The weather in Singapore is awesome at the moment. 22-24 degrees Celsius is a dream for this tropical country that usually averages 10 degrees more. But this comes at the cost of constant rain which makes outdoor riding difficult. It may be possible to squeeze out a short ride and still avoid the rain but a rain-free 100km ride is impossible. So I tried a metric century on Zwift.
Here were the challenges.
- 100% pedaling uptime. The biggest difference between riding indoors and outdoors is that you have to keep pedaling on the trainer. Coasting is possible but it comes at a huge cost because it does not last very long, and the effort to restart pedaling is much tougher on indoor trainers. When riding solo outdoors I average a pedaling uptime of 80-85%. Bumping that to 100% when indoors is a massive difference.
- Boredom. My ride lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes. Zwift helped by providing some road like visuals and having other riders on screen. But that wasn’t enough. I had a tablet set up where I watched four episodes of Star Trek. It helped pass time but it was still rather mind numbing.
But there were upsides too:
- Faster. The ride took 30 minutes less than the outdoor equivalent. No traffic lights is a massive boost.
- Rest any time. I took one 10 minute break at the 60km mark. But I could have taken more if I wanted. The fridge was always 3 metres away.
- Comfortable. This might not be true for most but those with rocker plates will avoid the usual discomforts of being on the trainer for too long. My SBR rocker plate worked really well. No aches, pains, etc.
- Weatherproof. The main reason I did this.
- Safe. No traffic. And, well.. you could fall asleep on the trainer and it would still have been fine.
Would I do this again? Actually I would not mind. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. And it was a rather efficient way to clock a metric century too.