“Don’t give up on your cycling – cycle indoors!” That’s the advice of Jase Alexander, experienced club cyclist.
He explains, “It’s very easy to lose sight of the things we used to love doing during this period of self-isolation and/or strict lockdown. Going out on lovely sunny bike rides, training, or even racing seems like a very long time ago and, when put into perspective, sometimes doesn’t feel as important as it used to, but maybe it should, now more than ever.
“Being told to stay at home, especially with the amazing weather we’ve had during April can be extremely tough for some people”, he adds. “I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it is for people in large cities living in apartments or having no garden access. Nevertheless, don’t give up on your cycling
“For now, these are the ways in which we have to live and a good daily routine, with some exercise thrown in, can be just as kind to your psychological state as your physical.
“Most of us are going to be a little restricted on space to train, but with all the indoor training options that are available, maybe this is the time to invest in a new home trainer, or find ways to use your existing bike at home.
Cycling at home
“Home trainers are an excellent way to exercise or train hard with structured, scheduled workouts and plans. They are also fantastic for the winter months when going outside on your bike can seem a little daunting.
“As with most things, home trainers can be very technical and expensive, but they don’t have to be. So I will start with the easy options and move on to Smart trainers.
“If you don’t have a bike but would like to start exercising, a static indoor bike would be a great start. These are the kind of exercise bikes you find in gyms, and once set up at home you can just jump on and start your daily routine.
“The Lower end bikes start as little as one hundred euros but can climb to thousands. I would recommend that you try and find one that has workouts planned into its small computer, so it’s even easier to just go for it and not have to think about an exercise plan.
Home trainers vary in price
Jase continues, “If you already own a bike you have a few options, but a static trainer or a smart trainer are the most common. With a static trainer, you fix your bike using the back wheel. Most static trainers are like a triangle with a roller that your back wheel sits on, so you just fix your bike securely and pedal. Fixing your bike to these is very easy, but if you had any problems there are lots of video clips on YouTube with great instructions. Once you are up and pedaling YouTube is also a great place to find workouts to follow. I can recommend GCN, Global Cycling Network and is a real aid so that you don’t give up on your cycling.
Use your own bike with a static stand
“For most dedicated cyclists the smart trainer has been a life saver”, he highlights. “Here, you remove your back wheel and secure your bike to the trainer. You can then connect your smart trainer to any number of computer devices to record everything from your cadence to the distance you have cycled.
“One of the great advantages of being able to connect your bike to your computer is being able to train and race using computer software. One of the best and most popular Apps is Zwift. You can actually race on virtual, well-known race circuits from around the world such as the London Loop and compete against other Zwift users. It has been so successful that a lot of professional bike racers use it as a training tool so, if you are feeling fit and ready in your new pain cave, you can race the pro’s!
“Another reason for its success is that training inside can be pretty tough, you don’t have the great outdoors to admire or a few friends to chat to. So, having something to interact with and take your mind off the pedaling makes it a much better experience.”
Smart trainers are at the cutting edge of home training
Don’t give up on your cycling: Here are a few tips to help you on your indoor adventures:
Good luck and stay safe.
You can read more about cycling from Jase Alexander in our July/August, September/October 2018 and March/April 2019 issues of The Local Buzz
Images: Jase Alexander and Shutterstock
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