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.┬áPersonally, 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.

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