals made no difference to my peak flow (400).

  4. Alex

    Your peak flow is 400? Wow I thought I was being unfairly treated in the lung department. I think my problem was getting on the commuting bike riding as hard as I could for 20 mins, stopping, doing no warm up and warm down and then doing the same thing again.

    Well that’s my excuse for my current lazy pedalling to work. It takes me about 2 minutes longer. I just can’t get used to not racing.

    I didn’t understand any of that link at all. But I can totally identify with the first part of your post 😉

  5. The link shows how you can use short, harder make-you-vomit intervals, to the same effect as longer, more boring, intervals. Means less overall time on the rack turbo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *