Winter Training Kit

Just had 3 days of constant rain here, I’m a keen cyclist, but I’m not ‘that’ keen… So, I’ve taken the opportunity to spend a little time getting my new toy sorted. Last week I purchased a new turbo-trainer – the Tacx Bushido, and all the computer gubbins to turn it into a fancy VR trainer, just to fight the drabs in the depths of winter. The Trainer hardware is great – works stand-alone, doesn’t need any mains power, so could conceivably use it for pre-time-trial warmups etc, in carparks/laybys, but with the addition of one little USB dongle and some clever software it links to the laptop and allows all sorts of fancy tricks…

Problem is, the clever software isn’t all that clever “out of the box” and it’s taken me 5 evenings of patching the software, scouring the support forums for tips, and loading different video codec’s etc. to get a system that works.

But – yesterday – i had a bit of a Woo-Hooooo moment – managed a 20 mile ride, mapped on Google Earth in real time as I rode it, with authentic up and down hills as taken from the Garmin 705 tracklog i’d recorded of the ride last summer – even had my real-life ride along as a virtual companion to see how i was going… The resistance on the Bushido seemed pretty close to authentic too, maybe a little tougher on the up-gradients, and of course, you can’t free wheel on the down hills – but if I’m on the turbo trainer, I want to be training, not free wheeling anyway…

Next step is to paint the end wall of the workroom in some white eggshell paint, and get that video projector i’ve still got from my time as a on-the-road computer systems trainer put to good use… Grrrrr…. Cyclists Man-Cave anyone

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