The Indoor Cycling Association’s motto is “Keep It Real,” and this profile keeps it real…real fun and real weird. It takes riders’ minds off of the discomfort of their high-intensity efforts through imagery, humor, and fun. It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to their faces at certain times and a grimace at other times. The concept is to mimic aspects of an outdoor ride. They will encounter obstacles along the ride which will require them to ride fast and hard to get away. The obstacles encountered are all suggested by the music using sound effects embedded in the songs. I’ve come across many of these obstacles on my own rides, but never all in the same ride.
The terrain of the ride is flat, suggesting a high cadence and relatively low resistance. Because of the higher cadences, most of the work is done in the saddle, just like a real outdoor ride. But there are plenty of opportunities for riders to stand, either during recoveries or as they surge away from the obstacles encountered. Most of the intervals are long and are ridden at or slightly above threshold (Zone 4 and 5a), with a few brief Zone 5b periods and one set of sprints in one song. Sufficient recovery is incorporated following higher-intensity efforts.
This profile is different, creative, and memorable. It has become my “go-to” profile when I am subbing a class. Riders who don’t know me sometimes roll their eyes when I announce that the profile will be inspired by an outdoor ride, but after experiencing a few of the obstacles, they figure out that the ride is different from what they expected. Shortly after that, they forget all of their initial apprehension because they’re having a blast. At the end, they invariably ask me what other times I’m on the schedule.