Saturday, December 27, 2008

savage revenge

so i didn't bring my bike to ohio this year because a) it was going to cost me $200 [as opposed to $25 last year...the ghetto airline "skybus" went out of business...probably because they only charged $25 roundtrip for bicycles], and b) it was 1 degree with negative 20 something windchill.

but now it is some crazy heat wave and in the high 50s or something like i am sad i don't have my bike. i can't believe one day it is 1 degree and two days later is 58. (and there is my obligatory discussion of weather, as everyone loves to talk about the weather, especially when they don't have anything better to talk about. and right now, i don't have anything better to talk about.)

the folks at the local YMCA are real nice and when i tried to see if i could buy a one week pass, they just gave me a week of free guest passes. thanks! the YMCA at lake anna just opened up about a year ago and it is very nice. there are these stationary bikes that were more like a video game. so i sat down and went past the beginner, intermediate, and advanced "routes"-- right to the CHALLENGING routes. then i found the hardest one on that page: SAVAGE REVENGE.

so there were a lot of things really savage about SAVAGE REVENGE. first, was the fact that all the mock cyclist were riding in the snow capped mountains with short sleeves and shorts. only one lady had on some pink knee warmers. second, were the trolls that would throw snowballs at you.

i saw the "winning times" at the bottom of the screen and i was all set to crush it. some dude had 55 minutes. i could beat that. after all, i ride real bikes. AND i am in barberton, ohio. i wasn't really worried about my competition and was hoping to eternalize myself on the winners board at the lake anna YMCA.

so i started my route and after a minute, everyone was passing me. i mean everyone. and not just passing me slowly, but flying by me. then i realized two things about these stationary bikes. 1) you need to steer them, as i was wondering why i kept riding in the gutter. 2) you also need to shift -- and there are like 30 different gears so even 3 shifts feels like nothing. okay, so i figured this out in the first five minutes. then i started passing people, and then started throwing hooks to people to see if i could cause crashes... but the people just disappear when you hit then, so then i started to just ride straight through people. after a few minutes of this, i was exhausted and still way behind, clear that i wasn't going to get the high score. so i did what any good person would do.

i started over.

don't judge me. i wanted to school SAVAGE REVENGE. and five minutes into the new round, i was already 3 minutes behind. i finished a just little bit off the leader 1 hour 39 minutes, slightly behind the record of 0 hours 55 minutes. while i saw how they were 30 minutes or whatever ahead of me, i started thinking about ben jacque mayne and wondered how he could do on savage revenge. maybe he could get on the leaders board. i would be curious. it's not like i wasn't trying. i was. i was trying real hard. i just don't think i was savage enough. it is pretty hard to get beat by 45 minutes on a 55 minute course.

so, as i was sucking, i started to try to figure out why i sucked so bad. when i was spinning around 80-90 rpms on a flatish part, i was only going about 6mph. then when i'd shift up to number 25 or something HUGE, going at 30 rpms, i would be flying. so i came to the conclusion that these "expresso fitness" bikes are biased toward fat gear mashers. not that all gear mashers are fat...but i am just bitter about getting beat by 45 minutes on 55 minute course.

so when i got home i googled the company who makes the bikes: i found out some interesting things:
  • that 55 minute dude actually doesn't live in barberton. these bikes are hooked up to the internet and that guy is from minnesota. it makes me feel better knowing that it was at least a transnational competition.
  • there is this whole forum where people shit talk each other about the stationary bikes.
  • this one dude - get this - who biked 180 miles in one day on these bikes. apparently, they have these competitions where they clock miles and times and get free t-shirts if they win.
i don't really know how i feel about this thing, but i will probably register my free account when i try it again tonight so i can maybe get on the leader board. i will try the 25 rpm strategy. but maybe a shorter route like "farmer's bluff." cause even with the fun video game-like setup of this thing-- and me riding through people like a ghost - it still got kind of boring.


alicat said...

now this sounds like a competition that this pregnant woman can enjoy. maybe i'll hold off on savage revenge, but a video game to exercise may be just what the doctor ordered. i just joined the berkeley y and we left coast folks may be too cool for these games, but i'm hoping i can track one of these down at the gym. stay tuned..

Brian Peterson said...

Good stuff Beth! I think you would enjoy this thread on FGF, and maybe you'll feel better about being crushed by people on the stationary bike: said...

it's always a race

Amy said...

I'm so glad you started over. Do we ever tell you how proud we are to be your family? :)

Josh Morgan said...

Hey, I read your blog then I looked back to last year at this time when there were photos of me in your blog. Now I feel like I am world-famous because of your massive readership. See you Monday.

CyclistRick said...

Do overs! That should be the constant rule.

In 2002, after getting car-mangled, I spent a lot of recovery time on a stationary trainer at the gym down the street. You could get airline miles for riding certain distances. Just when I got enough miles in my account for them to transmit to the airline the company went bust. Maybe these are the same folks in another life? Wonder if I hit them up if I can get my airline miles?

liquidwrench said...

Here's the expresso hard sell:

I'm so proud to have had a part in their success.

Giovanni said...

was checking out some weird bike trainer machines in the back of the gym today... strange machines, lots of buttons and a big screen and floppy handlebars... and there it was "savage revenge".

its' on babe

Anonymous said...

I ride a lot and in the winter I usually ride on a trainer but this year I decided to go to the gym and stop being a hermit. The first course that I tried was Savage Revenge....after 5 minutes I was ready to give up. I did post a time of 1 hr 27 minutes which really irritated me. I finally got it under an hour and Im sure its good for me but its not what I thought it would be. Oh well...its better than getting hit by a snowplow