Thursday, January 20, 2011


For some reason, the word suffering is one often used in discussions of road cycling. You'll hear the talent using the term when doing voice-over on tele-broadcasts of professional cycling races. "Look at the face of Hushovd and you'll see he's really suffering up this climb!" You'll hear it from ardent roadies as they get passed by pros. And you'll hear it from shlubs like me after a long weekend ride: "oh, man I was really suffering on that climb up Old Mill Road."

Just last evening I was driving Middle Child home from her violin lesson, which is held right along one of my standard cycling routes. Of course this time of year our fair city is blanketed in darkness for most of the hours of the day, and there is a foot-deep coating of various consistencies of water- snow, ice, slush. Which means that cycling is but a memory in January. But it's a memory that prods, right into my softening midsection.

And it's usually about now that I cave in and pull out the trainer. It's an odious thing for me- what could be worse than cycling in place, indoors? Perfect waste of an hour if you ask me, but my legs, waistline and lungs disagree, so now it's time. And thanks to one of the blogs I follow, I've found a televisual stimulant to help me stay motivated: Sufferfest. For ten bucks, I get a paced workout nearly guaranteed to induce quivering legs and tossed cookies. I can hardly wait.

1 comment:

Greg said...

I often wonder if the "suffering" aspect is related to the bicycle's tremendous efficiency. How low can you go, and still be able to make a bike move? Way deeper than swimming or climbing or running -- for those, you sink/drop/fall somewhat before you hit absolute bottom. On a bike, there you are, seated, holding on, still moving forward with the slightest energy expenditure. A brilliant torture device.

Have you tried rollers? Much more exciting than a trainer. :)