Tuesday, February 23, 2010

iMagic is Magic

The new VR trainer is amazing. It doesn't even work without a computer, it's sooo high tech. Cale set it up the other night and then he took it over! He was excited to try it so he got the first ride. It's really cool. You get to choose your route (from all over the world), the kit you wear and even if it's raining and windy (there's sound and increased resistance). The trainer kicks up the resistance when you're going up a hill. It's like a video game for most of the routes, I think, but there's at least one short route where it's actually a video of a road, complete with cars in the oncoming lane. All they need is a simulated group ride, or maybe a tandem ride, where you stare at someone's ass for 2.5 hours.

You can choose to race someone (I wonder, can you set the game to 'easy'!) on the road or track, and all sorts of wonderful things. There's a software upgrade I can get, should I feel so inclined, that will let me map a route on Google maps and the computer would then show my progress along the route.

This machine from the future also acts as a Powertap, though we want to check it against an actual Powertap to see how accurate it is. Speed, RPM, watts and heart rate (from an uncoded strap) are all things you can track.

So is this overkill? Heck yes. And is it more exciting than riding outside in freezing temps? Well, it's still pretty novel so I'll have to answer that later when I'm less giddy about it and my head's clearer.

But here's the real magic of iMagic; I used it tonight for a 10 mile loop through some lovely mountains (with areas of clear-cut. How realistic!) and I was actually working really hard. It's the hardest I've ever gone on a trainer, outside of tests. (Heheh, I originally typed 'testes') With this, at least for now, I wanted my little guy on the screen to do well, so I actually got in a good workout. Very surprising, as I am exceeding lazy, and never so lazy as when I'm on the trainer. When Cale came into the apartment last night covered in sweat and saying the trainer had kicked his ass, I kind of laughed to myself that he could get so worked up about new technology, but now it's sucked me in, too. Are none of us safe? It pierces even the thickest clouds of apathy about training. I think people who already like training and trainers might be in trouble, like when people in second life games online forget to go to work and eat and sleep.