The Tropic of Thunder Ride

I contemplated getting out on the bike today. For about two seconds. That’s how long it took to imagine spending three hours in 36 degree, breezy, cloudy and maybe even raining conditions. No, ma’am.

That meant a long stretch on the trainer. I cued up the Ironman CDA Real Video ride but after 15 minutes of looking at the course and watching every tenth of a mile click by, it began to occur to me that this was going to be a long ride. I was already looking for amusement. So I turned on the TV and watched a little CNN and Fox News: repetitive, barely rearranged crap from earlier in the week. Then I found that Comcast, for five bucks, was offering Tropic of Thunder, Ben Stiller’s war-movie spoof (well, spoof of a lot of things).

It occurs to me now that every movie reviewer ought to have to do his job on a bike trainer. There are many ways to judge whether a movie succeeds or not, but the ultimate measure is how well it engages the viewer. And there’s one sure way to know that on a trainer: If the miles speed by, thumbs up.

Tropic of Thunder went by very quickly. Stiller set out on a pretty dangerous mission with this movie and he didn’t succeed at every turn (there were points where the movie didn’t seem to know where it wanted to go next, so it just did something ridiculous). But he did a lot of good things, and I sure laughed a lot. What about the controversial and disrespectful use of black-face and the depictions of retardation? Pshaw. Downey was brilliant, and isn’t it obvious that Stiller was portraying not a mentally disabled person, but a bad actor depicting someone with disabilities?

But back to triathlon: I rode for exactly three hours, covering 47 pretty-hilly miles, then immediately headed out for a 30-minute run (3.5 miles). I didn’t have a pace in mind on the run. Again, the goal was just to be comfortable, so I was pretty pleased to find the pace well under 9 minutes/mile. I keep reminding myself that the Ironman marathon is completely different from a standalone. Forget about 7:30 pace. My goal at Coeur d’Alene is to run a 9:30 pace, and all my running in the six months leading up to the race will be done with that in mind.

One last thing: Check out the heart rates. On the bike, I was between 115 and 130 nearly the whole ride.

On the run, I was over 140 most of the way.


  1. I struggle with the same thing on the bike however I watch girly chick television like Gilmore Girls and Felicity. It gets you though it; whatever it takes.

  2. Hey Kristen, thanks for stoppying by. Yeah, I think my next on-the-bike project is going to be Sopranos. I've never seen the show (the only person in the world, I think), but maybe I'll use my Netflix account to churn through all 86 episodes. That'll be some miles.