Saturday, February 27, 2010

"I can't wait to ride the trainer."

When was the last time you heard a cyclist say THAT?
As strange as it may seem, I have been saying that quite frequently since I picked up a Tacx VR trainer ( from The Colorado Cyclist.
This amazing piece of machinery will keep you entertained and working hard during your workout.
This is the setup I have: Tacx i-magic T-1900 with VR steering frame. I built the little stand that the mini-notebook sits on. I found an old Polar heartrate strap in a drawer and it works with this unit!

You will need a computer of some kind. I hooked it up to my desktop at first, but the trainer took up the whole computer room and made quite a racket downstairs in the room below. I don't have a laptop but I do have a mini-notebook which works really good if you can build a custom stand for it so it will be close to you while you ride. This also let me put the trainer in the basement workout room where it is cooler and quieter.

In your face. Just be careful not let the sweat fly onto the computer screen.

The software on this unit is fairly good....after you spend a lot of time learning how to install and use it. There are several courses in the virtual reality section and many pre-programmed riders to ride with. You can also log onto the internet and ride with people world-wide (for a fee). My favorite feature is riding against my virtual self. Every ride is saved and you are given the option to ride against your former self. Today I rode against two other me's and finished in between. I may have done better but I was also trying to get used to the steering frame which had me riding in the gutter a lot! When that happens, it gets really hard to pedal and you have to straighten up fast or lose a lot of time.

Here is one of the many courses available. There are both mountain bike and road courses in the program.

The trainer I am using doesn't let you coast, so if you ride an hour, you are pedaling for an hour. I was looking at the more expensive unit and it actually coasts down hills! That would be weird. I have noticed that time really flies on this trainer- especially with the steering frame. You can also program your own ride if you really are serious about interval training.

Let it snow, rain, sleet and blow. I can always ride the trainer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New feature on the blog page!

The GM at work (Dean) clamped an old arm-rest in the vise next to my work-bench the other day. He said it's for all of the people who hang out and talk to me while I toil away building bikes and such.
Hmmmm, I think I will snap a cell-phone pic of everyone who uses that arm-rest and post it on my blog page. Who knows who you might see in those pics?
I shall do my best to keep it updated every so often....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Trail Ridin' with Buck (the dog)

For some reason, I thought today would be a good day to ride the Falcon Trail on the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Uhhh, it's February, it's been snowing, it's been melting and turning to ice then snowing some more....denial really helps you out the door.
I had a few volunteers to join in the fun. Matt D (of course), Daniel M, Heather E and Buck the dog!
Daniel is a coach at CTS and races in the Pro class on a mountain bike. He is a very animated rider and fun to follow.  Buck (Daniel's dog) is a German Short-haired Pointer and in phenomonal shape. He pretty much leads the ride and if he's not leading, he's looking for a line around you! If there was a Pro class for trail dogs, Buck would be factory sponsored.

Here's Buck looking to fuel up.

Trail conditions were as expected. Muddy, snowy, icy, fun. Buck led the way and took some sweet cheater lines. His all-paw-drive system was working over-time in these conditions but he never seemed to fatigue. Daniel had a flat which gave me time to grab a snack and snap this picture:

Fixing a flat with Blodgett's Peak in the background.

Oh, I also had my Helmet Hero cam mounted on my stem to catch all of the action. Grab some popcorn and click "play".

Trail Ridin' with Buck (the dog) from Alan Keeffe on Vimeo.