Last year I posted a review on Seek Out Cycling‘s indoor bicycling videos. To summarize the review: I enjoyed using the videos because they encouraged me to exercise more, push myself harder, and, most importantly, enjoy indoor bicycling exercise.
I am 67 years old. I am a plugger. I have heart issues. I hate to exercise, and indoor exercise in particular. Last year Seek Out Cycling‘s bicycling videos helped me mentally and physically prepare for a self supported bicycle ride across the United States. This year I am getting ready for a ride from Billings MT to Prudhoe Bay AK. Based on the successful results from using their previous products I decided to take a look at two of the newer sets: Colorado Springs and Boulder.
I was pleasantly surprised right off the bat. These products came in standard size DVD boxes, which store more easily in my video rack. The earlier products came in nice CD type boxes, but I like these much better. The cover/back printing is larger and overall I feel the packaging looks better. Ah, but on to the videos themselves.
The Colorado Springs set consists of 4 videos: Cheyenne Canyon Fitness Test, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, and Columbine Chutes. The Boulder set also consists of 4 videos: Flagstaff Mountain Road, West to Nederland, Foothills and Flatlands, and Off Road in Betasso Preserve. All of the DVDs, with the exception of the Fitness Test, are an hour long. I was happy to see that the videos were ‘standardized’ around one hour, which is about right for me.
As in previous videos, each of the rides feature various intensity levels. “How do these levels relate to me”, you might ask. The 45 minute Cheyenne Canyon Fitness Test actually helps each rider develop a personal gear/cadence or heart rate for each intensity level. In my case, the Fitness Test results tracked very closely to my own heart rate levels that were developed in a professional gym setting. In addition to a discussion about intensity levels, each video begins with a nice discussion of the ride using a topographic map, an elevation profile, and an intensity level profile.
David Kriegshauser, owner of Seek Out Cycling, continues to provide guidance and encouragement during the videos: stand up, pedal faster, you can do it, change the intensity to . . . , only a few more seconds. These and other instructions help vary the workout to make it interesting, taxing, and extremely realistic.
I found the video quality and background music on these DVDs to be better than the earlier ones in my collection. The images are sharper and seem to be better stabilized (no vibration). The earlier videos are not bad, and I continue to use them, but these are noticeably better. The background music seems more dynamic and fits well with the various intensity levels which helps me ‘keep with the pace’ of the ride.
David uses two methods to show the intensity levels: bar chart and level box. The bar chart, located in the lower center of the screen, ranges from 65% to 105% with the appropriate level being circled. The level box appears in the right hand corner with the appropriate numerical level displayed. Personally, I prefer the level box, but either method works fine. Sometimes a count down timer box appears to let you know how much time remains at a given intensity level. I really like the count down timer and wished it were used more frequently.
The videos feature very life like rides: scenery, traffic, people, other cyclists and pedestrians, and various paved and off road conditions. I find myself getting zoned in on the ride and wanting to make a turn or swerve to avoid an obstacle. Most of the time there is a lead rider in the video which I enjoy; it provides someone for me to chase.
If you want something to buildup/maintain your fitness level and take the boredom out of indoor bicycling then I highly recommend these two sets from Seek Out Cycling: Colorado Springs and Boulder. They certainly work for me, and I feel sure they will work for you.