Posts Tagged ‘Cycling Trainer’


“DON’T JUDGE ME – I’M A FAN” – Jan. 3

January 3, 2016

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.  Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory!”  Psalm 72:18-19

I have struggled for motivation to climb upon my bicycle while it is clamped into the trainer.   However, I have to do something because the digits on my scale are continuing to increase inversely to the outdoors temperatures.  I’ve sought may aids to curb the monotony of a cycling trainer; music, cycling training videos, Tour de France videos, sermons, audiobooks, and even stand-up comics.  None has been able to keep me contentedly pedaling beyond 30 minutes.

However, I finally found my tonic for trainer tedium – Dark Matter.


My tonic is not the invisible matter constituting the majority of the universe.  Mine comes from the Syfy channel.  I got hooked on this story of a spaceship crew who awakens from stasis with no memory of who they are, what they have done, or why they are on board a mercenary spaceship.

I love a good story and if it is set in space, then it’s even better.

I saved watching Dark Matter as the carrot before my motionless bike.  I easily pedaled through each episode as subsequent adventures revealed mysteries of forgotten pasts.  I was actually starting to look forward to my time on that accursed contraption when it all came to an end.

The final episode of Season 1 successfully left me spinning on the edge of my saddle, wanting to know what will happen next.  I went to click on Season 2, to spin through another episode, but made a stark discovery.

There is no Season 2.

I was done.  I climbed off my bike and felt that familiar disdain for my next date with the trainer.  I searched the internet to discover whether there was another season with a growing concern.  I learned more about Dark Matter than I had intended.  I learned about the actors and the production.  I read reviews, both positive and negative.  I was delighted to find that there will be another season but annoyed to know that it is only in production.

I even discovered the WordPress blog of Joseph Mallozzi – Josephmallozzi’s Weblog.  He is the co-writer and creator of Dark Matter.  He has a lot of behind the scene photos of the current filming of Dark Matter on his blog.  I flipped through each post in my developing sense of fandom.

I learned that Dark Matter was originally a comic book that Joseph Mallozzi co-wrote.  So, I did what any newly minted fan would do.  I got on Amazon to see if I could buy one.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the compilation book of all four comics should arrive in two days.  I haven’t bought myself a comic book in three decades.

Don’t judge me, I’m a fan.

I find it interesting that I wasn’t really a fan of Dark Matter while Netflix held a trove of unwatched episodes.

It wasn’t until the streaming dried up that I even thought about the writer.
It wasn’t until the entertainment stopped that I began searching.
It wasn’t until I was forced to wait that I became a fan.

My reaction to Dark Matter reminded me of this quote from A.W. Pink.


I can testify to these dry seasons of the soul.

Most Christians will experience these periods of drought
if they follow Christ any length of time.

It is part of sanctification.

Have you ever wondered why we experience these periods where the river of God’s presence feels like it has dried up?

Some may say that these seasons are periods of preparation or testing or due to sin.  I agree in part.

However, I wonder if dry periods are simply a process to make us into fans.

When I enter a dry period, I tend to think more about God.  I confess that my thoughts often sound like complaints, “why is God doing this to me”, but my eyes definitely get focused back on Him.

When I feel spiritually lethargic, I tend to search more earnestly in His word.  I start digging into the mysteries of God and realize that I am usually not even asking the right questions.

When I am waiting on God, I inevitably begin to ask myself, who I am waiting for, which brings me back to the Gospel, the wonderful treasure of the good news of Jesus Christ and I become more of a fan.

A dry period  will inevitably
bring me to the glory of God.

It will make me a fan.

When I am a fully glorifying fan:

I am prepared to follow Christ in whatever He has called me to do.

I am ready to persevere through the suffering and trials that are before me.

I am willing to turn my back on the temptations of this world for the surpassing worth of my loving Savior.

The lukewarm Christian is a lukewarm fan.

Christians should be more enthusiastic than any of the fans in a sports stadium.

Our demeanor should clothe us as followers of Christ more than any avid comic con attendees.

Our homes should proudly display our fandom of the One.

We were created to be fans; we were created to worship.
A true fan should be easy to spot.

God wants us to be easy to spot.
God wants us to be true fans.
He is willing to take us through those dry periods to teach us that our fandom rests only in Him.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you will make me into a fan.  Help me to want to join my voice with that of the Psalmist and declare your wondrous deeds in unabashed fandom.  Help me to accept the dry seasons.  Help to see that you are taking me to greater happiness.  Father, do your work in me even when I am not fully cooperating.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen



“GET LOW” – Dec 19

December 19, 2013

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Matthew 6:6

Winter cycling has no allure for me.  I don’t get that anxious feeling of excitement when the allotted training time begins to approach.  It is easy to find an excuse not to do what feels like an obligation.

My excuses come easily because I am cycling on a trainer in my basement.  Spinning on a trainer is cycling at its worst.  I start in my basement and stop in my basement with only the sensation of the increasing burning fatigue in legs that are pedaling to nowhere.


I cycle in my basement for the sole purpose of preventing the loss of last season’s gains.  I want to emerge from my basement in the spring at the same level of fitness that I entered it in the fall.  The only way I know how to do that is to keep pedaling to nowhere.

I have added another goal to my winter cycling to try to increase my motivation.  I am working on my aero-position.  My hope is to build the endurance and flexibility to stay as low as possible on my aero-bars for an entire 24 mile ride.  However, this goal has made an already unpleasant training time even more unpleasant.  My tired legs now have company in their protestations.  The combination of legs and shoulders questioning what I am doing has caused serious motivation problems.

I was beginning to question the value of my goal when I am down on my miserable aero-bars with the only wind coming from a fan.

I was reminded of the importance of my goal when I listened to a fascinating podcast  the other day.  It was an interview by Richard Diaz at Diaz Human Performance and John Cobb.  John Cobb is renowned for his expertise in fitting cyclists, particularly triathletes and time-trialers, into the most optimum aerodynamic position on the bike.  I have posted links to several of his fitting videos at the end of this post.  I was reminded in this podcast that you don’t ride on aero-bars for a leisurely cycling experience.

You ride in an aero-position to go fast. 

It takes 746 Watts to produce one horsepower (Hp).  A puny car can produce 100 Hp or 74,600 Watts.  According to John Cobb, “a good performing human for an Ironman distance can average only about 200 Watts”.  I know that I am not what he would consider a good performing human so I am sure that my average watt production over a 100-mile course will be probably be in the 150-160 Watt range.

So, we don’t have very good motors.  If that is the case, you have a limited motor, limited horsepower, but if you are trying to go “X” distance, pretty fast, then the only thing you can do is get through the air easier…The power to get through the air doubles the faster you go so it is incredibly important to pay attention to all kinds of little things to reduce the drag…your basic position is a huge thing.
~ John Cobb (not a direct quote)

Anyone who has spent time cycling knows this to be true.  We don’t have very powerful motors.  The best of cyclists are humbled by a head wind.  Steep climbs cripple our speed.  Our fastest times come on the downhills only with the aid of gravity.  We don’t have good motors so we must be as efficient as possible with converting that power into forward motion.  The most efficient position is staying low on the aero-bars.

You have a choice, you can suck it up and stay low, it is five more minutes, or you can take a turn and go to the donut shop and relax.  You can go either way.  ~ John Cobb

Richard Diaz asked a question that crystallized why my winter goal is worth it.

Richard Diaz:  When dealing with a really big wind, I get out of the saddle and try to muscle my way through it, in interval fashion.  Do you gain a mechanical advantage by doing intervals through a big wind?

John Cobb:  You cannot build enough power to offset the aerodynamic gain by being lower… if you are willing to suck it up into a head wind position, you need to choke up on your aero-bars so you can build more leverage, get into a harder gear…and concentrate on your on your pedal stroke, pull on your bars hard, stay in your aero position concentrate on really pushing down on those pedals hard and the lower cadence will help you with that…and you can concentrate harder on your technique and then you will get through that wind pretty fast.

This coming spring, I want to go fast.  I don’t have a good motor, even at my fittest, but I can get lower.  I can work on my endurance at staying low.  My limited power will be most efficiently converted into forward motion this coming spring because of what I am doing this winter.

When I got done listening to this podcast, I went to my basement and lowered the handlebars on my tri-bike as far down as they would go, mounted up and spun to spring speed.


As I spun away in my prayer like aero-position, I could not help but think about prayer.  Humans are spiritually powerless.  Yet, I don’t see very many people living in a way that demonstrates that they have pitiful spiritual motors.  The cyclist who rides upright with his jacket open usually does not understand how much his position is holding him back.  In a similar matter, many Christian fail to appreciate how their spiritual position is holding them back.

All of a Christian’s spiritual power comes from the Spirit of God.
We are powerless in ourselves.
All of our spiritual power is a gift from God.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  Acts 1:8

We receive power through the Holy Spirit to follow Christ, to bear His fruit, to do His will and to persevere through this life.  We might try to muscle our way through difficult times but we will never be able to build true enduring power.  We might try to muscle obedience but we will never be able to build enough power from within ourselves to overcome our sinful flesh.

We have to be willing to suck it up and stay spiritually low.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise.  Psalm 51:17

I know of no better example of staying spiritually low than prayer.  Why don’t we pray?  Is it because we think we have the power to accomplish what is necessary?  Is it because we think that we are powerless against fate?  Is it because it is uncomfortable?  Is it because it is boring or feels like a waste of time?

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8

Lel4nd / / CC BY

I don’t drop to my knees for a good time.  I don’t come before my God with a broken and contrite heart for a leisurely experience.  I come to my Father because I have a pitiful spiritual motor.  I come to my Lord because I need His strength.  I want all that holds me back from this world to flow across me as smoothly as possible.  Therefore, I need to get low.

I need to get low and I need to stay low.  I want to go fast spiritually.  I do not have the spiritual motor to be the person I want to be.  I am powerless to give God the glory He deserves.

I need to get lower and stay down there because that is where my power comes – God has promised to give the power that I need, when I need it.

“If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.” ~ Martin Luther

PRAYER: O Lord, I need you.  I am powerless without.  I can do all things through You but I can do nothing without You.  Father, fill me with your Spirit.  Help me to get low.  Help me to come to You with a broken and contrite heart.  Father, I know that I let too much of this world hold me back.  Create in me a position that will speed me towards the person I desire to be – glorifying you in all that I am.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

Aero positioning for road bikes
Differences between a road bike and triathlon bike  
Setting your seat height – Sam Warriner and John Cobb

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