Over the last few weeks I have been lamenting the cycling situation in London. For commuting, it’s fine, but for serious training, it’s a pain. Whenever I voice this, I’m presented with the same reply “cycle round Richmond Park”. That’s all well and good, apart from the miserable weather, the hour cycle there, another hour back, and the hundreds of cyclists once you’re there and I’ve heard there are even police officers fining cyclists for speeding!
So I went in a different direction. I bought a Wahoo Kickr, an ANT+ transceiver and I downloaded Zwift.
The Wahoo turbo trainer has a built in wattmeter with variable resistance. When used with apps such as Zwift, it allows you to ride on your bike indoors, whilst looking at the computer screen, which shows a computer game style visual of you riding. Except you’re riding in exciting locations, with other people from all around the world, and you can interact. It even takes into consideration drafting and incline (and when used with even more expensive turbo trainers, it can even simulate cobbles).
So there I was yesterday – I’d just finished work, walked down the Strand in London, got back to my apartment, fired up Zwift, and let it choose a bike course at random for my first ever ride. And it chose the London Ride Prudential course, taking me along the Thames, up to Trafalgar Square and along the Strand, all as a computer game! I pedalled hard to overtake other real riders, and had a good sprint down Pall Mall. At the end of the ride, no traffic to contend with and no cleaning of bike necessary.
Having come to London from leafy Cheshire with beautiful cycle-friendly rolling roads and hills, this isn’t perfect, but it sure feels fun and is motivational!