Well, what to do now that winter is here: join a gym, wait for better weather, or figure out how to keep riding.
Six months of gym membership is about $200, consistently better weather is about six months away, and a magnetic resistance trainer will allow me to keep riding my own recumbent.
I researched the internet looking at the various trainers: some good, some not so good, some pricey, and some really pricey. And the big dilemma is that I have never been one to just sit and exercise. What to do, what to do, what to do.
It turns out that one of the local Billings bike shops, Montana Cycling & Ski, rents mag trainers for $25 a week which applies to the purchase of a trainer if you end up buying one. Soooo, $25 later I am home with a Elite-It Rental unit. This particular trainer doesn’t have any resistance adjustments. Instead, it self adjusts based on the speed of the rear tire which seems to be a neat idea. Montana Cycling doesn’t sell this brand anymore; rather, they carry Giant and Blackburn brands which offer similar features.
The rear quick release skewer on the Giro 20 didn’t fit the trainer so that had to be replaced. Except for that minor hiccup the bike fit right into the trainer frame and the locking screw tightened up easily. Another nice feature seems to be the spring loaded resistance wheel; no tension adjustments. I didn’t have any blocking to raise the front tire so the bike leans ‘down hill’ slightly.
I put a movie on the computer (Angel Dog) and went riding for about an hour. This is definitely a good workout. On the plus side I discovered that the resistance did in fact go up as I shifted into the higher gears (the back tire turned faster). Another plus was the noise was not objectionable, which was a negative in some mag trainer reviews. And, the best plus was the fact I could ride (and sweat on) my own recumbent instead of some simulated exercise machine. The only downside involved having to stop the ride in the middle and go get a small fan to provide some air movement.
Something else I noticed: My neck is very stiff and sore after riding. When out riding I tend to look around quite a bit. On the trainer I spent much of my time looking straight ahead. I will have to think about this tomorrow. I had been considering a head rest for the bike, oh well.
I have this trainer for a week to see if it is something to seriously consider.