For most cyclists, the arrival of summer is a good thing. Nice weather means more chances to ride outside. But just as the winter cold drives some people indoors, the summer heat can do the very same. Is the thermometer in your neck of the woods rising past your comfort level? Don’t worry, there are indoor solutions that will keep your legs a-peddlin’. Let’s look at a few!
Immersive spin classes: Everyone’s familiar with standard spin classes. Immersive spin classes, which Trevor Dueck says could be one of the hottest fitness trends of the year, take things to a whole new level. They’re “a combination of music, video and exercise that wraps around your senses” Riders mount-up on standard spin bikes, but instead of looking at an instructor, stare at a theater-sized screen while listening to music that’s perfectly synced to both the graphics and the workout. The idea is that the visual and auditory stimulation will allow you to tune out the pain and push your limits.
Virtual racing on a stationary trainer: One of the downsides of spin classes, even the immersive ones, is that you don’t get to ride your own bike. As every bike racer knows, it’s best to train the same way you’re going to compete. Hooking your own bike up to a stationary trainer will allow you to do just that. But riding alone in your living room can get pretty boring, no matter what’s on TV. Instead of simply counting down the clock on your next grueling interval, inject some competition into your trainer ride with software like Zwift. The revolutionary app, which riders download to their laptops, allows cyclists from around the world to compete against one another online without ever leaving their homes.
Velodromes: We’ve all seen velodromes on TV during the Olympics. Are you lucky enough to live in a part of the world that has one? If so, take advantage when the heat becomes unbearable! You’ll have to know (or learn how) to ride a fixed-gear bike, but that only adds to the intensity of the workout, since you can’t stop pedaling. Training Peaks runs down some amazing workouts you can do in the velodrome to increase your performance on the road. An added bonus: most velodromes are cheapest in the summer, since that’s the “off-season” for indoor cycling.