Hey, everyone! Just wanted to quickly wish all of you a merry christmas!
I know, these are challenging times and we’re all having a lot of troubles this year more than ever. However, I hope everyone can enjoy the holidays as best as possible, find some peace and refuel their batteries for the times ahead!
Yes, you heard right! After thinking about it almost the whole year, followed by searching for an indoor trainer for weeks and weeks, I finally managed to get one of these items. And let me tell you this, indoor trainers are rare these days, like really really rare.
Luckily for once, I had the right timing, when I found a trainer online back in stock at the manufacturer’s site. Two long days were spend with cleaning the roadbike outside at 3°C (sorry, hands!) and preparing the future “indoor cycling corner” / “the last bit of space I got left at my place”, until the package arrived and I could officially call me an owner of an indoor cycling trainer.
Since then, signing up for Zwift, was one of the best decisions, that I recently made. And of the sweatiest, hahaha! Honestly, I did never sweat this much before! Also, I would’ve never thought, that riding on Zwift could be a real alternative to riding outside … in the winter … and the rain … and freezing cold temperatures, alright … lesson learned. I like it, it really feels like a video game and there are so many people online everytime, it’s awesome, even on the super small screen of my smartphone!
Of course, there are still a lot of things, that I have to figure out. For example, I’m wondering what devices are best for riding on Zwift? The smartphone is doing a good job, but the screen really is a bit too small, I think.
So, if you got any advices for a noob on zwift, which I absolutely am, feel free to tell me in the comments below. If you’d like to connect with me on Zwift, you should be able to find me under “Dennis The Cyclist”! Alright then …Can’t wait to see you in Watopia!
The clothes are covered in mud and dirt after and before every ride, the roadbike looks like a worn out mountainbike and makes noises I never heard before and the tires gain cuts faster than me trying to sew together some old bike clothes…
All this can only mean one thing: The offseason arrived!
While the last couple of years usually consisted of me stumbling my way through the darkest time of year and keeping my head down low until the return of the first sunlight, it’s finally time for a new strategy … or any strategy at all.
So, here are my Top 5 advices for surviving the offseason:
1. Nightrides !
Finally something to look up to in that specific time of year. The days are short, the nights are long, which means you don’t have to stay up until midnight for a nightride. Also, there’s no such thing as bad weather conditions, if you can’t see it, right? … right?
2. Bike Wash !?
An advice, only for the toughest time of the offseason. When there’s snow, ice and a total white out on the other side of the window, this might be the perfect moment to make good use of some spare time. This might also be the only bike related activity that’s left, so you know … there’s nothing else to do anyway.
3. Use the weight bench more often …
Time to get rid of all the dust on the weight bench. I’m not the fastest rider in town, but I’ll be the strongest one next spring for sure! Let’s go…
4. Follow more blogs and channels from the opposite half of the planet !
Right here, in europe, the cycling season is pretty much over. Autumn arrived and soon it will get really cold with snow and all that stuff … however, this is not the case everywhere on this planet. The whole south half of planet earth awaits the arrival of summer in a few months, so I’m definitely going to make sure to follow some blogs and channels from this part of the world to get a decent amount of sunshine content.
( please make sure to drop your favorite blogs and channels from the summer side of the globe in the comments. Can’t wait for new content to follow!)
5. Keep on pedaling …
No one likes to start all over again next year. If you want to keep your endurance and stay in top shape, you need to ride your bike. It’s okay if you only ride half the distance, half the time, half intensity and half outside (is that possible? anyway…). Stay active and you’ll recognize the difference in spring!
Alright,what do you think? Looks like a decent strategy for the next few months. Can’t wait to try it out!
Feel free to tell me about your strategies for the offseason in the comments below!
Some time ago I went through all the dusted old stuff that I once put into the attic, because it was to good to be thrown away … you know what I’m talking about, right? It’s like a huge flea market, just with your own stuff.
This time I rediscovered two boxes filled to the top with … LEGO bricks!
Two boxes with single stones and plates of every color and size. I knew one thing right away … I needed to build something.
At that time, I’ve been awaiting spare parts for the Viny Solo singlespeed conversion I was writing about some time ago (read the blogpost right here). The weather was bad and I had some spare time, so I decided to empty out the content of the two boxes right down on the floor and started looking through tons of LEGO bricks.
Some people might not understand this, but when there’s only cycling related topics inside of your head, there’s just one thing that I had to find out: Is it possible to mount LEGO stones to a bicycle frame?
Well, the answer is … Yes, it is possible!
And before the day ended, I found myself looking at the prototype of my new bicycle bottle holder, complete build with LEGO stones. In case you might want to know more about it, here’s a short video about the prototype of my bicycle bottle holder:
The process of building something that only exists as a picture in your head, is tougher than it sounds. What you’re looking at right here, is probably the third or fourth version of the bicycle bottle holder, but the first one, that I thought was okay.
After hours of work inside of my private bicycle laboratory, it was about time for the first official test under real conditions. An empty parking lot on a sunday morning was the best location I could possibly find for this purpose.
I mounted the bottle holder to the frame and the test started. A few laps around the parking lot proved, that the bottle holder worked just fine at average speed and without hitting huge bumps and potholes. The bottle seemed a bit loose and moved around quite a lot inside of the holder, but as long as everything stayed where it was supposed to be, I was okay with that.
Then it was time for the ultimate test : Will the bicycle bottle holder survive a ride over potholes at average speed?
Well, the answer was NO …
Right at the second pothole, the bottom plate of the bottle holder broke and the holder itself slipped down the frame to get stuck between the frame and the big chain ring. However, it still hold on to the bottle and prevented it from falling to the ground. That counts as a success, right?
Of course I’m just joking around. The test was a failure. The bicycle bottle holder could not live up to its purpose, though it didn’t went as bad as I imagined. Before the test, I imagined dozens of tiny LEGO bricks flying through the air, spreading all around the parking lot, the water bottle smashing on the ground and my bicycle slipping out on the wet surface, resulting in a huge crash for me.
Luckily, that didn’t happen. One single LEGO brick broke of the bottom plate and landed on the ground, the rest of the prototype got stuck between the frame and didn’t touch the ground at all.
So, after all, what’s the result of the first test?
I think, the prototype of the bicycle bottle holder ain’t as bad as I thought it might be. It’s able to hold a filled water bottle on a road without potholes. That’s a good result, I think.
However, the test proved that the bottom plate is too weak to survive big hits like potholes or curbs. That’s something I have to work on for the next prototype.
Yes, you heard right … I’m not done yet, I will be back with a second prototype and it will be awesome …
If you’d like to find out more about the first test of the bicycle bottle holder, here’s the full video about it:
Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below. I appreciate every feedback and / or reply to my posts.
Whenever I’m looking for ideas, that would be great as a next YouTube video, that’s when I’m most creative.
The Highway Loop is my latest invention, if you want to call it like that.
What’s the Highway Loop? – It’s a cycling route, that I created while I was scrolling through the streets of Dortmund on google maps, while checking out nice routes for my next YouTube video.
The Loop actually is a cycle path right next to the B54, one of the smaller highways in Dortmund. It starts at the Phoenix West highway entry, follows the highway for 3 km out of town, turns left to cross the highway under a bridge and then follows the highway for 3km in the opposite direction back to Dortmund. While the first part of the loop is challenging your endurance with a light ascent of round about 2%, the way back to town is making up for it, with a light descent of round about 2%. Basically, this just means, you can’t go as fast as you want to on the way out of town, but always as fast as you like on the way back. You should always keep in mind though, that the cycle path is crossing several highway exits, so you better make sure to keep an eye out for cars. Beside of this, the loop’s your classic average cycle path. Tons of potholes, bumps, highway debris and garbage are going to test your reaction and handling skills.
However, the great thing about the highway loop is the fact that you can usually ride without interrruptions like traffic lights or pedestrians. Of course, you might have to stop for cars at the exits, but most of the time you can avoid that with good anticipation.
I did the highway loop on a sunday and I think, that might be the best day of the week to ride it. There’s no rush hour on the highway and most of the weekend cyclists are choosing much nicer routes around town, so there’s a good chance, that you got the cycle path all for yourself.
As I mentioned before, I did a whole video about cycling on the Highway Loop, that I’d like to share with you so, here it is: