Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Workaround

It's no secret that I've got an addiction to working out. If I don't get my fix I become preoccupied with satisfying it and the longer I live outside of my routine the edgier I can become. For the most part, it's a positive addiction but occasionally I can take it to the extreme as I set goals that push me further than I should maybe go. But I find a lot of satisfaction in my accomplishments, especially on my's what I love. That's why it was such a blow to me when my doctor told me that I couldn't ride for one full year while on Coumadin for my bilateral pulmonary embolism. It's not lost on me that it's for my own good; I get that.  But orders to stay off my rollers too? Hmm...I could sense the walls closing in as withdrawal began in earnest.

CompuTrainer has been around since 1986. I'd heard of it/them but I never felt the desire to learn more about the product much less buy one until recently when some guys on the Serotta forum were talking about their CompuTrainers and the workouts they were getting racing against Metal Man. They piqued my interest and this was even before my hospital stay and cycling restriction. I should add that this trainer would be acceptable for me to use because the rear wheel is locked in place and the only way I'd fall off it would be if I were to pass out.

I spent some time online reading reviews from others and came to the conclusion that people really like this trainer. Usually, any discussion of bicycle trainers is full of comments from people who loathe this form of working out. They suffer through it with not much good to say other than they're glad when it's over. It can be mind-numbing. Not so with a CompuTrainer. I found all sorts of comments from people who are happy to hammer out the miles in the interactive setting it provides. I mentioned to Tammy my interest in getting one and she was very encouraging, telling me to go for it. She's a classic enabler.

I took delivery of mine on Friday.

The software is written for PC and not Mac but I was hopeful that I could run it on the PC side of my Mac using VMware. Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead! I was determined to make this happen. It's a strong addiction I have. I messed with it for a few hours Saturday afternoon trying to get the interface to work and seemed to have it synced up but couldn't get the signal from my Mac to the flat-screen on the wall through an HDMI connection. I was afraid this might happen after reading similar stories from others on the CompuTrainer forum but none of the users spoke of trying VMware so I was somewhat hopeful.

Beaten, I eventually gave up and purchased a lesser expensive laptop dedicated solely to running this software. I had it up and running within minutes of turning on my new Toshiba.

I climbed aboard and raced Metal Man over a moderately hilly 25-mile course being careful not to overdo it considering my lung function isn't what it was before my PE. Metal Man is a pacer you can race against set to a wattage of your choice.

What makes this trainer so much better than any other out there is that you can program courses into it from anywhere using GPX files (GPS data files) from around the world or you can make up your own courses. I can even ride legs of Le Tour de France if I choose. There's a load generator that applies force to the rear wheel that very accurately simulates the resistance you would feel on a particular climb. Wind data can also be programmed into it, both direction and speed.

There's so much to learn about the program and my knowledge only scratches the surface at this point. I'll be getting into it much more over the coming weeks and will no doubt write about it here.

Yeah, I know...yawn!


Vannevar said...

Yo. I haven't checked your blog in a while, sorry to hear that you're having trouble. I'll be praying for you. Also, I'm kind of jealous of the Mukluk, nice bike, must be a fun ride.

I hate to be all bottom-line about this, but seriously, the best way you can find balance with your employer is to make them pay you full retirement for decades and decades, right? I hope you listen to the Docs. The bikes will be there when they say you're good.

Not that I'm any good at balance either. Rest up, sir.

Kevin said...


I just found out this afternoon from some blood tests I had done while in the hospital that I'm a carrier for Factor V Leiden. I'm not sure what this means for me in terms of getting off the coumadin if ever. This definitely was not news I wanted or was expecting to hear.

I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow morning and will hopefully have some of my questions answered,

Yes, the Mukluk is such a sweet and fun ride. I love it!

Thanks for stopping by!