Outdoor vs indoor cycling

Yesterday was just too cold. I went for my bike ride along the Nakagawa, but it wasn’t fun at all. Most of the time I just felt uncomfortable and freezing. And it seemed I was facing headwinds no matter which direction I turned.

Today the outside temperature is even colder, so I decided, alas, until the weather warms up again I needed to go back to my indoor exercise bicycle.

I hadn’t used it in almost 6 months, since getting my “real” bicycle. So I had to update the settings. In particular, I had to lower the weight settings by more than 20 kg!

Some impressions…

First about the outdoor bike:

  1. It’s a lot more fun. You are actually going someplace. You see things. Time passes very quickly.
  2. The ride is inconsistent. Sometimes there are hills you need to spend extra energy climbing, and sometimes you get coasting time going downhill. You can expend your energy more efficiently with a combination of speeding up and coasting. Of course “efficient” isn’t the best for diet. Still, there’s a lot more variety.
  3. You have to be careful of traffic, pedestrians and just things in general.
  4. You have the chance to take interesting photos of the river, the clouds, and everything all around.

Then about the indoor bike:

  1. It’s really really boring. Like deathly boring. I mean, you’re just sitting there not going anywhere, not seeing anything. Time passes very slowly. I remember why I left it sitting in the corner unused for 5 years now.
  2. The workout is probably better though. You set the “gear” to whatever you want and there is no coasting or downhills. It’s steady, steady, steady all the way. In the same amount of time I was more out of breath.
  3. You can monitor everything better: distance, pulse, used calories, etc.
  4. You don’t have to be mindful of your surroundings. In fact, you can do it with your eyes closed.
  5. It’s easier to listen to and change music. Outside I like to be aware of my surroundings, and prefer the sounds of the outdoors, so I don’t listen to music. While on the indoor bike I can change albums and more easily listen to music, which helps pass the time and ward off the intense boredom, to some extent.
  6. I’m more aware of when my body “warms up” (at about 16 minutes).

All in all I much prefer cycling outside. But at least with the indoor bike I can get through the winter without having to exercise in the extreme cold. I find I like the summer heat better than the cold. I’ll still use my outdoor bicycle, weather permitting, for shopping and other errands. Just maybe not the river on blustery, frigid days.

I also realized today that I didn’t like Judi Collins as much as I thought I did.




Outdoor vs indoor cycling — 2 Comments

  1. Great anology! For indoor biking, just have Mon and Monta on your shoulder and watch a movie on your Mac (or TV)!

  2. My exercise bike is in a corner of my bedroom. No Mac or TV there. I could bring my iPad upstairs though.

    Mon and Monta would go bonkers. 🙂

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