The turbo trainer is a brain-numbing, bum-numbing torture contraption of fiendishly criminal genius. And I love it. And I hate it. I love/hate the stupid whirring noise it makes. I love/hate the mind games I play with the resistance setting (the resistance setting is winning the mind games, hands down. That bitch is cold as ice). I love/hate the almost hypnotic trance the bastard thing lulls you in to. I love/hate the clock watching challenge - can I make it past 18 minutes on the thing before my bum drops off, my legs turn to jelly and I want my mum? I love/hate the almost instant sensation in my legs that lets me know I am doing exercise. And I love/hate the fact that I can ride my bike whenever I feel like it, in the comfort of my own front room.
You see, thanks in large to my mind, I am still very bad at riding my bike on the road. To offer up some kind of mental picture; let's start with Bambi on ice. Translate that to a thirty-something woman on two wheels, and throw in some additional gibbering. Add the discomfort of still being more than a little self conscious out in the big wide world in a pair of bike shorts, and I think now we all understand why I prefer the safety of my own front room.
A few days last week saw me watching the Tour of Britain highlights shows from the abject discomfort of the turbo. I attempted a chunky-monkey intermediate sprint challenge (I won the Yodel sprints jersey in a convincing manner, sorry Pete), and a thunder-thighs King of the Mountains sprint challenge (Kristian need not fear for his jersey however. Not bothered, wasn't my colour anyway). I found it quite a good fit, watching the cycling while attempting a little of my own. Them skinny buggers (or professionals, to give them the name they prefer) do make it look deceptively easy though.
I have a turbo-challenge from the cyclist. The cyclist, who does these things properly. The cyclist, who will cheerfully (well, not cheerfully exactly, but you know what I mean) do over an hour on the turbo without moaning, sighing, whining, swearing, or getting off for a drink, a wee, a 'rest', a 'stretch' or a 'cry'. The cyclist, who requires a tea towel to be draped across the cross tube when he goes on the turbo, for drippy cyclist sweat. As I am a lay-dee, I of course, glow. And the challenge the cyclist has set me is to get a drop of 'glow' to drip off the end of my nose when I'm on the turbo.
So why the sudden interest in the turbo trainer, I hear you clamour. Simple. We are off to Majorca next week. Now, I know what you're thinking, and you can stop it right now. There are no bikes accompanying us (and none will be hired on the island either). Instead I am going for the sophisticated pursuits of heavy drinking (pink wine and rainbow-drinks made from paint thinner, with sparklers and plastic monkeys in 'em), and lounging around in the sunshine, with possibly a side order of dancing to incredibly rubbish Euro-pop until the kids pretend they were adopted and the cyclist has to give me a fireman's carry back to the apartment. The biggest issue about this eagerly anticipated week in the sunshine is that it is creating a head-on collision between two of my most irritating character flaws (no, not alcoholism and predilection for bad music); vanity, and lack of self-control in the snacks department. I want to look acceptable on the beach and I want to eat fifteen packets of Quavers and a Mars Bar. Enter the turbo.
And I love it. And I hate it.
Those that hate the turbo might remember that a few months back a brilliant eBay listing for one was doing the rounds, link is here if you want to refresh your memory.