One of the most boring things I can possibly conceive of is training inside looking at a wall. Marginally more mind numbing is watching other people train inside. The idea of riding and reviewing a turbo-training DVD didn’t hugely appeal to me, that’s why I split my time between SoCal and Spain. Kind of an endless summer deal. Apparently Mark Cavendish is otherwise inclined, he appears in the Three Legs Cycling DVD as a spectator/compere. However, the temptation of “training with the Manx” was too much. That and my deep deep desire to watch men in varying states of undress engage in a grimacing contest.
The DVD in question comes from the 3 Legs Cycling brand. Given my history of innuendo, I’m not going to let this one get by without a few snipes. First off, given the dress code for the video it would be pretty easy to see if anyone was smuggling a “third leg” and, to the great disappointment of a couple of ladyfriends whom I’d invited to attend the San Diego premiere, there were no notable “love limbs” on show.
What was on show was a group of riders, ranging from team SKY boys to the Manx road club. Having spent a fair amount of my youth being battered about the British Isles by Mark Cavendish and his MRC mates, this alone was enough to get my competitive juices flowing. Sadly, unlike junior races, the turbo trainer offers very little opportunity for squirting said riders with your bottle. I tried, my TV didn’t like it.
To be fair, the absence of visual input didn’t really affect the training experience that much. This isn’t The Sufferfest, you don’t visualize a course, you basically just watch a few island scousers riding and bantering whilst doing the same session as you. Just like when we were kids, if you try to join in, the bastards totally ignore you. And however hard you ride, you can’t drop them.
I can understand the temptation to train inside if you live on the Isle of Man; it’s basically a chunk of Liverpool which broke off and floated away. But they don’t have any good bands. And, if you do go out for a ride on the Isle of Man, you’re more than likely to get half-wheeled by someone of exceptional cycling ability. The gene pool may be shallow, but it’s not slow.
The coach (can someone explain why he needs a clipboard?) and the RPE / RPM screens do a pretty good job of explaining how hard to go and explaining the fictitious “race” situation. But ultimately, I need Slash and Axl Rose accompanying footage of Museeuw destroying pelotons of mud-splattered Flahutes whilst tapping his knee. If I wanted to watch local masters riders sweating, I could nip over to the Oriental massage place next door. And at least I wouldn’t be haunted by the girl in the corner wearing COMPRESSION SOCKS on her turbo.
The unscripted banter is fun, just like being on a ride with the boys, and the workout is hard if you don’t bugger about and come prepared to dig in. I’m just not to sure what I gain from watching a middle-aged guy DROP HIS CHAIN on the turbo ten minutes in. The long pauses and random side shots aren’t really going to get your blood pumping, but if you want to study how to speak like a proper Manx mongrel, then this is the choice for you. Come to think of it, I wonder if they do a subtitled version for the Yanks?