For the last two years, I’ve been more of a SitOnMyAssBuck than a BicycleBuck. The challenge was a serious lack of affordable cycling opportunities which didn’t make my wife worry that I was going to get squished in Houston traffic. Now that my job is finally paying for a long-term lease, I don’t have to take my stuff home every weekend. That makes it a bit more reasonable to bring along my training bike!
It’s an old Schwinn World Sport that I lovingly repainted about 15 years ago. I got tired of dealing with 27" wheels, so I threw on a set of 26" MTB wheels I had lying around and mounted a set of long-reach caliper brakes with some drop bolts. They don’t have a ton of stopping power, but are adequate for a bike that sits on a trainer most of the time. :) While I was upgrading, I threw on a set of brifters. For those not in the know, brakes + shifters = brifters. You might notice that there’s no shifter cable coming out of the left one. With the smaller wheels and no hills to deal with, I just put the front shifter on the big ring and locked it in place. You might notice that there’s a blanket under the front wheel. Since the rear wheel is lifted by the trainer, it’s helpful to put a block under the front wheel so the bike is level. I forgot my leveling block, so the hotel’s spare bedding will have to do.
The trainer I’m using is an older RealAxiom wired. These simulate real riding conditions by varying the resistance in sync with a video that plays on your PC. I didn’t really do my homework, so it wasn’t until after I bought it that I discovered how expensive the videos are. Since I’m pretty cheap, I was stuck riding the same two rides that came with the trainer. That got old pretty quick. What’s it like? This guy made a short video so you can see:
His is a more expensive version without the wires. What wires, you ask? There’s a power wire, a wire from the cadence sensor to the trainer, a network cable from the trainer to the control panel on the handlebars, and finally, there’s a USB cable from the control panel to the computer. The newer versions use a wireless transmitter.
After I got the software installed, I tried for a couple of hours to get it to pick up the signal from the trainer, but it just wouldn’t work. I’m not sure why - windows could see the trainer, but the software couldn’t. As a last-ditch effort, I downloaded Zwift. To my delight, it found the trainer right off the bat!
So, what is Zwift? It’s a riding system that uses information from your trainer to put you into a virtual world where you can ride virtual courses by yourself, ride either a pre-designed or custom workout, ride virtual courses with friends, or compete with other riders in events.
So, here I am, starting a new journey to get myself back in shape. If everything goes well, perhaps I can ride the MS150 again. My last one was in 2001, so I think it would be appropriate to ride it again in 2021! I’m also looking forward to getting my Redline on the road again. It’s been hanging in the garage too for far too long.