24 January 2014

Friday Funny

Winter Training

Just about any cyclist will tell you their least favorite activity is riding an indoor cycling trainer. Gobs have been written about how to survive training indoors when the weather is too yucky to venture outdoors on a bicycle.

Tons of videos are available specifically for indoor training rides. We have a few. Race videos have long been touted as one of the best distractions, and our Tour de France and Giro de Italia VHS tapes (yes, some are THAT old) and DVDs did the job for many years. When filmed from behind (which they often are), the peloton made me feel as if I was riding right in their slipstream. (Which, of course, is highly unlikely for slowpoke me.) On the trainer, I can do something I cannot do in real life. I cannot throw my arms up in the air when I cross a finish line. I would fall off my bike!

So those cycling tapes were the cure to trainer boredom for nearly a decade.

But not now. For nearly 18 months now, I have barely been able stomach even the covers of the majority of our cycling tapes, specifically years 1999-2012. To watch those tapes while on the trainer now might cause me to lose my lunch. Or dinner.

Good thing I'd already finely honed another distraction for my own trainer.

I can keep those needles flying even faster than I can pedal!



  1. Two questions, since stationary biking makes my knees hurt I can't test these for myself! :-(
    1. Does sitting upright to knit affect the quality of the work-out and if so, does it matter?
    2. Does the pedaling make it harder to keep the needles under control? Are you faster or slower knitting while pedaling vs. not?

    1. Hi, D'gou, and thanks for writing. Have you been fitted to a bike on a trainer? I have one bad knee and can get extremely sore if I'm not the right height on a bike, either stationary or on the road or trail. My mountain bike and my road bike are different heights because I have different posture on each. I think the road bike on the trainer (which is one of my husband's retired bikes he set up specifically to fit me) is set up nearly the same as my road bike. I think the seat is a little higher. I'm not having as much knee pain as I did before I was fit at a local bike shop, which they did for free. (I'd bought the bike there and was fit before I bought it, but my posture changed after emergency back surgery in 2004, so I had to be fit again when we figured out what the problem was.)

      No, so far sitting upright to knit or crochet has not affected the quality of my workout, although I do pedal slower when crocheting or knitting. It is difficult to keep double-pointed needles under control while on the bike, but I do fine with circular needles. Crocheting (with yarn, not thread) is super easy for me to do on the bike if I don't have to count stitches.

      I can get about 10.5 miles in 45 minutes when I'm not doing needlework on the trainer. I get about half that when I'm knitting or crocheting. But typically, I put the project away as soon as I start sweating, and then I pedal a little faster to try to get back up to my normal distance. :)

    2. Thanks! I figured it might have an effect. I know folks who knit while walking. I cannot crochet while walking... :-)
      So I figured the bike would have more disturbance on upper body posture.
      In my case, no the bike we have hasn't been fitted. My partner has it set up for her. I've tried to raise the seat, but even when it is all the way up it's not quite high enough, but even if it could go higher, I'd hit my head on the basement rafters!

    3. You made me giggle! We have a bit of space above our heads in our basement, but in the apartment we lived in before this, there was no room. We'd put the trainers in the loft because mine makes so much noise, we didn't want to disturb our neighbors. The loft had a really low ceiling, and I had to lean over kind of awkward and not pedal too fast to keep it a bit quiet. :) Oh, those were the days...

      I did get accustomed to knitting and crocheting in awkward positions other than the trainer, though, which is probably why I can do them both pretty effortlessly on the trainer. I can knit and crochet on the train and on the bus, sometimes standing, nearly always sardined. So I like the wide-openness of the trainer in comparison!

    4. Now you made me giggle thinking about the contortions and the noise! (Well, I had to laugh or I would cry, that probably was not a healthy posture.)

      I have crocheted in a car (passenger, of course) and on a plane. Haven't had the chance to try a bus yet. I've done a bit on trains (but don't often ride trains). I find crochet on a plane isn't always possible, I need some elbow room or my wrists will hurt after only a few minutes.

  2. That would sure get kinda boring indeed. Two birds one stone for you

    1. Yep, always multitasking at my place, Pat!

  3. I have been wondering about crocheting on the trainer ... I have such a hard time keeping up my cadence if I sit upright. Will have to try it again, as I would love to be able to do both together!

    Gee, I can't imagine WHY 1999-2012 videos would be so repugnant to you ... ha ha ha. (That's a sorrowful ha ha ha.) A lot of us feel that way.

    Lizard needs to use that helmet cam as much as possible. That way, you guys can make your own training videos! :)

    1. Oooh, I think I like that idea, Sue! The Lizard making our own training videos. I tried to talk him into using the helmet cam in The Wave but was unsuccessful. Can you imagine make-believe riding through The Wave?!? Woohoo, what a ride that would be!!!


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