A limerick a week #185

Two tyred to train…

So, we’re all in lockdown and socially isolated, the gyms are closed and it’s cold, wet and windy outside. How am I going to keep bike-fit?

You may remember the ‘Peleton’ advert from last Christmas in which a husband gave his wife a ‘smart’ bike trainer so that he could whole-heartedly patronise her and reduce her to a chattle. The whole tone of the advert was, at best, condescending, but was, in reality, closer to the Graun’s description of ‘sexist and dystopian’.

This is what another limericist, @Limericking, thought at the time:

A Peleton ad has made clear
Just what it can do in a year.
The Peleton wife
Has a beautiful life
And a general aura of fear

Apart from belittling your partner, the Peleton business model is based on a smart trainer that allows you to take part in live-streamed ‘group’ spin classes with other Peleton riders and to compete against them if you wish, and to access a library of recorded workouts too.

At nearly £2k for a Peleton bike and around £40 a month to subscribe to its service, it ain’t half pricey, and if you stop subscribing or the company folds then your bike’s USP (and usefulness) disappears too.

or

You can go (mostly) low tech and (mostly) free and hook-up an old road bike to an old ‘dumb’ turbo trainer.

A simple cadence sensor on the bike’s crank arm paired to the Cateye Cycle app on a smartphone allows you to monitor your revs whilst one of the many Global Cycling Network’s free YouTube training sessions puts you through your paces…

The old tech…

A 30 year old steel road bike, a Peugeot Optimum 14 (Reynolds 531 frame and forks, so a nice bit of retro kit) coupled to an equally old dumb trainer

The new tech…

The free Cateye Cycling app loaded onto a smartphone and paired to a cheap cadence sensor on the bike, and one of the Global Cycling Network’s YouTube training videos running on a tablet.

If you have a heartrate monitor, then you can pair that with the CatEye app too. There’s no power readouts unless your bike’s pedals have power meters incorporated and if, for example, you’ve subscribed to Zwift, then you have to guess how resistance will change according to terrain. Personally I’m happy to take the low tech approach outlined here for as long as I can’t get to my regular spin classes, but I’m happier still, on a fine day, to get out on the road itself!

Here’s the limerick:

A chap whose brain was quite numb
Saw an advert, to which he’d succumb,
For a very smart trainer,
But he missed the disclaimer
That the advert was utterly dumb!

Postscript#1: I was recently sent Jonathon Watson’s ‘Only an Excuse’ parody of the Peleton advert and, for once, he made me laugh…

(needed to be maximised on my android phone)

Postscript#2: For an authoritative review of Peleton vs ‘other’ smart bike approaches, this article is well worth reading.

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LanterneRouge

😎 - Former scientist, now graduated to a life of leisure. - Family man (which may surprise the family; it certainly surprises him). - Likes cycling and old-fashioned B&W film photography. - Dislikes greasy-pole-climbing 'yes men'. - Thinks Thea Gilmore should be much better known than she is. - Values decency over achievement.

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