Teaching with Video: An Interview with Gene Nacey of Global Ride

Over the next few weeks ICA will be talking with some of the companies and their passionate founders who have brought the world of virtual indoor riding to life. For this post I talk with Gene Nacey of Global Ride, who is one of the pioneers in the virtual space. Although this is a audio interview, I’ve included footage from Global Ride’s Italy, France, Spain, and Hawaii videos to provide a taste of the motivation and excitement they provide.


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  1. Great discussion everyone, so I’ll chime in on the “complaint about video in general” and “motion sickness”. As noted, mostly the non-outdoor riders complained about the videos, but I have not had that experience with my non-riders and perhaps it is because I cue no less in a video class than a regular class. In fact, if you listen to my coached tracks (Global Ride videos allow you to just have music or an audible coach), you will hear I am guiding the class just as if I was there in a “regular cycling class”.

    I do this because my words can help DRAW them into the scene – as stated, we want to engage them, not distract them, and it may take some coaxing and creative roll playing. I also am a big fan of telling everyone I have created a “story” and I want them to play a roll in it. I then assign myself to a rider and invite them to also assign themselves to that rider or perhaps the others. Then my cueing provides the back stories and the motivations for attacks, bridges, increases or decreases in speed, etc. Yes, we a playing “pretend” but it still gets the training job done and I get a lot of good feedback.

    Regarding motion sickness, there are three types of filming that will lead to this, so be careful when evaluating purchase options:
    1. Helmet or bike mounted cameras – as Jennifer pointed out, there is simply too much wobble
    2. Sharp curves without multiple camera angles to switch to. Our original Maui Rollers had only 1 camera looking forward and so if the road had a sharp bend, that’s all the film got, and thus the sense of “Surviving the Hana Hiway” all over again. By having extra cameras you can cut to another view before any section that is a good candidate for motion sickness is encountered
    3. Filming with NO RIDERS. I have seen some gorgeous film of trails, roads and scenery, but with no riders front or back. Hence you more quickly get the feeling that YOU are in some sort of hover craft just floating along these trails – especially because they are so smooth, you will see lots of rocks or other obstacles, and you feel and see NOTHING – not a glitch in the video. This doesn’t make sense to your brain and then things do not begin to line up – making your stomach question what’s happening also.

    Hope that provides some additional aspects to ponder 🙂

  2. Christine,

    video and power classes on a certain day and time is a great idea. I teach a Power Training class at noon on mondays. slow progression at first with attendance given the time frame, but surprisingly word is getting out and the group has really grown. I like your idea of a sunday special feature as a great way to offer another Power Class and the Video format. I don’t mind small classes. I know # seem to be so important and such an ego dynamic but for me, smaller is better. a far more personalized approach to working with people. I would rather have 5 that want to be there than 15 who only want to mindlessly pedal.

    I have used the video rides to compliment my class objectives as well. I profiled an Acadia National Park video the week prior to and after our FTP testing to focus on that feeling of threshold intensity, breathing, and power. Riders said it really helped them on the day of the test to reflect and use that memory.

    Do you have any good video recommendations? We’ve sampled a few and some are disappointing in that the given RPM. intensity, and position doesn’t reflect the terrain at all.

    isn’t this a great gathering of passionate instructors to come together, share and learn. i just love it!

  3. really enjoying this. I’m not a big fan of video etc in the class….BUT this concept is not just videos and distractions which I don’t think a lot of people get. Its not about disassociating yourself from the experience which I think is the goal of a lot of the ‘hoopla’ stuff. love the line ‘visually stimluated with no purpose..helps make the time go faster’ exactly what we don’t want to do!!! I’d totally be interested in teaching the Global Ride style!!!

  4. Renee –

    At my facility Sundays are reserved for special activities. I teach a power workshop in the mornings and that’s also the time reserved for winter training work. It made sense to put the video rides on Sunday evenings.

    My use of video rides is dependent on how I choose to deliver information in other classes on the schedule. You might find that another model or marketing approach would work better.

  5. Hey Christine, i was sharing your tips this a.m. to the other instructor i’m working with on the Video ride project, as well as, the rider who experienced the motion sickness. do you have any suggestions for what time slot on a schedule seems to work best if you offer it as a class on its own? i realize locations vary and determine what time is best for a given population.
    It just so happened this a.m. instructor was running a video ride in Arizona that was off road, narrow ledges asking for 90-100 rpm standing. Video quality was excellent, participants loved the ride info (rpm, position, intensity level) included but it didn’t match the terrain in the picture and especially for our participants. We are learning. thank you

  6. Yeah, Gene mentions that in the interview, something they’ve tried to avoid after the first Hawaii series.

  7. The only time I’ve experienced motion sickness, either myself, or someone near me, was when the camera point of view was from the bike (like a Go Pro mounted on the handlebar). It’s a lower camera angle and tends to be bouncy. I didn’t experience that with Global Ride or Epic Ride DVDs because they use a car to video the riders, or to look up the road. But Tom will know more, as he’s had way more experience.

    1. I’m afraid car mount cameras can still produce motion sickness. The terrain can also contribute. Lots of narrow turns a re the worst judging by my experience in my classes.

  8. Thank you for replying Christine. This is very helpful. I, too, am looking forward to hearing from Gene and Tom how best to improve and continue forward with my video ride idea. I like the time slot idea. you don’t charge extra? i will share your tip for the motion sickness antidote. One of my riders held her head down. I didn’t know why and only found out after the ride was over. lesson learned for me.

    Riders have been so used to being told everything and i give them only small bits of info during our usual classes as i want them to “think” on their own. I am quite comfortable with the silence but they haven’t been use to that type of coaching. So a new experience with video and less cueing and the reason why some of them weren’t too thrilled I guess. part of teaching is how to ride with a video.

  9. Renee –

    I will be interested in Tom’s and Gene’s response to your questions. I thought I’d tell you a little about how I use video. I offer video rides in a timeslot which is not otherwise used for classes. That ensures that only those who want the experience turn up. I actually advertise them as hours with no cueing from me. My joke is that they are paying to have me shut up! But I explain that they need to make the leap from extrinsic to intrinsic assistance. I do that with longer and longer intervals in regular classes where I suggest topics for them to think about but I am silent. The video ride is the ultimate in that. The visual cues act as triggers for the retrieval and use of information I have presented in my traditional format classes.

    I have also had the motion sickness complaint. I find that the nature of the camera work varies across the various production companies and even within their catalogues depending on available technology. I know which rides are likely to induce motion sickness now and I suggest that people who are susceptible sit in the centre of the room and as far back as they can get. Sometimes that doesn’t help and they need to close their eyes.

  10. Thanks Tom and Gene. This was very helpful as i and another instructor embark on bringing video rides to our facility.

    Thus far we’ve coached 2 different rides in 8 classes as a “teaser” to test market the reception by participants and whether we should bring a video ride program to our facility. We have received mixed reviews. Some people loved it, others not so much. Those that enjoyed the experience seem to mostly be those that ride outdoors with a few exceptions. Those that didn’t enjoy the experience comments were “i got motion sickness” and “it was so,so and I would like more coaching” and ” I wouldn’t pay for this, I can go out and buy my own DVD and ride at home. This is not what I come to class for.”

    Would you please share some of your thoughts, ideas and suggestions?

    Would it best to offer this as a special event/fee based or just keep it to an instructor’s preference when offered?

    Any tips for solving the motion sickness problem?

    Are these typical comments to hear from indoor versus outdoor riders?

    We didn’t want to overwhelm the video experience with too much talking and cueing and really felt the cueing, delivery and timing went well with the profile. Cueing was less than what is usually given during a normal class so I am wonder if this a situation of riders being unfamiliar with taking ownership of their ride, being comfortable with times of silence from their instructors and wanting to be cued through every moment.

    Change isn’t easy and this has never been done before with this population. How can we make this a better experience with a better reception and more positive feedback?

    We’ve kind of stalled out on using the videos at this point based on these responses and not sure how to take this further. We don’t want to give up.

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