Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cold Weather Weaponry

Below zero temps? Pish-Posh. Gear up and ride!

To My Fellow Bicycle Commuters

I don't care who you are or what distance you commute, if you are from my neck of the woods and made it in today, welcome to the world of the dedicated bicycle commuter.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A New Approach to Indoor Training

Many of us hearty die hard idiots who live in the ever changing climate that is the Upper Midwest tend to ride all year, no matter what. We are a macho breed and we tend to put off training indoors if we can help it. However, I tend to want that little extra riding that even my adventurous nature can handle outside. That, and teaching indoor cycling classes for the University of South Dakota always have me looking for new ideas. Enter the Global Ride Video Series.

I have many of the Spinerval DVD's and a few of the Carmichael Training Systems DVD's. While each of these are focused, outstanding workouts, the one thing I get sick of is watching sweaty people on bikes over and over. I'm one of those sweaty people working out, I don't need to be reminded by looking at it over and over again. Again, enter the Global Ride Video Series.

My review of this product is two-fold: for my indoor cycling class and for my own personal indoor training. My final rating at the end will be two separate ratings because of this.

The series I received was for Hawaii. Three DVD's each set up for different workouts, and each with amazing backgrounds of riding various roads in Hawaii, usually from a first person cyclist view which I found very attractive. Once in awhile they would flash back to the cyclist as they were riding, but the focus was on the scenery and the workout, not a suffering cyclist.

Another thing I found interesting was the various audio options. You can either just watch the video, watch it with light background music, or your choice of three different instructors, including an actual class scenario. Having audio options to match the mood you are in is a great thing. Some days I like shutting my brain off and just allow one of the instructors instruct me and some days I want to "rock out" so I turn off all audio and just use my own music.

One of the most ingenious thing I found with these DVD's are the non-cycling training at the end. Each DVD had a different workout specifically geared for cycling. The 30 minute sessions include Strength, Yoga, and Pilates. I'm always looking for cross training that still focuses on cycling and this fits the bill nicely.

This is a brief review, but as you know, I don't like long posts as I feel most people don't take the time to read it all anyway, so I cater to the people with short attention spans like me! My review from the standpoint of a cycling class instructor is 9.6 out of 10. There are a few things I'd like to see like maybe a countdown of how much time is left overall and between potential segments of training (hills, flats, etc). I know that Global Ride is continually looking at feedback and are implementing them in future "rides".

For personal training, I'd give it 8.9 of 10. I'd lean more heavily on the timing feature here. Often I have a limited time to ride, so it'd be nice to grab sections you wanted to focus on, which you will after watching these enough times. These workout DVD's, like any workout DVD's, are only as good as the effort you put into it. If you don't think it's too hard, do what you have to for your needs. Same on the other end of the spectrum: If it's too easy, gear up a bit and make it hurt.

Overall these DVD's definitely make my Christmas list. Just having to not stare at sweaty people in a studio makes my rating on these DVD's jump exponentially. I look forward to more versions, especially riding in other countries. I think Global Ride has found a wonderful niche in the Cycling DVD arena. I'm very impressed at their willingness to take ideas from ordinary people to better their upcoming versions. I have nothing but high praise for these DVD's. They are trying to make indoor training bearable, and doing a great job. Ride on Global Ride!