This is going to be a long story to get to a short question… Skip to the very bottom if you must!
I began more seriously biking this year… I mean… I have owned bicycles over the years, and upon occasion, actually sat on them and moved the pedals around in circles to transport myself over varying distances.
This year, I started regularly biking over distances which, to me, have felt pretty decent. I also bought a triathlon bike (with aero bars!). And let me just say this… when you spend that much on a bike, and it doesn’t come with pedals? Come on! That is like when you buy a new car, spending tens of thousands of dollars, and the car salesmen tells you that floor mats are extra. Please. But I digress, I bought Speedplay pedals (because they were pink and matched my bike) and shoes.
I started riding hills! I made bike buddies and we rode gravel roads all over Lawrence. We rode paved county roads around lakes (where I learned that unclipping can be a challenge! ouch!) We signed up for big group rides and pedaled all around Kansas City. Woot!
Here is where it gets tricky, folks… (1) I am extremely paranoid about riding around by myself since we have had some really nasty fatalities in the area with cars killing very experienced riders. and (2) It is getting dark early, so I am even more leery about riding on the roads.
I have been babying my knee / IT band, so biking is a really good option for me to do instead of my long run. Unfortunately, I don’t have a great set-up to move my training indoors.
I have put my hybrid bike (not my road or tri – bike) on the trainer since I didn’t want to mess up my tires on the tri bike. I have a Graber Mag Trainer that I found on Craigslist for cheap. I don’t have a lot of money to spend on a super-pimp trainer. I have a couple issues with this. I haven’t found a sweet spot to set the resistance at (so I guess I need to read up on that)… but most annoying is that after riding for 5 minutes, my room smells like a stinky burn-out. My tires get hot and start leaving tire marks on the trainer… and it smells BAD. The tire is just barely touching the trainer – so I am wondering, hey, maybe I need a special tire for this?
I also have a hard time concentrating on training at home since half the house seems to need to come in and ask me questions or talk to me while I am riding. (The baby is literally being Stewie Griffin. “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mama, mama, mama, mama, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom… I’m poopy.”)
Therefore, I have been riding the stationary bike at the gym. I like that I can set it at a good cruise level and then pedal away and watch Netflix. (Pretty Little Liars, for the win!) I know this isn’t idea since the seat and geometry isn’t the same. Also, after about 90 minutes, my knee gets sore, probably due to that whole geometry thing.
So I ask you… How can I make this better? I need an affordable solution. (If you tell me to buy some brand new trainer that costs hundreds of dollars, I will disregard it because, hey… I need my money for running shoes, fitness apparel, and race entries. Let’s be real here.) But if you do have a suggestion, I am open and I might be able to score something on the old CL again. Craig has a pretty sweet list.
Post here, Twitter Me, FB me, Instagram me… I’m open.