|Photo by CJ Katz|
But I got onto the bike - indoors. The hour-long experience reminded me how a fluid trainer forces you to be honest. On the road, unless you are doing the macho cyclist socks-match-the-shorts-thing, you can always coast. Or you can soft pedal and still propel yourself towards your destination. You can "cheat".
Indoors, you are racing no one but the clock. If you cheat, you are just wasting your time - and even worse, you are in a basement or living room or kitchen and getting sweaty and being pathetic for nothing. You have to be honest and do the work...otherwise, why bother? Unless you must soft pedal for recovery, because of an injury or other viable reason, there are far better exercises and activities in which to engage rather than wasting time on a trainer.
I administer an indoor bike class for my triathlon club. By administer, I mean run, operate, lead, set up, collect, clean up and wake up for, every dark, freezing, godless, Saturday morning. I still shake my head about why I do this. I know why I do. I enjoy the experience and the energy I get back from the other riders. I'll go with that. This year, I decided that I would lead a lot more of the sessions, rather than rely on videos, such as Spinervals. Why? I wanted to challenge my introverted self into stepping (or spinning) a little further out of my comfort zone and share with the participants some of the routines that I have picked up in my brief life as an endurance athlete.
So I spent a lot of time thinking and writing down a number of training sessions that would first not scare off the participants, and that would gradually challenge them and help them feel like they were not "cheating", or wasting their time at that crack of stupid early morning.
I spent an equal amount of time putting music together. Trying to find music that would work with the training, but that would be interesting enough to keep the participants motivated. My musical tastes are quite expansive, and include most musical styles - except the that big haired abomination that, sadly still flourishes and shows up on "Greatest Hits format" radio stations and local concert halls catering to geriatric, and financially destitute axe wielders...but I digress.
I felt a little like a David Bowie character - I am what I play. I put music together that I hope will surpise, inspire and keep every spinning. Last time I tried this, I was told, by someone in the know, that my music sounded like it came from a Greek discotheque. I took that as a compliment.
So I got on the bike and the trainer this week. On Saturday at 7 am, I unveil my workout to the paying participants who hopefully like it enough to want to come back. In cycling, they call the TT, or time trial the race of truth. For me this will be the race of honesty during which some key questions will be answered. Is this challenging enough? Is it interesting? Can I keep up and lead the class? Will I pass out?
Whatever happens, I'm locked into this until the first thaw in May. Honestly? I think I'm looking forward to this.