Is it wrong to enjoy riding on the trainer? I hear everyone despise the trainer, mock it, damn it to hell. Sure, I love long rides on quiet country roads on sunny days (and moonlit walks on the beach). But I also love the trainer.
Today, for the first time in five days, I was on it. Niko and I had plans to go see the National Money Show at the Convention Center, so it was just a 30-miler that included two small but steep hills and a long but mild climb. Ninety minutes for this. I took it fairly easy for the first two-thirds, with a couple of two-minute out-of-the-saddle hammerfests throw in. But the last 10 miles I went hard ceaselessly, keeping my average speed around 23 mph on a flat-to-slight-incline. Every time I'd hear myself saying, "I can't keep up this stupid pace," I'd answer, "You don't want to keep up this stupid pace, but you can." It's hokey, I know, but that stuff works on the trainer.
That and loud music. I've gotten away from TV and movies. Sports I'll occasionally watch, because I can dip in and out of the game, but even that can be too distracting. It's music I want: "Collecting Rocks" by Super XX Man; "Don't You Evah" by Spoon; Wilco's "War on War"; "A-Punk" by Vampire Weekend; Son Volt's "Windfall"; "Just Like Heaven" – yeah, "Just Like Heaven"! I was digging that song on the bike today. It's the perfect pop song and it takes me back to 1987, when I was driving into LA from Riverside to cover Lakers games courtside at the Forum, the Showtime Lakers, listening to KROQ, Jed the Fish at the helm. Or maybe it was Freddy Snakeskin. But wasn't he in the morning? Or was that Richard Blade. Or Rodney. Sifting through these lost nuggets, polishing them a bit, perhaps—on the trainer, somehow, that isn't a distraction, it's an inspiration, taking me deeper into my own head and the ride.