I’ve introduced you to my turbo trainer before – most especially a couple of years ago when the snow’n’ice hung around like a fart trapped in a trouser leg for nearly seven weeks. (Pauses to imagine what a fart trapped for seven weeks might be like. Moves swiftly on.) In case you’ve forgotten, it looks like this (the turbo trainer that is – not the fart in the trouser leg):
The turbo is great for doing workouts whether these are to build strength, speed, stamina or whatever. But it is most certainly not a “real ride” and you are always aware of its limitations. I once did 50 miles on it and it wasn’t the most exciting time I’ve ever spent. Clearly it was done on an evening where the telly was even less exciting than spending three hours on a turbo.
So with that in mind the lure of a bigger, blingier toy was too great. Additionally, it was likely that I would be holed up for a couple of months at least in early 2012 while I recovered from surgery, I wanted something that recreated as much a possible a “normal” ride rather than a turbo training session. Enter the Tacx Genius – a virtual reality trainer on which I could “ride” the regular routes from data provided by my Garmin Edge. It is a luxury item through and through and the early versions of the software were flawed. However, with successive updates it has got better (and if I’m honest, with a bit more research and understanding of how it works on my part) and I am now using it as a regular inclement weather substitute for real rides. it still is quirky in that in order to recreate the hills correctly (and manageable), the settings required make the flat quite a bit faster than I’d normally be doing. I do the honest thing and do some appropriate factoring in – just in case anyone thinks I’m better than I actually am.