Video Review: Spinervals Virtual Ride 7.0 – Kona, HI Part Two

IMG_0422It’s been a bit since I posted Part One of this virtual ride video – and I have to admit that, mentally, it was tough for me to get back on the bike for this one.  The scenery and long-endurance riding of this ride didn’t exactly make me excited to come back.  But I’m determined to get through the entire 5 1/2 hours so I can say I finished (and reviewed) all of the rides in the On The Road Series by the folks at Spinervals.

This part of the review encompasses the approximate 2 hours of DVD #2 (of the 3 DVD set for this particular ride).

The scenery in this section is marginally better than the first DVD.  You actually get to start seeing some green plants – and it looks a little less like you’re riding on the moon.  I think I even caught a glimpse of a palm tree or two as I rode into the small town where the turnaround came.

That being said, it was still a pretty boring ride.  Coach Troy, again, remarked that the scenery on this virtual ride is not too exciting.  Again, he said that you should find something else to do while riding it to stay entertained – read a book, watch a TV show, etc.  There’s a lot of time to think of other things to do.  Perhaps Lloyd has what may be the best idea from the movie, Dumb & Dumber (if you look out the windshield of their window in this video, it could have been shot at the same location as this DVD):

You may have noted above that I talk about “the turnaround.”  Yes – it was mostly and out-and-back section.  You may remember that I don’t really care for out-and-back sections in virtual rides OR in real rides.  This section of the ride was a climb up to a small town for most of the first hour – only to turn around in the town and start heading back down the climb for the second hour.  The funny thing is:  you really don’t get a lot of relief in your pedaling to go down the hill you just climbed up.  It’s that old:  “Up Hill….Both Ways….” story that your parents and grandparents told about their trips to school (that same thing happened in an earlier virtual ride, too!).

Speaking of the turnaround……I’m wondering if that was the planned turnaround – OR – if Coach Troy just turned to see the girl in the bikini top a second time.   Not that I was looking (ahem).  I’m just saying that could have been a possibility.

Anyway, since you essentially climb both sections (Big Ring/15 for the majority of the time), it is a decent workout.  Your legs feel like you’ve been on a real ride.  Your brain, though, feels pretty mushy from the lack of scenery.

It’s really a shame that the scenery isn’t better.  There are actually 3-4 (maybe more) cameras shooting this video.  The video was pretty crisp and bright from all of the different viewpoints.  That’s probably because It looks like Coach Troy’s budget allowed for a number of GoPro cameras:

  1. CoachTroy Cam – mounted to his helmet (is there any cool way to mount a square camera to your helmet?)  You may remember that I spoke about not liking Coach Troy to look to the side during Virtual Ride 1.0.  I only wish he’d look to the side during this ride to look at the beautiful ocean.  It sure would have helped the scenery (even if it does make me queasy).
  2. CarCam – as is in all of the virtual rides.
  3. MotorcycleHelmetCam – one or two of these from a motorcycle following Coach Troy
  4. ForkMountCam – a new viewpoint for this video series.  The GoPro is mounted below the handlebars on the front fork of the bike.  Gives an interesting perspective of the bottom of Coach Troy’s hands above you and a spinning tire to the left of you – all while putting you closer to the road.  I kind of like it.

The training advice for triathletes and other extreme cyclists continue.  Again, I am neither one of these – just a guy who likes to ride with a group of buddies (not the meandering, Sunday drive kind of rides – and – not the intense endurance and over-the-top rides.  Somewhere in the middle, I guess).  It’s probably good advice for those who are serious riders/competitors.

I think the most fun advice comes when he talks about peeing during a long race.  It’s one of those things that you really don’t think about if you don’t do long races.  Essentially, you have two choices:

  1. Stop and visit some portable facilities (or your local tree) along the way (and lose some valuable time).
  2. Just go, man!  (reminds me of another scene from Dumb and Dumber):

You can make your decision based on your needs…..

As this part of the ride came close to finishing, I couldn’t help noticing a white van that started to ride beside Coach Troy.  I wasn’t sure what to think at first – not sure if it was some annoying driver who was heckling a cyclist (if you’re a cyclist, you know what I mean).  I wanted to yell at the van to keep moving.

Turns out – it was part of the production crew.  The doors were hanging open and cameramen hung out IMG_0438the sides and back with cameras in all kinds of weird angles.  I had to wonder how many times my best friend, Jason, did similar things with his photography/video business….

The van interaction was a little weird.  It’d follow alongside Troy for awhile.  Then it’d speed up in front of him (to let cars go by, etc.).  After awhile, Troy would catch back up to it.  Then it’d speed up again.  I was wondering if it was a SAG Wagon (heck!  I wanted to jump in and get to the end of this section.).

Every time Troy got close, I was wondering if he was going to bunny hop into the back of the van. It was reminiscent of that arcade game from the ’80’s – Spy Hunter – where the spy car got to go in the back of the truck to upgrade its equipment.  Who knows?  Maybe it’d upgrade his Kestrel bike to something really good like a Litespeed Firenze?  (Author’s note:  I ride a Litespeed Firenze so this is just a bit of silly humor.  For all of you Kestrel lovers out there, no hate mail, please).

Oh!  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about – here’s a video of that game:

Well, that’s probably enough about this section.  As soon as I can get done with the last section, I’ll be sure to post.

Ride on!

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