Today was a day of firsts for me and the GT Tachyon. 3 in fact.

1)  I downloaded a Sufferfest  video to spice up my life on the turbo trainer and, after a bit of faffing and emails to the owner/creator/entrepreneur/sponsor of the Singapore cycling team, David McQuillen, got myself set up in the living room. Now known as the “Bike Torture Chamber“.

I went for ‘Angels’ as I hate bastard hills.  The video warns you that this is likely to hurt, and really, really tries to manage your expectations. Then you’re off, there’s a 6:30 minute warm up, followed by 10 minutes of over and unders (mini-breakaways of a minute each, then a minute in the peloton). Then there are three 8:00 minute climbs.

The video manages you well, telling you the perceived effort to put in, with visual and audio cues for attacks and downhills etc.

I set-up the bike with trusty MBPro in front of me and pressed play.

I suffered.

I managed a respectable 30 minutes out of 60 before throwing in the towel.  I sweated absolute buckets and felt like I might die. By 11am I had achieved my daily Nike Fuelband goal (something that usually takes until 9:30pm) as I had it tucked into my shorts. I will be using it again, regularly – far more motivating than just watching TV, even the TdF!

2) Midway through my subsequent Sufferfest related collapse I noticed a strange glow in the sky. It seemed to be coming from a giant yellow ball the appeared through the clouds. The air was noticably warmer, and drier than it had been in living memory.

Ladies and Gentlemen of  internetwebland, the sun had come out in the UK.

Regular readers (hello to you both!) will know that I’ve avoided taking the Tachyon outside yet, as I felt that the first ride shouldn’t be under the pissing rain. This was it, this was my moment!

I ran (dragged, screaming post Sufferfest) upstairs and got changed. The clothing one wears on a bicycle in one’s own living room is considerably different to what one should wear when viewed by the general populace, rather than one’s own spouse and 7 month old offspring. Found my helment, gloves, cheap cool-looking shades and stepped outside.

I powered up the Garmin, which, eventually, bleeped in delight at it’s first EVER sighting of the satellites it needs to orientate itself, and took to the road.

It quickly became apparent that the effort required on the turbo trainer is significantly more than is required to ride on the roads, and I wafted along regally and comparatively effortlessly, cheerily nodding at passers by and horseboxes heading for nearby Lingfield Park.

It really was just a 5 minute ride, a mile or so according to the Garmin. This was necessitated for a number of reasons. As you may appreciate, the Sufferfest videos are not miss-named, and more importantly, my loving wife had taken the boy swimming, and not taken her keys and was due back imminently.

I loved it! God-willing we might get a summer soon, then we’ll be back out on the road – given how much harder it is on the turbo I’ll also keep at this, it suits my schedule much better at the moment.

Number 3) in the weekend of cycling firsts relates to the Garmin, more specifically the Garmin Connect software. Note the throw-away, almost casual tone I used when describing the mileage logged on this ride.

It took almost a full hour to pries that info from the Garmin’s grasp. The Garmin Connect software is a bit of a bitch on a Mac, they have updated it so frequently that it takes ages to download all possibilities, then install them until you find a dmg that works!

Here, if it works, is the output from that first, short, brilliant ride.

 

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