Team BH-Garneau and I received an invitation from Chad Butts of endurancewerx.com to try out a Computrainer ErgVideo ride session, a prospect slightly less exciting to me than 'tabasco enema'. I was alone in my dread, however, and before I knew it 5 enthusiastic teammates and I were locking our bikes into Butts' array of Computrainers.
An ErgVideo is a trainer session synched to helmet cam footage of a race. The intensity of the ride corresponds to the action in the race, and is expressed in % of threshold. Each rider's threshold power and weight is inputted, so everyone's riding at the same relative intensity. After a fairly sedentary week, I lowballed my threshold just to survive the 90 minute session. After a few minutes of warmup and calibration we were off.
Things began pleasantly enough. Computrainers spin much better than regular trainers, so they simulate road feel almost as well as rollers. The first forty minutes went by smoothly, though one is quickly reminded that torque x speed = power. Each time I saw a power spike coming I'd spin up to 140 rpm so I could get through each plateau without having to mash my legs off. Once the shit hit the fan, however, the accumulated fatigue killed my cadence and I found myself pedaling at 40 rpm, 30, 20, and soon enough, 0. There's simply no hiding once you bog down. I spent the rest of the ride bargaining with myself ("five more minutes") and standing every time the resistance went up.
Despite the pain and humiliation I enjoyed the session immensely. Savvy riding and self delusion might get you through a winter of group rides, but an occasional reality check is good for the soul as well. And while there was no crowing, I have to believe an unspoken pecking order was established, which can only help the team on the road. All in all it was a great team building exercise, one I might commemorate with a baggy t-shirt which I will wear on Wednesday nights.
Here's Purdy's side of the space. He offers bike parking, and will pick up and drop off your bike for repairs.
This bike look familiar?
This is the rental work center. You get to use all the tools and you can ask Purdy questions if you're stumped.
Keep your wife happy. Use Purdy's degreaser tank instead of the kitchen sink.
Multiple torque wrenches available.
On cannot ride on water and mightiness alone, and as I age, I find that I have to pay more attention to my nutritional needs, lest I become an empty husk of veiny gristle.
The fall is here and winter will soon be upon us.