Apart from the occasional escape into an ever windy – and mostly still chilly – polder, the first three months of the year have traditionally been spent on the Tacx.
Not that I consider this punishment – riding outdoors is king, but my iGenius provides me with enough opportunities to avoid boredom.
Obviously, mimicking a climb by playing a “Real Life Video” is second best, but also the “virtual worlds” in the TTS software provide enough variety to keep you entertained.
Besides, the RLV experience is as close as I can get to the real stuff when it comes to climbing. Even if I would go out, the hilly environment of the south of my country is no match.
The Ardennes or Eifel provide more of a challenge, but still nothing like Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
I logged weeks in which I “cycled” 180 kilometers, with 7,500 altimeters. Admittedly, I sometimes also recorded a suspicious number of PR’s during those rides, which might prove the point that it’s easier than the real thing.
But, as these rides are usually restricted to one climb and a maximum of two hours – mostly less – I was also able to push myself more than I would during a trip in the Alps, were I typically climb more than one mountain and sit in the saddle for some 6 hours.
At any rate, if you think climbing a mountain like that, i.e. on a trainer, is “not for real”, I invite you to come and try. Sure, you will never be challenged – or aided – by the elements, the altitude profile might be slightly off every now and then, but I assure you, you’ll wear yourself out as if it was a real ride:-)
Now that April has arrived, spring is in the air and it looks like the trainer will get some rest.
And as June is also not far away, the preparation for the trip to the Italian Alps will continue outdoors. If only because I will make longer “endurance” rides – the one thing that is certainly not in favor of the Tacx, is that riding indoors for more than two, maximum three hours is actually no fun, RLV or not…
This weekend I will revisit the Flemish Ardennes – I’m considering taking the 29-er, as I will encounter miles of cobblestones there. And if there’s more than an occasional shower, both the descends and the climbs on those, let alone trying to use the gutter next to them, will be challenging on the road bike.
I have no desire to crash again and the chances of that happening are smaller on the “fat bike”.
Beginning of May we will spend a couple of days in the German Sauerland, followed by a weekend in the Eifel mid-May and one in the Walloon Ardennes end of May.
While May will also be interesting because of the pro’s version of the Giro, it will be a short countdown to my Giro d’Italia from there…