I know there are plenty of you out there sitting on the edge of your saddle – just waiting for this review of the final part of the 5th virtual ride in Spinervals On The Road Series. In the review of the second part, I indicated that the last section was going to be an hour and twenty minutes. The last time I did an hour and twenty minutes in one of these virtual rides, it was a loooooooong ride. Admittedly, I wasn’t looking forward to it.
And I had a lot of very important things going on. Work was picking up and keeping me working later (which is a good thing for business). I headed off to my alma mater, Juniata College, for alumni festivities (where I got to reminisce about the Allegrippis Trail system). I had my beloved Cannondale Scalpel frame replaced after a bad break. I channeled my inner Bob Marley and had to learn Redemption Song on the guitar (apologies to my wife who is sick of hearing me sing, hum and play this song). Ok…….I was really putting this off.
To make matters worse, I knew that 1:20 time period was just going to be brutal – so I admit that I even broke this part up into two smaller 40 minute slots. The first occurred about a week ago. The second was just finished up tonight. So, without further ado, here is the review.
There really isn’t too much to say. The last section is mostly flat and you stay mostly in the same gear (Big Ring/15 gear ratio). The riders still have very little interaction and zero camaraderie. It was just plain boring. It was probably the most difficult part of all of the virtual rides so far – mentally, that is – not physically.
I understand (after repeatedly being told by Coach Troy) that mental toughness is tough in long distance riding. I get that. I really do. There probably is a lot of benefit for those who like to race really long distances like this. You do have to stay focused for large amounts of time, and I guess it’d be easy to get bored. At the end of the ride, Troy even mentions about doing the loop again. No thank you!
For those of us who ride truly for pleasure (and sometimes for our own competitive spirit), this part of the ride is just torture – even broken up into two smaller segments. I think I let out an audible squeal (yes, squeal) when I hit the last two minutes. There’s just not enough variety in riding to keep me coming back.
Often in my posts, I like to find a scene from a classic (or not-so-classic, just favorite) movie or TV show to help drive my point home. In this case, the best way to convey how I felt is to show you a clip from Planes, Trains & Automobiles where Neal Page (played by Steve Martin) lets Del Griffith (John Candy) know how he feels about listening to Del’s stories (in this case – insert “Part 3 of Spinervals Virtual Ride 5.0” in place of “any insurance seminar” and you’ll get the full effect):
Looks like the next ride is in Tempe, AZ – Virtual Ride 6.0. The last rides in AZ (especially Workout B) are (and remain) my absolute favorites for the whole series! Here’s hoping that this Arizona video can rank up.