As I continue along reviewing the Spinervals’ series of Virtual Rides, the latest is Virtual Ride 3.0 – Tucson, AZ. Now, I’ve done this DVD before and all of the others in the series – so I already know that this is BY FAR my favorite of the entire series!
To be honest, I was leaning towards skipping a ride entirely last night. Typically, I jump on the bike as soon as I walk in the door after work (well, need to get into the biking gear first….). Last night was one of those nights where I had other things to do right after work – namely, guitar lessons. This was the last guitar lesson with this teacher (who I’ve been trying out for the past month, but found out we’re on different wavelengths and decided to end it last night). I say that only because I was home later and ate dinner first (rather than riding before dinner).
The comfy chair in my Family Room grabbed me and didn’t want to let go. My wife and kids told me I should really ride – so, after a few moments, I decided I might as well. As I popped in the DVD and prepared to jump on the bike, I noted that Workout A was 1:22 long (that’s 1 hour, 22 minutes – not a minute, twenty-two seconds). The time was about 7:55 – so I’d be on the bike until about 9:15. Hmmm…..not sure I wanted to ride that long that late at night for me (I typically wake up around 5:20 and was afraid that I wouldn’t want to go to sleep).
I think there is really only one way to describe this virtual ride – CLIMBING! That’s right – for the majority of the ride, you will find yourself in the big ring in the front and either the 12, 13 or 15 in the back ring.
You’ll see the time left to ride in that photo of 1:10:48. This is shortly after the start of the climb – and the time I shifted into the Big Ring/13 Rear Cog gear ratio. This is a critical point, because Coach Troy has you stay in that gear combination for a loooooong time. In fact, it’s about 30 minutes. I know this because I kept an eye on the time AND my one cycling computer (on the right) is only used for gear ratio when on the trainer. It timed out and turned off about 30 minutes after I switched into that gear.
The climb continues relentlessly to the top of the mountain – to a point called Windy Point. Overall, it’s over an hour of pure climbing. Coach Troy tells you that it’s about a 14 mile to the ending point. However, with the gear ratio he has you in (and if you keep the speed at approximately 23 miles per hour), you actually double that mileage – as I ended up with a little over 30 miles until all was said and done (either that – or – I loved the climb so much I transported back to the bottom and did the ride a second time without knowing…..).
Here’s a look at my cycling computers after the ride. Note the mileage on the left. The sweat puddles are a little visible, too. They would have been larger, but I think part of them evaporated during the ride and the ones shown came from the last few minutes of riding when I was pushing Big Gear front/12 on the back!
As for the DVD itself, the video quality was excellent! There was less use of the Coach Troy Cam – and I’m A-OK with that. I much preferred the Car Cam on this one – as it allowed me to see the absolute beauty of the area! It’s one of those climbs that I kind of want to do, but would probably be crying the entire way up (hoping one of the vehicles along the way would stop and give me a lift to the top). It really tempts me to go to one of the Training Camps he offers, but I’m afraid I’d be out of my league.
The audio quality was also great on this one – except for the very end when Coach Troy is talking to you from Windy Point. Aptly named, the wind is whipping loudly in the final comments when Troy is congratulating you for a great ride.
I didn’t find too many of the quirky #favCoachTroyisms that I like to talk about in each video review. At one point, he does mention that if you were riding the actual mountain with him, you’d be sucking wind to keep up with him – only to admit that you just might be out in front of him instead if you’re in better shape than he is. I like to think that’d be me, but I know it wouldn’t be. It’s what makes Coach Troy real.
Probably the best thing I heard from him during the entire workout was that I’d need to take some time to replace the sugars from the ride. That kept me spinning until the end – as visions of sugary treats danced in my head. It’s probably not really what he meant, but I didn’t care. I was just hoping the family didn’t finish these off before I got back upstairs. Otherwise, I’d have to plan an Angry Ride – which will be a post in itself some other day!
I’d say that you can’t go wrong with this Virtual Ride video – whether you get it on a DVD or download it directly. If you love to climb, this workout will deliver! I intend to do the bonus climb from Windy Point to the top in a future workout.
Workout B is also on the radar to review in short order. Stay tuned for that review. Until then, ride on!