The Turbo Trainer: Apparatus of Pain and Misery

I’m sure there are people out there who like or even have a perverse love affair with their turbo trainer. It might even attract some sort of love/hate duality. I know for a fact that some people, many of them ostensibly sane with some hideously rapid times to their name, view the turbo as the essential piece of training equipment. Personally, i’d rather rip my face off and dive into a bath of saline solution than use this horrible piece of apparatus. It’s utterly soul-destroying and mind-numbing, which is a pretty vicious combination. I hate the turbo with the same level of vitriol that i reserve for assholes like David Cameron or anyone who has a tenuous grasp on social justice.

I thought i might do a ‘quick’ turbo session this evening. The reason being that the weather is pretty terrible and i hadn’t got the time to head down to the lake for the first Chew Valley race of the season. By the time i’d sorted out the rear turbo wheel by putting a tyre on and pinching an inner tube, then changing the tyre and putting a new tube in, switching the cassette and setting up the bike and then setting up the computer with ‘The Flying Scotsman’ on the iplayer with headphones and subtitles (because of fearsome noise) to alleviate the dreadful and crushing ennui of it all and then got changed and put some water within reach and found my sweaty turbo towel that hasn’t been washed since the last time i dared to ride the bastard (turbo, not turbo towel) and wrestled with the quick release mechanism and then adjusted the height with a series of books under the front wheel by getting on and off about four times then adjusting the saddle height then going back and adjusting the resistance about 6 times with the manual turny thing, i’d wasted about 55 minutes. This was about as long as i intended to spend on the bastard piece of shit.

I managed about 11 minutes at about 70% of max before two things happened. The iplayer began to freeze and unfreeze, robbing me of the only thing that helped me think that i wasn’t actually on the turbo, and then without warning the back wheel leapt out of the dropout clasps and i had to do an emergency unclip and braking manouevre ON THE GODDAMNED TURBO just to stay alive. i suddenly lurched towards the computer screen where Graeme Obree was riding off the front of some sort of Tour of the Scottish Prettylands in the early part of the film.

I staggered off and went into the lounge and issued Belle with the following imperative:

“If i ever, ever, ever say i’m going to go on the turbo, ever again, then tell me to forget about it and get the hell out and ride my bike, whatever the weather. do that for me, please, promise me.”

She looked nervous and agreed. In the meantime, if anyone wants a Cyclops Turbo, lightly used, then ask.

6 thoughts on “The Turbo Trainer: Apparatus of Pain and Misery

  1. rollapaluza bag boy May 9, 2012 / 5:58 pm

    I have a device you will enjoy turboing called a daum premium 8i ergo bike. change the cranks to 172.5, and add look pedals and I have a race kit. I have a spare. you can take any gps route stuff it on a sd card plug it into the screen and off you ride. they are like the watt bike but better and almost on a par with a srm ergo trainer. oh and you can play any music on the head unit provided in mp3.

  2. andy h. May 9, 2012 / 7:21 pm

    get some rollers….gives you something to concentrate on, staying upright that is.

    • traumfahrrad May 9, 2012 / 7:35 pm

      i used to have rollers. they were a bit wonky and seriously noisy. i liked them though.

  3. bringmemyfix May 9, 2012 / 9:21 pm

    Ỳou’re doing it wrong.

    I’ve had to use the fucking thing for the past 2 Sundays. I’ve risen at 5am, planning on getting some epic saddle time (spurred on by positive weather forecasts at bedtime), only to be greeted with torrential or even just common or garden rain along with pre-dawn internet weather forecasts promising precipitation all day. The outcome of this has been to crawl back into bed till a rational hour, and then do a 60 rollers / 60 turbo / 30 rollers split, but only the last half hour on the rollers could be called ‘steady-state’. Admittedly, I’ve ended up as or more damp than I would’ve done outside, but I’m fucked if I’m going to clean a bike again before October.

    It’s very odd jumping straight onto a turbo after an hour on the rollers. More like sitting on a fence than riding a bike. Funny how in some contexts one’s behaviour can be at polar opposites depending on whether the article is definite or indefinite.

    • traumfahrrad May 10, 2012 / 6:18 am

      that’s entirely plausible. however, i was intending to do it right but everything else got in the way.

  4. Manfred Nuescheler May 10, 2012 / 10:10 am

    Rollensprint mit Manfred Nuescheler (55) auf Turbo-Trainer
    Die Muetze blinkt im Sekunden-Takt.
    Gleichzeitig hohe Tretleistungen und hohe Drehzahlen auf einem Turbo-Radtrainer.

    2225 Watt auf einem Turbo-Radtrainer
    Rollensprint mit Manfred Nuescheler auf Turbo-Radtrainer
    mit 2225 Watt (3 PS) in der Anzeige

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