ELITE REAL WORLD VIDEO
Bringing the outdoors indoors
Bringing the outdoors indoors
A few days ago I visited one of my local cycle shops. It’s a small but well respected shop and due to its reputation, it has its own large cycle club which is attached to the shop. They even have a British Cycling team rider and recent national junior champion in their club – cycling is big here in our small historic city.
I was talking to the owner, who is also a friend, about indoor cycling and training programmes. He mentioned to me that lots of the club riders were becoming bored with some of the indoor training programmes, because they simply don’t always provide a realistic enough experience. In many ways indoor cycling is in danger of becoming the cycling version of the XBox 1 interactive games, and that’s quite sad. Cycling is about immersing yourself in nature and exploring the world. It’s about the amazing views and the images that lie before us. It’s about freeing up our spirit as we enter a different dimension – unfortunately, not all of the computer drawn landscapes cut it for everyone, as they simply want to view the outdoors. I get it, I really do. When I train on the rollers, I always line up a YouTube video and maybe climb something like the Stelvio. Not for the challenge, but for the amazing views. However, I also love training on those programmes that push me to the limit and allow me to race, and I know that others do. They add competition to indoor cycling, and I guess that that’s no bad thing. We want to try and reinvigorate indoor cycling for these people, and to show them that with the right kit it can be both fun and very effective.
Making the programme different… and indeed indoor cycling more visual is of course problematic. The graphics on many programmes are superb when you consider what they’re achieving. There’s always going to be a difference between the outdoors and indoors though. I could of course get a member of my family to throw water over me to simulate rain, as I rode in the face of a huge fan. If I set the rollers up on the driveway to my house, I could get my wife to sit in the car and shout abuse at me as I pedal away on the rollers at the side of the car. Thankfully none of these are realistic options, but they may bring some humour to my friends and neighbours! And so something else is needed if we are to bring the outdoors to the indoors – something that doesn’t compete with the other programmes, but which provides something different and in its own way unique – yes, another option for you the rider. Let me introduce you to the ‘My Real Video’ app from Elite Cycling in Italy. I’ll try not to make this too scientific, as plain language is always the best way to explain how something new.
Elite have 2 options within their ‘Real Rides’ portfolio, and it’s something that compliments your own portfolio of indoor options. Their app has something very different from other programmes – real video – or ‘My Real Videos’ and ‘Real Videos’ from Elite themselves. The first option is free and allows you to film and upload your own rides, whilst Elite have themselves created the road ride videos on the ‘Real Videos’ option, to ensure a better quality of filming – and this is one with a small cost attached to download from the Elite database.
Okay, so in terms of the ‘My Real Video’, you have a mobile phone; you download the Elite ‘My Real Video’ app. Next, you need a bracket for either your bike or a chest harness that allows you to attach your phone to while you ride and record. If your roads are like the roads here, go for the chest mount!
You simply follow the app instructions and Voila – you ride and record. Now, some apps can be power hungry, as can you phone be if you are filming a long ride; so make sure that you take a power pack and maybe keep the phone attached and powered up. I used this method myself a few years ago, while using Google Maps to cycle around France.
Once you’ve finished filming your own rides, using the ‘My Real Video’ app, the filmed route is uploaded onto the Elite database servers via the PC / Laptop. In this way it becomes available for you and others to use for free when training. You connect the Elite interactive trainer as per the instructions, and with a big screen in front of you, using the ‘My e-Training app’, you’re now able to ride the route again in the warmth and comfort of your home. There’s no reaching into your jersey pockets for an energy bar with cold hands – just ask the family to bring you a cappuccino and cake! On second thoughts, maybe don’t do that… hehehe
Anyway, the Elite ‘My Real Video’ is an amazing addition to your indoor cycling, allowing you a real world feeling. In terms of the ‘Elite Real Video’ catalogue of downloadable and paid for classic route options, there’s currently over 70+ Elite RealVideos available for you to you to choose from in their database, allowing you to pick the one that suits you best. From easy flat routes to the struggling 2004 World Champion circuit in Verona won by Oscar Freire. From the tough and long Amstel Gold Race to the suggestive and charming L’Eroica. You can climb the Stelvio or Mont Ventoux, sprint like a Pro the flat routes of Giro d’Italia. If you want to feel like a pro, then ‘Real Videos’ by Elite are what you’re looking for! All that you need to do in order to select one of these great routes is to go to the ‘My E-Training’ app, select the ride that you prefer, download it and relive it at home on your Elite interactive trainer. If you have an interactive trainer, its resistance will automatically change simulating the actual gradients of slope you’d find in the real course – viola. It really is that simple; and the rides that you record and upload yourself will work in the same way, allowing you to feel the pain of the climbs on your local routes whilst training comfortably at home.
So, what’s the benefit of this? Well, in short it can give you a more realistic feel to indoor training, as a different option from the other programmes. Remember, the purpose of indoor training should be to improve your cycling to a point where you can enjoy the outdoor cycling even more. It can be easy to get addicted to cycling indoors, especially if you live in a cold area, but indoor cycling does have its place. So having an extra training option with great views is a good thing. However, we’re outdoor creatures and mountain lovers in the main, and if we can ride and feel the changes in the road and the terrain whilst enjoying great views, then that’s always preferable – thankfully Elite understand this, which is why they developed the Real Video system – it integrates well with your trainer and allows you to relive your rides. Using it alongside other programmes as part of a combination training schedule is a good way to mix things up and keep the interest levels high. We believe that both types of training systems have their place and that each one adds something to your training, ultimately helping you to become a better rider and to enjoy the great rides outside even more.
We’ll be using the ‘My Real Video’ app and testing out the system over 2021 here on our website, also using the Elite ‘Real Video’ database route choices and recording our own here in the great Yorkshire Dales and in Transylvania, to add to the database for others to ride. We also want to test the Elite trainers on the wide range of indoor programmes, to get our own take on the leading training apps and how Elite support and indeed maximise them.
Cycling is all about the freedom to explore the outdoors and so what better way to train indoors than to bring the roads into your home – all we need now is to cycle under a shower head and we can have the rain effect too 😉