I was anxiously awaiting for the mail today. Early this week, I had placed an order for 3LC’s Climbing Video (Train with the Manx). Before this past week, I’ve never heard of 3LC – but they ended up following me on Twitter and I reciprocated the “follow.” I really liked their banter with their followers – so I thought I’d add one of their videos to my indoor training library. I saw others did the same – so – there’s proof that social media can have an influence on business.
Anyway – here is my review. The DVD workout is 50 minutes long. I started out on my CycleOps Trainer (you may recall from an earlier post that I switched over to this when my longtime trainer started sticking) – but the wind generated from the trainer was too loud that I found in the first minute that I couldn’t understand what was being said by the riders. So, I stopped the video, changed over to my old trainer (after some maintenance – thought I’d try out the quieter one again to see if the sticking persisted), and restarted.
It turns out that it probably didn’t matter anyway. I understood about half of what they were saying – all of the riders were bloody English (you’ll have to excuse me if I say something offensive here – I don’t travel much and the majority of my British accent lessons came from Benny Hill shows). I could make out some of the banter – and knew the riders were doing a bit of heckling/teasing between them. It made me feel like I was among a group of friends – as my own personal group of riding buddies often heckle/tease each other during a ride.
I’m not positive, but I think one of the riders made a Seinfeld reference – followed by a joke about David Beckham. Of course, the riders may have said something completely different. It would have been nice to have subtitles (that could be turned on/off) – just so I could really tell what was being said.
The set design was interesting. I liked the writing on the floor – kind of reminded me of the writing you see on the roads during the Tour de France – and I
think each of the riders’ names was in front of them (but wasn’t sure). To one side of the backdrop, there were a bunch of jerseys on what appeared to be laundry lines. The rest of the background appeared much like a shrine to both the Coach/interviewer (I think) and to the Manx Missile himself, Mark Cavendish.
Speaking of Cavendish, I was hoping to have him as one of the riders. It’s kind of implied in the title when it says, “Train with the Manx,” and a photo of him is on the front of the DVD slide. Now, I know he has more important things to do than star in a cycling video – so I guess I’ll let this pass. Instead, we have to settle only for some photos of him in the background (makes me think about the Dave Days/Miley Cyrus cardboard cutout videos – just not quite the same…).
It didn’t dawn on me until into the climbs really why Cavendish wasn’t in the videos. He’s a sprinter – not a climber. Maybe that’s really what those photos are of him in the background with his hands in the air. He’s not winning a stage of the Tour – he’s just yelling “Hey! Wait for me!!” (OK – I hope he doesn’t see this. I think he’s the type of guy who just might look me up and punch me in the mouth for that comment…).
Back to the review….
The video quality of the DVD was excellent. The cameras cut to different viewpoints to keep it interesting. They even had little cameras mounted to the handlebars of the bikes that showed black and white videos of the riders during the workout. That was fine – but the black and white video of the riders’ faces as they sweated and spoke with the people to each side of them really reminded me of that British horror movie from a number of years back. What was it called…..The Tony Blair Witch Project? (I know. I know. Please hold the groans….).
The ongoing interviews with the riders actually helped make the sections go by faster. I don’t know if it was the actual interview – or – me trying to understand what they were saying. Either way, it did help in some of the sections.
The workout itself was a tough one. Now, I’m used to having gear ratios set up for me (from other DVDs I’ve done). I really like having someone tell me what gear ratio to use instead of having to guess. This workout leaves this out because they are focused more on cadence than on the gearing. They leave it up to you to figure out. It’ll take me a bit to figure out the best gears for the different section, but that’s ok. It’s just a different focus, and that can be good.
The sections near the tops of the simulated climbs were tough. Maybe it was my gear selection, but there was no way I was keeping the cadence up to the same pace with what I chose. The coaches kept saying to keep the cadence up – or you’d be dropped. Well, I was dropped (and think even Cav himself passed me….). I’ll be back to try it again, though!
The coaches also reminded you to keep your focus and not get sleepy during the climbs. I’m not sure, but I think they truly saw me – though I wasn’t getting sleepy (maybe ready to pass out, but not sleepy…). OK – it wasn’t that bad – but it was tough.
The riders in the DVD must have thought it was tough, too. They stopped early – getting off their bikes with three minutes left to go. One of the riders even took his bike with him – must have had only 45 minutes in his contract, and then he was taking his bike and going home! Good thing two guys stuck around to hear stories of the past from the Coach – or I would have been staring at a blank set of bikes/trainers for those final minutes.
May I also mention that I think the producers should really add to their towel budget. I think the riders shared the same towel to wipe the sweat off their faces. Maybe that’s a pro cycling ritual – but I’d need to have a good long talk with my agent before I’d agree to share sweaty towels with other riders just to star in a cycling workout.
My cycling computer showed a little over 15 miles on the bike until all was said and done. I’ve certainly done longer indoor rides, but this one was a great length for the intensity – and it allows me enough time to have a life and do other things afterwards.
As for the workout itself, I’ll definitely keep on my good list! It is a lot of fun, and the riders’ banter keeps the DVD moving along. I just need to go watch some more Benny Hill episodes so I can start getting acclimated to the British accent.
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Want to get your copy of 3LC: Climbing – here’s a link: