Thursday, December 25, 2008

Training - Dungeon 2.0

We moved from our apartment a few months ago and that means that I have a new Dungeon. Since I have a lot of upgrades planned, I'll call it Dungeon 2.0 so that I can update the name as I update the space.

(Technically it should be, where it's Version.Functionality.SubFunctionality.Fixes, or something like that, but I won't go into that amount of detail. If a bug fix is, say, clearing the floor so I can get to the bike, and setting up rollers or the spin bike count as functionalities, and finally setting up non-cycling things like the TV count as sub-functionalities, then I'm at version or something already.)

I have no "doorway" to enter, no outside trip necessary to get to my current dungeon. Just go out the bedroom, cross the hall, and go down the stairs.

Bottom of the stairs. I didn't neaten up for the picture. Really.

The cardboard box on top of the pile is chock full of kit. Specifically it has outdated kit - my gearbag has a lot of current kit in it, but the gearbag post contains now-outdated kit. Only CCC stuff or warm non-team-specific gear lives in the gearbag now. The bottom two bins have summer and winter clothing in them. The third bin has waterbottles, mainly from my now defunct store (I had 5,000 bottles or something at one point, now I'm down to a precious few).

The yellow gym thing sits unused - no room to set it up. Instead I have some dumbbells and other small exercise items. You can just see the unused Park workstand, something I'll eventually move into the room.

Which, by the way, is located to the right of the above picture.

Once you turn right, and more right, you lay eyes on my current setup.

A broader view. Note spin bike, rollers (to the left of spin bike), and "control island" on blue bin.

I say "current" because I have a feeling it'll change relatively quickly. However, you can see some key elements in the current setup.

1. Fans - one for my face (on stand), one for my whole body (floor). The stand one has a remote so I can adjust it without dismounting, but the floor one requires a dismount. Therefore the floor mount is the base setting (low, med, high, depending on effort) and I fine tune with the stand fan.

2. TV and DVD player - I like watching movies and such on long rides, where I'm just trying to get my body into shape for some longer rides out west. My mini-DVD player (visible just to the left of the left brifter) just died so I got another one from work for $29.99 - $10.00 rebate. It's located halfway between the TV and my bars. I use earbuds for sound, and they conveniently plug into the front of the DVD player.

(Note: I've tried using my Playstation2 while on the trainer but it forces me to sit up and my butt goes numb. Therefore I don't do anything that requires hands to distract myself - no Playstation, no browsing the web, no blogging. Your results may vary.)

3. Laptop for MP3s - when lost in the depths of effort, I prefer to block out a lot of visual stimulation a la Lon Haldeman. He did this lack of stimulation to a hard core degree - riding rollers in a dark basement. I don't do that but I frequently close my eyes and focus on my pedal stroke. Music helps bury the pain. By the looks of the earbuds (plugged into the DVD player and not the laptop), I haven't ridden hard in a while.

4. Hydration - specifically electrolyte drinks. I have both Gatorade and Powerade, buying whatever is on sale, and although I like the Rewards points from Powerade, I don't care which I drink. I also prefer it not-too-cold. I usually have a bottle of water somewhere too. A Rockstar peeks out from behind the towel but that rates a very hard workout - at $2 per can, it gets expensive training on the stuff. My most expensive indoor rides see me consumer perhaps $10 or more worth of drinks, bars, and gels, but they last a couple hours or more. It's like paying for a weeknight training race.

5. Cap with holes and no brim - a Kelme cap, I bought it because it matched my kit and, since it was a drug-adled team, I figured I'd help a local distributor by buying 10 or 20 at a time. I'm down to one new cap and about three well used ones. I've removed the brim from most of my caps for indoor use, saving a few of said brims for the sunny days outside. I cut holes into only one cap so far.

(Note: I ride in a full kit, shorts, jersey, socks, cap, and now, in the colder weather, I'll ride in a long sleeve jersey to simulate hot weather riding. I have stacks of kit and I feel like I ought to use them before they disintegrate from old age.)

6. Storage in front of me, with some inspiring parts. The red bar things are 3ttt's version of the Cinelli Spinaccis, and I want to use those bars for training. I have all sorts of obsolete parts in front of me. Eventually I'd like to build up one of my old frames, restore a bike back to its glory. We'll see.

7. To the far left of the wide shot you may notice the corners of some posters. Those will be framed and mounted on the walls. Inspiration for the rider.

8. You may also notice some white cardboard leaning up against the wall. These are mirrors for studying position and inspiring weight loss. Nothing makes me feel fatter than seeing a side shot of me riding. I have 9' x 4' of mirror to mount to the wall.

9. It's my "good" bike, with its good wheels, good tires, good seat, good bars. I don't have good tape on it but that'll wait for version 2.1. I want to ride what I will race so I have my race bike on the trainer. The SRM isn't on the bars but I use it every time I get on this bike. Keeps me honest.

10. Finally I have some AV entertainment. Some samplings of what someone peruses while pedaling away in a basement:

This box has been picked through already.

I can't recommend Alexander or Doom for a variety of reasons, but most of the other flicks are good for trainer riding.

Okay, I just realized some of the missus's movies ended up in there. Those are for the easy days.


Some of the hard day flicks.

The Bourne series is probably one of the best series for training. Consistently spaced action scenes means a lot of intervals with good buildup, good length, and well defined "restart" times.

The missus cracks up over Boondock Saints, but I love the flick. I first heard about it during my CounterStrike (CS) days (from 1.5, to irritate those boasters, because 1.5 is like saying "I'm a Cat 3" - it doesn't mean a lot). The folks in the group talked about it constantly so I finally went out and bought it. A lot of up-down action-pause, good for training hard.

On that note, Assault on Precinct 13 was cool because they used CS weapons. The movie itself needs a little something though, and it doesn't work that well for training. Too much down time.

The Professional (or Leon, the full version) is one of my favorites. I need to review how the movie flows regarding training pace.

Hammer and Hell is a great, great video from the Tour du Pont, directed and edited by some local Connecticut cycling yahoos. I love the music ("alternative"), the sarcasm of the narrator (one of previously mentioned yahoos), and some of the "views of the inner workings of a pro peloton" things they get on tape. The songs inspire me. I even got to see one of the stages in person, but that's for another post.

For now that's all I have. I have a few projects simmering for this room. Unspecifically I want to upgrade the dungeon, perhaps to - one addtional functionality, three additional features, and one bug fix (well, I really ought to clean up a bit). Of course I'll be posting when that stuff gets done.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

(And, no, I didn't ride today.)


Unknown said...

Exercise bike should be comfortable to sit and the seat should be easily adjustable otherwise it can become difficult for people to cycle. If the height of the seat is wrong, it will put un-necessary pressure near the groin area.

No One Line said...

Your setup is nicer than mine. Cramped NYC apartments means that assembly/disassembly is required. The rollers are set up in the kitchen doorway, the computer is on the coffeetable, plugged into the stereo, playing A Sunday In Hell if I'm feeling dramatic, or TV shows off of if I'm feeling like I just need to be distracted in order to make it through fortyfive minutes.

If you've got any tips other than watching videos for fending away indoor-cycling boredom, I'd love to hear them. The best one I've tried so far is, have a friend bring rollers over. It results in good conversation and superior passage of time, but also results in a living room that smells very much like sweaty boys.

Aki said...

NOL - I find that music works wonders. I have to keep myself from fast forwarding, else I zoom through my whole mp3 collection, but if I contain myself then I can get by with only 30-50 songs. Music and focus on form, those get me by for up to 2 hours. After that I have to watch something.

I've trained with others but I end up tuning them out, or at least focusing on myself, and so I find it less than ideal. This is especially true considering how much of a pain it is to lug around an indoor training setup - trainer, block, towels, etc.