Winter is here, which means it’s trainer time. Gone are the days of simply staring at the wall for hours during those mentally taxing indoor rides. You no longer have to throw on old Tour de France videos to make the time go by. With virtual indoor training apps, you can make the time fly as you get your ride on, and it’s never been easier.
Beautiful and scenic routes
The Rouvy indoor cycling app has levelled up the virtual realm of cycling adventures, enabling you to embark on some truly extraordinary cycling routes.
It’s very different from, say, Zwift, which offers much simpler, less realistic graphics. Instead of solid and bland backgrounds, it really looks and feels like you’re very much in the various locations—which could be anywhere. You can ride in Hawaii, you can ride in Beverly Hills. You can ride by the iconic Copacabana Beach in Rio, or the famous Californian Pacific Coast Highway. Since most of us probably won’t do a Grand Tour anytime soon, you can also ride stages in all three: whether it’s the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, or Vuelta a España. It’s a total trip to be able to ride the same roads you’ve seen on TV during those iconic events.
Get ready in minutes
Setting it up is a breeze. To do so, all you need to do is connect the app to your device of choice. You can use a laptop or desktop, a tablet or Apple TV. You could use your smartphone, but I recommend using as big a screen as possible to really immerse yourself in the Rouvy worlds. Next, pair it with your own road bike on a direct-drive trainer or a smart trainer and you’re good to go. The interface is super user-friendly and it took no time at all to familiarize myself with it. There’s a short tutorial that introduces you to the features, too. Next, start pedalling and get ready to take a trip around the globe!
The visuals are stunning. If you’re a gamer, it’s akin to some of the best video games out there. And not the gameplay graphics, but the cut-scene stuff you see in some of the well-known video games. Rouvy is the closest virtual experience you’ll have to being real. One of the things that adds to this experience is the obstacles we normally encounter as a cyclist outdoors. It makes it fun, it keeps you alert. When you’re riding on a bike path or on a busy road, you may occasionally see a pedestrian or vehicle–but don’t worry, your Rouvy avatar you see on screen will avoid them. It adds to the fun and breaks up the ride. Getting in miles on the trainer can sometimes be mind-numbing, but with Rouvy, it’s a total joy. You know that feeling of watching the time, and every minute takes forever on the trainer? I didn’t feel that with Rouvy, which was awesome.
If you’re considering a trip to some of the many locations available, it gives you a chance to pre-ride it too, all from the comfort of your own home. That means when you do ultimately head to one of these venues, you’ll already have a feel for the route, whether that means a climb, a descent, or ride by the ocean.
Speaking of the coast, you can pick all sorts of places to ride by the water.Take a trip to Norway, on the Nusfjord to Haukland Beach route and cycle by the sea. The rugged and intricately carved coastline allows you to ride by the fjords, and through beautiful fishing villages. You’ll be mesmerized as you take in the sights, and for a minute, you may forget you’re indoors. It creates a fun experience, and you’ll be getting fit as you do so! For me, some of the coastal rides were the best.
If you want warmer climes, what about taking a trip to Italy?
Try the Costa del Sud, which goes from Teulada to Chia in the southern part of Sardinia, the Mediterranean’s second-largest island situated just southwest of Italy, below Corsica. This was one of my favourite routes, because I love riding in Italy.
Tonnes of options
There are 15,000 km of virtual routes available, and every one of them is a beautiful and captivating experience. You can go from the country to the city, or a bit of both. You can visit London or Rome, all with one click. I personally found I loved mixing it up. The routes vary in distance, but there’s nothing to stop you from stopping your ride at any point, and teleporting to another. If I was doing a few hours on the trainer, I would pick out a few routes I wanted to try and then do a little of each. Or, depending on the length, I might simply finish one route, and head to another. Unlike other platforms, you’ll find you really want to keep your eyes on the screen so you don’t miss a thing. It’s a little like you’re riding in a movie, the graphics are that good.
Training or racing
Whether you’re trying to be fit for racing, training for the group ride or just trying to stay in shape over the winter, Rouvy offers plenty of options. In addition to your regular training, you have the opportunity to engage in real-time races, participate in challenges for a chance to earn rewards, or join group rides. This not only allows you to connect with fellow cyclists but also offers the chance to enjoy a ride with friends, even when you’re miles apart.
It’s not just pretty sights, too. Rouvy offers structured training options by way of TrainingPeaks. And you’re not limited to virtual rides on asphalt, there are also a whole host of gravel sections. I believe that one of the most interesting concepts with Rouvy is if you’re planning a cycling trip to one of the locations offered, you can actually check out the route and familiarize yourself with it. Seeing the scenery on screen as you ride usurps anything you’d ever see on Google maps. I think for people who travel with their bikes, it is a huge bonus.
If you’re interested in more, be sure to check out Rouvy.com. But be ready to travel…by bike.
This story was presented by Rouvy