Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Turbo Time

Well this summer seems to be shaping up to be much like last year (and the year before, and the year before etc) and the number of wet days recently has outnumbered the number of dry days. It was never my intention to be a fair weather cyclist, however it is currently summer and to be honest when it's wet I don't feel especially inclined to go out on the bike.

Wet weather and my own stubborn aversion to going out in the wet has been having an impact on the amount of time spent "in the saddle" so a solution needed to be found. Enter the latest instrument of torture to contribute to the long road to l'etappe 2013, the Elite Super Crono Elastogel Turbo Trainer (that name just rolls off of the tongue doesn't it!)

Turbo trainers are designed to allow a rider to in effect ride indoors whilst trying to replicate the kind of resistance and feel experienced when out on the road. The manufacturers own advertising for the Super Crono says "A high level trainer for competitive riders which introduces the improved performance of Inertial resistance. Inertial resistance unit is super-smooth and ultra-quiet offering a natural 'flowing' feel to your pedal stroke"

"natural "flowing" feel to your pedal stroke"? Well I'm sure an experienced or professional cyclist may well achieve a smooth flowing pedal stroke as soon as they get on this contraption, but as I shall show you in a minute Velo Pixie has some work to do before he achieves this!

After a couple of one hour torture sessions I can report that it is more difficult than it looks, takes far more effort than it looks like in the videos on YouTube and an awful lot of sweating takes place.

The riders of old had a phrase to describe the very best smooth flowing peddle actions, they called it "la suplesse" and one of the very best exponents was Hugo Koblet who it is said would often take a comb out of his pocket whilst riding up a steep hill and run it through his hair whilst continuing to ride effortlessly up the hill. This was said to have the effect of demoralising his opponents. I'm hoping that some time spent on the turbo over the coming months will allow me to develop my own pedalling action, but I suspect I won't be trying this particular trick when I do l'etappe (haven't got enough hair to use a comb!) 

I said earlier that I would show you how much work Velo Pixie has got to do before he achieves that natural flowing peddle stroke or "la suplesse. The following video of VP on the turbo (the first moving pictures of VP on a cycle seen anywhere in the world) was taken earlier today prior to embarking on an hour long session on the turbo torture tool


Now compare VP's style and panache on the bike with this bunch of professional cyclists from HTC Highroad cycling team. At the moment I will concede that this bunch may just have a better style on the bike than myself!

 On a slightly more serious note, initial impressions are that this is a well made piece of kit that I am sure will prove to be a real asset over the next 12 months when the British weather prevents me from putting road miles in on the bike.

Other news is that I think I have found a cycling coach and sports nutritionist to help me with my training and nutritional plan over the next twelve months, but more on that in a future post.

As always thanks for taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you are able to come back again soon.

All the best for now


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