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I’m a lucky guy. I live in a place that usually attracts thousands upon thousands of cyclists a year due to it being one of the most (if not ‘the most’) iconic cycling locations in the world — the French Alps. More precisely, Annecy, a large town of 125,000 people, based in a valley basin and bordering with Switzerland. The summers are amazing and the winters not too harsh, cycling year-round is more than possible. Well, just as long as you’re wrapped up nice and warm.
But like many across the globe, I’ve found myself cooped up inside. Here in France we were, for a few days, allowed out on the bike. It was one of the activities the government didn’t restrict when the confinement came into action three weeks ago. But greedy muppets took it too far, cycling crazy distances #makingoneridecount. But once the Gendarmes saw die-hard epic Strava uploads, they soon realised they’d have to shut it down. So pain caves, balconies, kitchens, and living rooms are now home to turbo trainers and rollers across the country. No doubt just like where you are probably reading this.
I hadn’t turned a pedal in the virtual world or on a turbo for a long, long time. But that had to change. Setting it up and sitting indoors always has been second best to getting out the door, no matter what the weather. I grew up in the North-west of the UK, where summer lasts for about 12 days. So riding in wet weather is a must there. Coming to the Alps softened me up, when I go home now I struggle with the crappy cold and damp conditions. Luckily my dad knows how to humiliate me and get me out the door.
So yeah, home training hasn’t had to be a thing. Zwift, Sufferfest and the likes just haven’t been part of my cycling life. But man-oh-man they sure are now, and I’ve got a lot to learn. I’d used Sufferfest years back when it first started life as a video download product. I looked at Zwift once and swore I’d only learn to use it in an emergency. Well, as you know, that emergency is definitely here.
I’m not old, my dad is but I sure ain’t. I know he wouldn’t have the first clue as to how to use Zwift and the likes, he’d probably call it a load of “old cobblers” (actually, something way stronger than that). But I’m sure I am these companies’ prime target audience. I should be able to jump on and know what to do with these online training tools, shouldn’t I?
The thing is, I don’t, partly because I’ve never had to use them but also as I’ve never shown interest in them. But that’s what this week’s vlog is all about — me asking you for advice. Tips and tricks to get the best from staring at a screen while pedaling a bike. It’s hugely popular, and I know the CT audience can help. So please join in, help me out. Tee me up (and many others I bet) with the fast track knowledge to get the most out of your favourite online training platform.