Instruments of Torture

Posted: July 31, 2015 in Cycling
Tags: , , , ,

I really don’t like cycling in the rain. I’ll tolerate it if I have to but if there is a choice I’d rather not. It’s one thing starting out on a nice day and being caught in a storm, it’s another to start out in the rain. I’ve done day long rides in the rain and I can’t really say that I’ve enjoyed them much. What I really detest is having wet feet, once my feet are wet that’s it, they are going to stay wet all day regardless of changes in the weather. The sock will hold the moisture in and my feet will emerge at the end of the day white, crinkled and water logged. It is not something that I relish.

The answer to this dilemma, of course, is to only cycle when it’s dry or at the very least start out when it’s not raining. I’ve used this tactic a lot and with great success but there are times when it’s just not practical. This is when I deploy the instruments of torture. I have two sets of devices to inflict cycling pain. Both are described as static trainers but both can be used to inflict pain. Enough pain to make grown men confess to heinous crimes in a second.


The Spanish inquisition had instruments like this

The first instrument of torture is painted a lovely calming tone on yellow in an effort to disguise it’s true intent. At the moment it is fixed to the back wheel of my time trial bike and provides enough resistance for it to feel like I’m powering the bike through a pit of porridge. It’s not often (if at all) that I do cycle though a pit of porridge, but when I do I’ll be trained to perfection for attempting such a feat.

The second instrument of torture is the rollers. It looks like a set of rollers, it is a set of rollers. Sat on top of the rollers is my fixe. This just makes things one degree more difficult. The first problem with rollers is actually getting started. This requires a wall to lean against and a little patience. Once the wheels start going round there comes a time when I have to leave the comfort of the wall and balance on two wheels. This is where it gets complicated. The rollers aren’t that wide; any wobble could end in disaster. Hopping of the rollers whilst going at full tilt is to be avoided as the moment the bike makes contact with the ground it is going to want to go forward, where it will be greeted by a wall. This is both painful and embarrassing at the same time. Getting off the rollers is just an accident waiting to happen.


This thing is evil, created from molten evil and forged by pain.

Both instruments of torture generate sweat, gallons and gallons of sweat. After five minutes of steady spinning my skin starts the glow, a few seconds later and the tidal wave starts. The sweat drips from every pour. It runs round my arms and within seconds the handlebars are sodden. Sweat drips from my face onto the front wheel and gently corrodes the bike away. By the end of a session the floor around the bike has the makings of a salt water lagoon and the metal work on the bike has been oxidised just that little bit more.

At the end of the session my legs hurt and refuse to do my bidding. The wobbly feeling goes away eventually, usually after I’ve downed the second or third pint of water. I leave my instrument of torture wondering why I even have them in the house and why the hell I use them. Slowly the answer forms…

It’s better than cycling in the rain

  1. My turbo trainer is reserved for the icy and dark depths of winter! I just couldn’t face it if the temperature is above 5 degrees C, and then only for no more than an hour’s intense session. I’d rather face the rain…


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