In the beginning of December I began to ride bicycles indoors once more. The temperatures dropped below 5°C for a handful of days and that was the official end to my outdoor cycling season. It always takes some time for me to get used to riding indoors, however a few weeks later I’m absolutely and a 100% focused on riding on Zwift in my second season.

The workout always runs like the same pattern. I always start with stretching for a few minutes as a short warmup, legs and back mainly. When I’m done with stretching cycling starts.

This year I’m basically using the same setup as last year. The Fuji roadbike spends the winter inside, installed on a Wahoo Kickr Snap. As I explained in the last post, there’s just one thing I changed about the setup. The smartphone, which is the Zwift device of my choice, is now mounted to the bicycle rack in front of the roadbike. This improves looking at the screen while riding a lot and it makes riding on Zwift way more fun than last year, when I had the smartphone mounted on the bars.

I guess my average riding session on Zwift lasts about an hour, depending on how much time I got left pre or post work, but it definitely lasts longer than 30min or all the preparation just wasn’t worth it. Besides, warming uo on a bike always takes about 15 to 20 min until I feel like being ready for a bit more intense ride.

Do you like climbing on Zwift? I definitely don’t like climbing more than 7%-roads. Everything above is just pure agony in my opinion. The rear tire slips with every pedal stroke and pedaling just feels so mechanic. I’ll never forget the one ride I did up to Alpes d’Zwift …

Since I don’t like climbing too much, I prefer Zwift routes that are rather flat. I think, my average route is about 20km’s long, with not more than a hundred meter altitude. Add up to three or four sprints, but no KoM, and I’m happy. I also like to choose a short lap with up to 10km and then do a few laps on it. This improves my knowledge of the track and I’m able to raise my time in the sprints, simply because I know where the sprint starts and finishes!
On the other hand, time goes by a lot faster, when I’m riding a longer route and just one lap.
I guess the choice depends on how hard I like to push myself on every specific day.

When a Zwift session ends, preparation for the next ride begins. And this means cleaning the bicycle after every single session. This makes a huge difference on the status of your bicycle in spring and of course, a clean bike is a fast bike!

That’s pretty much it about how I workout and ride bicycles on Zwift in 2022. Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

-Dennis

For most people in Europe and Northern America January means one thing: Winter has come! And although there are many cyclists, who just don’t care whether it’s 20°C or 2°C outside, many cyclists, myself included, are struggling to keep on cycling outdoors.
However, if you don’t want to lose all the progress you’ve made over the last year, indoor cycling on a smart trainer is a great way to keep on cycling and stay fit and strong, in times when it’s impossible for you to ride outside.

This is my second winter on an indoor trainer and there are a lot of things I’ve learned and changed compared to my rookie indoor season. You’ll probably discover most of these things for yourself in time, just like I did. However, the following advices may still help you getting started on an indoor trainer even better:

#1. A fan is a must have, it’ll keep your sweat output under control and prevents you from overheating. Don’t forget about getting some fresh oxygen though and open your window!


#2. However, you’re going to sweat … a lot!
Sweat bands on wrists and head will help you stop dripping sweat all over the place! It’s hard to hold on to your bars with sweaty hands, plus the smell is going to stick in your room forever. Just put on some sweat bands and you’ll get the 80’s fitness workout look on top … for free!


#3. Don’t forget to clean your bike after every session or the sweat will eat up your bike! Sweat is full of salt and this salt is going to destroy your bike’s painting, bottom bracket, chain and possibly everything. Just clean your bike after every ride to make it last longer and have a nice looking fresh bicycle to start the season in spring!


#4. Put a cover on the ground and under your smart trainer.
It will protect the ground below and may even reduce the noise of the trainer a bit. When your neighbors start asking, why you keep washing your clothes every single day … in your living room, it’s time to use a noise reducing cover on your floor. I’m using the thickest pvc carpet I’ve found on the floor and it worked out great. However, I’m also thinking about a nice turf carpet to create an outside feeling for the next indoor session.


#5. Make sure your Zwift device is not mounted on your bars!
This advice is for everyone, who can’t afford a brand new laptop, screen or whatever to run Zwift on. I’m using Zwift on my smartphone and it works just fine. However, when I started to train indoor last January, I used to mount the smartphone on top of my bars, because it was the first and easiest idea that I’ve got. Zwift may run just fine on a smartphone that is mounted like this, some things will start annoying you in time for sure though:
First thing you’ll recognize is, that the screen will start rotating, everytime you sprint and shift, due to the vibrations, that are transmitted through the bike’s frame or the slightest movement of your bars. And before you start asking … a locked up screen, won’t fix this problem…
Next thing you’ll recognize is, that the position of your neck and head is not ideal compared to riding bicycles outside. Usually, you’re looking straight ahead to things that are in front of you. With a Zwift device mounted to your bars, you’ll be looking down to your screen most of the time. This position didn’t cause pain or anything, it just didn’t feel naturally and won’t simulate riding outside in a good way.
This year, I placed the bike stand in front of my roadbike and mounted old MTB bars on it, to put the smartphone on them instead of the bars on my roadbike. Pull the bike stand up high as possible and the smartphone will be placed right in front of your head. Personally I think, this is the best and cheapest solution for that problem and it works just fine.


These are the top 5 things I’ve learned during my time on an indoor trainer and probably the most important one’s and I hope they will help anyone who is just getting started on indoor cycling. Make sure to let me know what you think about it, in the comments below!

-Dennis

Anyone who likes to go for a gravel ride at the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal should absolutely not do it on a weekend. The path along the water is just too narrow to share it with pedestrians, dog walker, fishermen, runners, other cyclists and still have fun while riding bicycles.
So it was just a logical decision to go for a ride on a wednesday noon and it paid off.
I almost got the entire path for myself and was able to ride flat out for miles and miles. The temperatures were lower than I thought, lower than the thermometer at home indicated, but once I showed up at the channel, it was too late to turn back anyway.

There was almost no wind at all on that day, which delivered an incredible view all along the channel. When there’s no wind, and no ships or boats cross your way, the water gets so quiet, that it works just like a mirror.
Everything at the side of the channel is shown upside down on the surface of the water. That was absolutely incredible.
I even came across a rather large group of geese, that couldn’t believe their eyes either…

The path along the channel is made for an easy gravel ride, but there are always things to be seen or discovered. It connects the harbor in Dortmund to the larger rivers and water higways in this area, so there’s a lot of industry along the channel, new and old ones, most of them rusted, some of them abandoned. This makes the path along the channel to a perfect place to get some decent pictures with a great setting.

I already planned a longer ride from Dortmund to the old floodgate in Henrichenburg and back along other rivers, which should be a cool ride. However, I’m definitely going to wait for temperatures above 5°C for sure …

-Dennis

A few days ago I did a gravel ride across the university of Dortmund and further on to the harbour and the channel.
The bright colors of Autumn Wonderland have already past and what remains are tons of dead fallen leaves on the ground. The entire world seems to be covered by them, it’s crazy!
And it’s even more crazy to ride bicycles right through them. The wet leaves are so slippery on a descent and so gripless on an ascent, that it’s hard to find some fun on an autumn ride like I did some days ago.
The cold temperatures at night and the short days predict that winter ain’t too far away, so I aim to do as much outside rides on the bicycle as possible before the temperatures drop below zero.

And of course, I’d also like to get as much new footage for the YouTube Channel and this website as I can get!

I did a video of the Autumn Gravel Ride I just wrote about and I’m going to drop it right below this blogpost.
Fallen Leaves, a Gravel Descent and a super narrow dirt trail through the fields are absolutely part of this video:

Tell me what you think about this video in the comments below and make sure to keep on riding bicycles outside whenever you can!
In case you’re located on the southern part of this globe, make sure to send some sunshine over!

-Dennis

The grand
re-opening of Autumn Wonderland has finally arrived!

The world’s most famous open air exhibition has already started…

…and it’s back
greater than ever!

Experience everyday places like
never before
!

Colorful,
bright and
absolutely
incredible!

Watch Out!
Autumn Wonderland has
only returned
for a limited
time!

So make sure to visit
today!


Visit Autumn Wonderland and/or other seasonal limited experiences right here:

Seasonal Content

-Dennis