It's almost summer (well, it already has been for a few months in most parts of the country), and the days are getting longer and longer. So why would anyone in his or her right mind want to take an indoor cycling class when there are miles of beautiful roads to be ridden outdoors?
Well, actually, there are quite a few. Believe me, I'm right there with you. I would much rather be riding in beautiful scenery on my bicycle outside when the weather is sunny and warm. But if your training time is limited, and you've got a goal or an event coming up, then hitting an indoor cycling class might actually be better training than trying to get on your bicycle most days. If you have a typical work schedule, you may have to reserve your weekends for long outdoors rides with your buddies, and use the weekdays to target specific intensity goals indoors.
Here are just a few reasons that might drive you indoors:
?You work long hours or have long commutes. Admit it, many of you reading this are workaholics. I know I am! If you spend many hours at the office, or perhaps have long commutes to and from work, squeezing in your ride time can be very challenging.
?Family obligations. Your time with your spouse, children and pets is precious. While your cycling time is important to you, you don't want to let it impinge on your family obligations either. You may have to pick children up from school or assist them with homework, make dinner, or a whole host of other daily obligations. Combine family with long work hours or commutes and you have even less time available for a training ride.
?Stop signs or lights. Having to stop at intersections continually will impair your ability to do a steady state threshold or tempo workout.
?Traffic. Do you live in an area where you have to deal with 15-30 minutes of traffic before you even find an open road where you can ride unencumbered? Or perhaps you can never ride unencumbered where you live? It's hard to get a specific training session in when you are battling with cars. If you only have a short time frame to ride because of some of the obligations just mentioned, then spending most of it dealing with traffic or lights reduces your potential workout even more.
? Heat. If you live in areas where the heat index reaches dangerous levels in the summer, an indoor class in a well-ventilated room starts to look very appealing. I know cyclists in Arizona who are used to riding at 4 a.m. in the summers before it gets too hot, but that's not an option for everyone!