Last year, I started jogging regularly at the student center next door to my building on campus. At the time, Meg was still at the preschool, so I could stop what I was doing at 3:00, go over and jog on the treadmill for 20-30 min, and then get home to do a few things and take a shower before getting the kids.
This year, that hasn’t worked out as well since Meg is in Kindergarten and gets out of school at 2:55 pm on most days. I could always leave her in my office (not my first choice) or I could bring her with me (really not my first choice…), but the path of least resistance just led me to “not jogging anymore.”
On a whim in mid-December, I did a quick survey of Amazon to see what they had in the bicycle trainer realm. A buddy from St. Louis had one that he used for his road bike in the winters, but until recently, I hadn’t really considered it. Turns out they’re actually pretty reasonable! We already have good bikes and have invested in a roof rack for the Forester, as well as a trailer for the kids to ride in, so it made sense to continue in that vein toward biking. What’s more, it’s compact enough that it, and a bicycle, can fit in our basement without much fuss, though it’s also collapsible and easily removable from said bike if we need to move it.
This particular model from RAD Cycle is a touch on the noisy side, and reviewers pointed this out, but many of them were talking about using one in an apartment when someone lives below you. In our case, it really doesn’t disturb anyone, as it’s resting on a concrete foundation. You can hear it on our first floor when someone’s using it, but with the heater running as often as it is, it blends in pretty seamlessly. The noise comes from the mountain bike tires rubbing up against a magnetic resistor. If we were using a road bike or had hybrid tires, I bet it wouldn’t be quite as loud.
I’ve been using it the past few days for 20 minute stints in the afternoons after getting home. Brooke has tried it a few times in the morning and hasn’t quite made it to 20 minutes yet, but she’ll work up to it. We’re using her bike on the thing to make it a bit easier for her to hop on it. Also, she’s less likely to use her bike outside as the weather (eventually…) gets warmer, so mine’s available to pull the kids around in the trailer if need be.
Hopefully we keep it up. I need to put in more than 20 minutes to really do much good, but for now, that’s 20 minutes of sitting down doing nothing that I’m now using for exercise. I guess that’s progress enough.