30 August 2013
Part 4: Mr Motivation
00D began his investigation by researching whether such devices were actually feasible. Seriously, would purist riders from the Cult of Singlespeed really be interested in riding indoors, on trainers? These crazy folk who eschew gears for a more simpler life, of riding for recreation - would they let themselves get caught up in all of the technology that would go with power generating devices.
Research led him to the master of indoor bike training, Mr Motivation. Within his walls were several mountain-style spin bikes spaced in front of a huge screen. 00D headed along while a class was in session, and watched as the riders pedalled, captivated by the screen. They leaned the bikes around corners; they tried to lift them as they approached jumps and they sped up when the rider on the screen began to move away.
Mr Motivation noticed 00D studying his class, and sidled up for a conversation.
“Would you like to join in?” he inquired.
“Not at the moment, though it looks pretty cool! But, why do you have the rider there - why not just the raw helmet cam footage to make it more like you’re there?”
“Motivation, that’s what it’s all about. Motivation. I tried everything: the plain camera footage, footage of races like the Tour De France, I even tried the film clip for Bicycle Race(NSFW). But nothing quite gets a rider as excited as another lycra-clad rider in front of them.”
“Really?” inquired the Cyborg.
“Absolutely. And they have to be in lycra - they have to look the part. It can’t just be some downhiller in baggies, because they just won’t care. They have to want to catch them And the film has to keep them just out of reach.”
“Fascinating,” and 00D really was. “It’d be even better if you could have avatars for them then, to race each other!”
“Yes - exactly! I’d love to do that. I’m looking at getting some power and cadence monitors that can transmit to the computer - then we can display everyone’s stats on the screen. It’ll be like Strava in real time!”
“My God - they’ll kill themselves trying to keep up!”
“Yes, but only for 20 minutes or so, then I make them do some real exercise before getting back on the bike. It’s good to mix it up a bit.”
“Have you ever heard of anyone spending hours on a trainer? Say, training for an endurance event?” pried 00D.
“No, why would you? Endurance events, like 24 hour races, are completely different. Sure, you need actual endurance as in being able to pedal for a long time, but you also need to keep your wits about you-tackle obstacles and people on the course. You can’t do that on a trainer.” came the reply, ”But now that I think about it, that’s not a bad idea... ”
00D filled in a sign up form, then left while as Mr Motivation made this class to one-armed chin-ups, while still strapped into their spin bikes.”
Stay Tuned: 00D’s Adventures continue in Part 5: Roots