You may have read my Video Review: Spinervals Virtual Ride 1.0 a week or so ago. Since I have the whole collection of Virtual Rides by the folks at Spinervals, I thought I’d continue to go through each one and post my thoughts on them. In case you didn’t pick up on this before (in my About Me page, etc.), I’m not nearly a professional rider – and I fit in exercise as much as I can.
I say that because many of the videos in the Virtual Ride series are approximately 3 hours long. While that may be fine for those who are seriously committed to training for triathlons, etc., it doesn’t work too well for someone like me who has other responsibilities and just uses the videos for winter riding to keep up (and, hopefully, improve) my level of fitness. As a result, I break the long video sessions into smaller chunks (usually each chunk is around an hour).
With that being said, this is my review of Spinervals Virtual Ride 2.0 – Lake Placid New York. It’s in three parts – to coincide with the three sessions as I do them. May I say – before I begin – more power to the folks who do this video all in one setting (and even more power to those true triathletes who would do this actual course twice in one day!!)!
Part One: Approximate Time – 1 Hour, Eight Minutes
The first part of the video I did encompassed the start of the ride through the second “break” point of the entire video. It’s a fairly flat section and you really just go between two gears – small front cog: 15 on the back AND large front cog: 15 on the back. That’s not a lot of variety – but the scenery and Coach Troy’s interactive banter helps move the video along.
The video quality is decent and the switching between the Car Cam and the Coach Troy Cam (camera mounted to his helmet) is pretty smooth. Fortunately for me, he didn’t pull any quick glances to the left or right from Coach Troy Cam in this video (like the first one). That kept me from needing to avert my eyes to avoid motion sickness.
Audio is pretty good for most of the ride. There is one problem on a close-up, side view (when Coach Troy takes the time to speak to you directly from the saddle) where there was no adjustment for wind and you hear more of the wind than you do of him. I’m still not really sure what he said – but I know it was encouragement.
“Virtual Ride” probably is a great way to explain this ride, too. You get to experience all types of things that you see in an actual ride. In this video (so far): road construction. Yes. You actually experience a delay in the ride due to road construction (as a side note: I really felt like I was in Pennsylvania riding – road construction capital of the world). Fortunately, the delay doesn’t last long because the recording skips until we’re approved to move through the construction zone.
I couldn’t help wondering exactly what the big burly construction workers thought and/or said as Troy comes to a stop in his biking shorts/gear. Maybe that’s really why it was cut short…. As he leaves the first construction zone, you can see the other flagman talking on his two-way radio (again…wondering if the first guy is telling the second guy to “get a load of the dude in his biking skivvies coming through.”). I’ve biked enough to have been heckled by non-bikers – so this surely is possible!
Overall, this first section is not too difficult. Troy continues to tell you it’ll get harder later – and I know it does. Even though the difficulty isn’t as hard this first hour, it was still enough to work up a sweat. And – for those doing the whole ride in one sitting – I’m sure this first section is a nice warmup for the rest of the ride.
It’s a good ride. I happened to notice that Troy was riding a Litespeed (same manufacturer as my road bike). He also mentions it’s a titanium bike (mine is too). I admit – that gives me a bit of pride as I think that my bike isn’t too darn shabby if I’m riding something similar to a well known cycling coach….
Anyway, I’ll continue to report on this video as I go through this. Part Two should be tomorrow. Until then….