Tag Archives: Bicycle trainer

An “and” day

Recently I’ve been trying to be more of an “and” person rather than an “or” person…

We spend a lot of time and energy making difficult decisions, forcing ourselves to choose between different options, working around the constraints.  Often we forget that there may be an option that allows us to do both…  “and” rather than “or”… all we need is to be positive and think a bit differently.

Working on the principle of “and”, today was my first double exercise day…

Monday’s have become my designated rest day – I’m always tired after the weekend.  It takes me a day to properly get back into the swing of a working week.  So, I don’t do any exercise on a Monday.  Hopefully this allows my body to properly recover and set me up for the rest of the week.

A cold, dark and very frosty start to the day!

Having had a day off, I set my alarm early this morning so I could swim before work.  I left the house to be greeted by a heavy frost, the first of the winter.  As well as double exercise, it turned out to be a double scrape day – I had to scrape the windshield before I could head to the pool, and again after my swim before I could head off to work.  Great!

Louise (my wife) was also faced with a frozen car as she set off to take the girls to school.  I have agreed to clear the garage to create space for her to get the car in, making the school run as straightforward as possible.  Unfortunately the arrival of winter has beaten me to the punch.  I now need to pull my finger out and clear space for the car… space that is currently occupied by my bike and Turbo Trainer.

It did turn into a beautiful day… if a little chilly!

Using the principle of “and”, this does not mean that I will lose the use of my bike.  I just need to find the next best place to locate it.  Fortunately, there are a couple of options inside the house.  The main considerations will be (1) to keep it out of the way and (2) to minimise the chances of me over-heating when riding.  There’s the minor consideration of sweat and oil pollution too, but I’m hoping a couple of towels and some carpet offcuts will do the trick there!

In the immediate term the bike will stay where it is.  Shifting the kit around can be something to look forward to doing at the weekend.  So, I successfully completed my ride, and my double exercise day – a ride and a swim.

Little things to be proud of

I (not so) casually dropped in to my last post that I had collected a Turbo Trainer (TT) and done my first cycling session.  Before I could use it, it had to be assembled.  Joy!

At the shop where I collected the TT, I departed to the following words from the helpful assistant:  “You’ll probably exhaust yourself just trying to put that together!” (chuckle, chuckle).  Great!  Marvellous!

I wouldn’t say I’m particularly good with my hands.  I don’t get a lot of practice (out of choice).  Most manual activities usually involve a disproportionate amount of bad language and sweat that is inconsistent with the physical effort expected.

Within that context, I would say there are two things that I’ve historically been particularly unsuccessful with:

  1. Following instructions
  2. Bikes

So I was clearly set up for success!


Welcome to my world!

As far as instructions are concerned, I’m a bloke.  Instructions are there to help you unpick problems, to confirm you’ve made a mistake, to compare your attempt to, or to retrospectively understand the criticality of the red writing on the label marked “IMPORTANT”.

I find bikes fiddly.  My main experiences have been with brake adjustments, tweaks to gears and tyres / inner tubes.  All of them have been disappointingly unsatisfying and much harder work than they should have been.  I’m sure there’s a “knack”, but I don’t have it (in fact I had to check the dictionary to see how it’s spelt!).

Having got the TT home and unpacked it, I did the grown up thing… I sat down and read the instructions!  Ten single sentence lines and some incomprehensible diagrams.  Still, it appeared that as long as I could accurately measure the wheel of the bike (and didn’t drop / damage the “important bit”), nothing could go wrong.

And so, to the source of my pride… after less than 2 hours, and without having to take the whole thing apart to start again, I managed to build the TT.  (To be honest, I did have to measure the wheel multiple times… I knew it was important, but couldn’t get the “fine tuning” to work for quite a while!)


Construction is generally easier if performed under sterile conditions

I know it’s a small thing, sad even, but in my book assembling something without destroying it, even in a small way, should always be a cause for celebration.

Although I may be grimacing and cursing when I’m riding the bike, there will forever be a small smile (on the inside) because I managed to get this far in the first place!

Happy assembling!