Not all of us Atyrau Outdoors riders appear over the moon with joy for the prospect of riding in the middle of the winter on frozen rivers with ferocious winds at silly low temperatures. While it has not exactly been figured out as to why that wouldn’t be fun, some of us have accommodated to riding indoors. That requires home trainers.
For the modern and advanced home trainers that unlocks the possibility of using training simulator software.
This spring an article on was proposed for publishing on a Turkish blog:
The Kazakh Kickr.
So you live in the dusty town of Atyrau, situated in the steppe on the western side of Kazakhstan on the flanks of the Ural river. The summers are long, very warm and very dry. The winters are also long and very cold and windy.
The only constants are the knowledge that the sun will shine and the skies will be cloudless.
This makes excellent conditions for biking in the flat steppe on mountainbikes if you take adequate precautions. This forms the basic ingredients of AtyrauOutdoors.com.
But ooohhh dear, there we have an El Nino winter, messing up our outdoors cycling plans: winter weather becomes much warmer with much more precipitation and riding on a frozen river is all of a sudden much more dangerous. And with spring arriving Mr. Nino turns the steppe into sticky mud, making the steppe physically uncyclable.
What now? Lucky that the internet works and that Smart Trainers have seen the light. And so the first Wahoo Kickrs have trickled into Atyrau and sparked the start of an AtyrauIndoors community.
Removing the rearwheel from your mountain or road bike allows you to mount it directly onto the kickr. The rearwheel is now is a softhumming big heavy piece of metal, controlled for resistance by a magnet. It wirelessly talks Bluetooth and ANT+, so throw a laptop in front of the bike, connect it to a big screen and connect it via a USB ANT+ dongle to the kickr. Voila, you can now ride indoors on those same tracks that make you sweat and taste the dust on a nice summer morning. On the computer you can run training software such as Zwift or bkool, monitor power, heartrate, cadence, speed and virtually ride against the competition and track your progress over time. Resistance control for surface type and gradient is done automatically and gives a very realistic feel and increases the “fun factor.”
Beware, take enough hydration with you on your virtual ride, as you soon find out that hunting the princess indoors on the Kickr with your competitors is very addictive!
By Casper – AtyrauOutdoors.com
Some of our former hardcore outdoors riders -and that meant riding ALWAYS outside- have mumbled over a couple of beers some disparagingly remarks around childrens xbox gaming and chasing non-existent worlds. Mixed with the sight of modern, springy full-suspension bikes, painted in frog-like colours, it does not take much imagination to land on the term “princess chaser”.
In order to provide a little extra emotional support for this “most deadly boring” of activities, the one and only real AO Princess Chaser has been created on bkool.
Princess Chaser on bkool
This is a filmed route in HD that starts at LJ, follows Lada Brick road, then via HB back to LJ and back to Canal Levee.
It totals 21 km or so and is now availble to anyone riding with bkool indoors.
That has not gone unnoticed since its publishing last week amongst the “adventurous” bkoolers, and currently over a 100 total strangers have flown through our steppe virtually, with some bloke thrashing our record times and making us look like potatoes riding bikes with square wheels!
Even during a simple try-out run yesterday evening around 10 folk joined the virtual video-ed ride through the steppe.
Chasing the Princess
An Atyrau Indoors group exists on WhatsApp for those trying to organize for multiple riders to join in the same virtual session.
On bkool there is an AtyrauIndoors bkool group with a couple of AO members.
Home trainer considerations
For those considering home-training in advanced mode, read on about all the applications that can be used for this.
Wahoo have a nice listing of apps.
A very good independent reviewer DCrainmaker has an excellent overview of choices available for this winter.