My virtual ride through Madison, Wisconsin continued today (if you missed Part One, it may help to take a look at that review first). I usually break these longer rides up by stopping at the planned breaks that are built into the video. On this particular day, I decided to go through two breaks rather than stopping at the first. That first break today (which is actually the second break of the DVD) was only about 30 minutes into today’s ride – so I thought I’d continue on (though I do admit that I have stopped at this break on rides previous to this). Overall, this section lasted about 1 hour and 20 minutes – which was just about 29 miles.
There’s really not a lot to say about the video itself. Cornfields and some rolling hills are the majority of what you see in this section. You alternate between Big Ring/15 and Small Ring/15 for the majority of this section – though most is the Big Ring/15. So, it’s a little more challenging than the first section.
This part of the ride drags on a bit. I found it easy for my mind to wander (yes – I even checked my Words With Friends and contemplated my next move). Coach Troy even admits that this isn’t the most exciting ride. Of course he waits until there’s only 51 minutes left in the entire ride until he admits that. I guess he figures that you’ve invested over 2 hours of the 3 total – so you’re not going to stop now. Thank goodness I only have around 43 minutes left to do tomorrow (but, fortunately, Coach Troy says “the hills are ahead” – so I hope the ride gets better).
I think it drags on a bit for the riders, too. In the first half of this part, one of the female riders looks to struggle for a little bit. One of the other riders slows down and helps push her up the hill. I half-expected her to elbow him for doing so – especially because a camera was following them. If I’d ever get the chance to be in a video and was hurting on a ride, I’d do all I could to get behind the CarCam so it wouldn’t be shown.
Now, if you want to add a little bit of fun to break up the monotony, and you watch the Tour de France, you can squint your eyes at certain times in this ride and pretend that you are riding the Tour (sort of). In one section, Coach Troy teaches you about being in a pace line. Another section, he has you follow the riders through a roundabout. In yet one other section, Coach Troy and one of the riders drops you like Chris Froome dropped Bradley Wiggins in that one mountain stage of last year’s Tour. Fortunately, he lets up and allows you to catch up (again, just like Chris Froome did when the screaming came across the radio in his ear).
Short of that, the best part of this section is yet another nod to how real these virtual rides can be. At one point in the ride, you see a loose dog come shooting towards the cyclists – ready to attack. I won’t spoil this (like I did with the exact time the group gets lost in Part One). I think I should let you experience that as a surprise – much like a real ride (on a side note: my brother sometimes misleads us on our actual rides when he knows a dog is coming up – just so we get to experience the surprise for ourselves. Dang him, anyway!). You’ll see the cyclists start pedaling their behinds off to get away from the dog. That’ll be your cue to pedal as well.
I can say I was glad to see this part end. The hour and twenty minutes seemed a heck of a lot longer than the hour from the other day. Again, I’m happy that the final part will now only be a little over 40 minutes. I didn’t have anything really interesting to post for a photo – so I just snapped a shot of my bike as it sits on my trainer. I guess because the highlight of this section was to finally be done.