Winter cycling

When we went into our first lockdown and weren’t allowed to cycle, Nick decided that it might be a good idea to get a bike home trainer; unfortunately everyone else had had the same idea and there was none available. 

First lockdown ended, we had a few months of freedom, but Nick kept looking – still nobody had any in stock. Finally, 2 weeks into our second lockdown, he found one; but by now the question arose as to whether or not we’d use it enough to justify the investment. In the end we ordered one and took delivery just the day before lockdown finished.

Nick loves it, especially as it means he can do a hour’s hard workout at the end of the day, when the winter days are short and as the weather’s not been good recently, he’s been using it regularly.

It’s a very strange experience; you put your bike, minus back wheel, onto the trainer and plug it into a laptop, then choose from hundreds of rides that have been filmed all over the world. There’s everything from short, easy, flat rides around Amsterdam to extreme routes in the Alps or the Dolomites and as you ride, the resistance on the back wheel alters with the gradient, making it feel quite real. 

Other aspects aren’t as easy to get used to though, such as not needing to slow down for junctions and corners; and it’s almost impossible not to try to lean as you go round bends, in fact we both find we close our eyes as we corner at high speed!

My first ride left me unable to sit down for several days as it’s a bit of a pain to swap bikes, so I rode Nick’s; he has a plan B, but today he put my bike on for me and I did a virtual tour of Barcelona. There were plenty of eye-closing moments as pedestrians stepped out in front of me, or when there was fast-moving, heavy traffic to be negotiated; but I’m sure I’ll get used to it, or find another ride on quieter roads. 

A good idea? As I listen to storm Bella’s winds howling outside, watch the hail bouncing off the balcony and am surprised (not to say a little scared) by  the ferocity of the unseasonal thunder and lightning storm, an indoor workout definitely seems the better option.