Video Review: Maui Rollers

photo 3It’s currently in the low 20’s – with a windchill in the teens.  Snow has barreled down on the Northeast for the evening, and schools are already delaying and canceling classes for tomorrow.  My son was even distraught that the local bingo game was canceled for the evening.

I hate snow and cold!  It wreaks havoc on being outside on a bike.  Fortunately yesterday,I was able to get out for my annual Resolve-to-Ride Ride in the mountains of central PA.  Sure it was muzzle loading and archery season, but a tradition’s a tradition!

Fast forward back to tonight.  The snow has been falling since mid-afternoon.  I had to plan my escape – so I reached for another one of my Global Ride virtual rides:  Maui Rollers.  Aaaaaah!  The warm tropical climate of Hawaii.  As long as it wasn’t like the moonscape of the Spinervals’ Hawaii ride, I was going to be happy!

As with all of the Global Ride videos I’ve reviewed so far, the ride starts with a slide show for your warm-up.  It’s about 5 minutes long, and the pictures are nice to look at.  It goes by pretty fast – and not much more to say about that – but it is just a warm-up.

photo 1The first actual segment of the rides is entitled “Kissed by Morning Rain.”  That title explains the fact that there is a light rain at the start of this ride.  The screen is covered by raindrops in several areas (see photo to the right) – but it’s not distracting and doesn’t last long.  I’ve had actual rides in the rain where my sunglasses looked very much the same way.  I guess it adds a bit of realism.

The ride in this section doesn’t last real long.  Quite honestly, I don’t remember much more about this section – so it must have been ok – just a fairly consistent and long climb.

The next section is entitled “Climbing to Sunshine.”  I was hoping there’d be some decent climbing to match the title.  You know – the kind of leg-thumping, pedal-dancing, stand-up kind of climbing.  While it bumped up a little bit, the section didn’t live up to its name.  Still, the climbing remained fairly consistent.

The view - right before I pass the slowpoke!

The view – right before I pass the slowpoke!

The final section, “Feeling the Need for Speed,” makes you think you’ll be doing a high cadence.  In actuality, it’s more consistent climbing.  This is the longest section of the 45-minute video – and you really don’t let up too much at all.  There were a few more sections where you get to stand up (and, secretly, I liked those standing climbs when the camera passes the other rider – making me yell “Suck it, slowpoke!” as I pass by (Yes – inappropriate, I know)).

The whole video workout is true to its name:  Maui Rollers.  You have a 45-minute workout that rolls along the whole time.  The coach tells you that the goal of this workout is to keep your heart rate at threshold the whole time.  Now, if I actually measured my heart rate, this would probably mean more to me – but – I’m a pretty good judge of how hard the ol’ ticker is working, and I’d say it was pretty consistent the whole time.

Speaking of the coach, I stuck with the USA coach.  As with the other Global Ride videos, you have the option of picking between coaches from a few different countries.  I never tried any of the other coaches, so I don’t know if they all say pretty much the same thing.  The USA coach on this video was pretty good.  He didn’t rely on making cheesy references to the songs to fill the time (like in one of the other Global Ride videos I reviewed).  He actually kept the gear shifts pretty consistent with the terrain (though I did notice a few times he forgot to tell me to shift up or down).  The video is clear enough, though, to be able to figure this out on your own.

I also left the music on (as usual, you have the option of turning it off).  I really didn’t plan on listening to the music, but I left my headphones up a flight of stairs, and I didn’t want to haul my lazy butt back up the steps to get them.  I can honestly say that the music wasn’t horrible.  It didn’t come close to the awesome music of The Wretched – but it didn’t make me want to stick my ears in my spokes while the wheel was spinning.

The 5-minute cool down session was another slide show of photos taken on “Global Rides and other cycling vacations.”  Again, nice scenery to look at when you’re just doing a light spin.

Once that cool down is done, the DVD takes you right to the post-ride, 30-minute yoga session.  I’ve never done yoga, so I usually just watch for a few minutes while I catch my breath from the ride itself.  I hear yoga is really good for cyclists.  I just can’t get into it.  The workout is probably fine – but – I think this particular one seemed a little intimidating.  I could tell the instructor was a long-time yoga-er-ist???   She was using “official” sounding position names that anyone new to yoga would not know how to do.  Sure, you can follow along, but it’d be tough to keep up until you’ve been through the session a number of times.

Overall, this video workout is a keeper.  The consistent rollers kept the legs pumping the entire time, and I sweated out a few small puddles.  It’s not super hard, but is definitely a good workout.

Ride on!

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