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So far it’s a solo ride.

I'm on the Trainer, Baby

Julius Berith |

In an effort to provide balance both from an editorial perspective and for those with a busy schedule, I'll now attempt to state my case as to why I think everyone needs a trainer.

In today's always-on world, finding the time to exercise, let alone properly train for an event or a race, is tricky. Throw in some kids, back-to-back meetings, conference calls, traffic, or bad weather and getting a structured workout is nearly impossible.

A couple of years back, when my wife and I were expecting our first child, I was training for gravel events as a "weekend warrior" while working a remote tech job. My day-to-day was a waste disposal of unproductive internal calls. If I didn't prioritize my calendar, I would forget to eat (my wife still works this way, and it's one of the reasons why we moved to California; so she can work east coast hours on the west coast and spend more than an hour a day with our daughter).

At this time, I realized that if I had a dedicated bike on the trainer and blocked my calendar for 60-90 minutes, all I'd need to do to get a solid workout was to throw on some bibs, grab a towel, some nutrition/hydration, clip-in and go to town. I could sometimes even take my next work call as I cooled down following some lunch intervals, courtesy of my coach.

After the baby was born, it was much easier to sneak into the garage for a workout than get on the bike and fight with the real world. If something happened with the baby and my wife needed my assistance, I could jump off the trainer and help. And as every new parent knows, that's all the time. My trainer of choice was the Garmin Neo 2T, the quietest trainer on the market, so I could spin safely in the knowledge that my daughter would stay asleep. And if she woke up, I could lull her back to dreamland with some white noise of another variety (if you do not know what a white noise machine is or why it's necessary, I salute you).

When hurricane season rolled around, jumping on the trainer was safer than riding outside during the storm. However, I can name a few "Florida Man" examples that put on a skinsuit, grabbed their TT bike and went after Strava KOMs in pursuit of internet glory.

There were times when I even took my trainer mobile. When I'd travel to a race, I brought the Neo 2T and used it to warm up. The other benefit of this model is that it doesn't need a constant power source. The only drawback was its weight and the requirement of yelling "Light Weight Baby" (think Ronnie Coleman) each time I would take it in and out of the car. With the spare bike on the trainer, I would have the race rig ready to go, so when it was time, I just had to transfer bikes and get to the starting line.

I honestly don't think I would have been able to train as often and as well as I did without my trainer. It allowed me to focus on my workouts without worrying about traffic, if I was being a good partner or a productive employee. When the Tour rolled around, I would turn on the extended highlights or rewatch Safa Brian's YouTube videos. The other times when work sucked, I would put on some Slayer and stare at the wall as I entered my meditative state.

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