Meet Adam, Brian and Ginger. They are going to be your tour guides for the next one hour and thirty minutes as the four of you soak up the Californian sun on epicRIDES San Diego Great Western Loop.
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This is one of epicRIDES very well produced cycle training videos and if you live anywhere that isn’t California then you’ll really appreciate the feeling of cycling in the sun.
We set this one up in our trainer test centre on the big projector and it was fantastic. It helped that it was a typical English autumn day, it was cold, windy and wet outside so perfect for a nice session on the trainer.
View the Trailer Here:
Ride Through the Glorius Californian Sun
The video, which we received as a download – DVDs are available – consisted of a ride around the Great Western Loop which is a mainstay for cyclists in and around San Diego. It is a mixture of easy and hard climbs, easy and technical descents and a few nice flats thrown in for good measure.
You first get a chance to meet the three riders who will be putting themselves through the paces with you. Adam, Brian and Ginger introduce themselves and give their thoughts on the ride ahead which is a nice touch and gets you in the mood. It’s also great to put a name to a face and to a back which you will be following for the next hour and a half.
The graphic overview of the route gives you a good idea of the different sections and the general route you will be cycling. You also get a good overview of the elevation of the route.
The ride is split into six sections.
- 5 minute warm up
- 20 minute climb
- 25 minute hard climb
- 20 minute interval climbs
- 15 minute interval climbs
- 5 minute cool down
High Quality Video and a Useful Dashboard
The video quality is good and even works on a big screen. Everything is shot in 16:9 format and feels quite cinematic, especially on our projector. The footage alternates between following the riders, an “on bike” camera and cycling out ahead on your own. The footage is steady, even on the bike so you can always take in the scenery and don’t feel sea sick.
Throughout the whole ride there is a dashboard across the bottom of the screen which shows useful things such as the average gradient, training zone, terrain profile and a countdown timer so you always know where and when you are.
The music is ok, it certainly has a good beat and keeps you pounding the pedals relentlessly. It’s all original music so you probably won’t recognise any of it. At times I would have liked a slightly better build up to a climax, especially when reaching the top of the climbs but overall I can’t complain. I suppose the music does reflect the long hard slog at these points.
As far as the actual ride itself is concerned, it starts off in a slightly built up area but that quickly gives way to the Californian countryside.
There is an introduction to each section on screen along with a description of the route and useful tips such as:
Use this 5:00 minute warm-up to get your heart and legs ready for a varied workout.
This sort of thing is great when you just want to train without thinking too much, just follow instructions and pedal.
The second section starts out gently and increases in grade slowly but surely until you near the top where the climbing gets a bit more serious. This is followed by a fast descent to Loveland Reservoir. The scenery is beautiful and the views of the surroundings are stunning.
Count Your Way Down to the Summit
There is a climb countdown clock which times you to the summit which is a nice feature and really keeps you pushing.
The hard climb takes us up to 2600 feet which is over 2200 foot from the start, you can certainly feel it by the time you’ve reached the top.
The tip is to save a little energy for the last 60 second push. Nothing is quite as satisfying as getting to the top of a steep climb, even if it is only virtually. If you were hoping for spectacular views as you reach the top you will be slightly disappointed as the top is quite flat. Luckily there are views just around the corner in the next section.
Section four allows for some good intervals. Use the climbs to go all out and the descents for recovery as you fly past some of the best scenery so far, with the mountain on your right and the open valley to your left. It’s stunning and makes me want to live in San Diego (well sort of).
By this point you can literally feel yourself soaking up the Californian sun, which is very cheering, especially if like us you are based in the UK where the sun never seems to shine (during winter anyhow).
I’m pretty sure I beat the other three riders to the top of the last climb in this section and it felt good, very good. 🙂
The next section is also an interval section but it is shorter which means one thing: Work harder! The scenery also changes, the road narrows and becomes lined by trees which is quite nice, because I for one am killing myself in the Californian sun and even virtual shade is helping me cool off. There are some great views again on the descents with green fields stretching out around you. The camera does occasionally look at the views so you are actually able to enjoy the scenery as much as you would if you were there.
The final section allows for a gentle ride to cool down and in the words of the video “a well earned fruit smoothie”. While I love a good smoothie, all the sun and beautiful scenery makes me feel like I’m on holiday, I’ll have to force myself not to go and grab a nice cold beer. Must stay strong!
Overall this is a great ride. The production quality and camera work is professional and realistic. The one area I’d personally make a change is in the music, but that is a matter of personal preference and the music certainly isn’t bad.
I’d recommend this as a medium–hard to hard ride, although you can obviously push yourself as much or as little as you want to on your trainer. epicRIDES have a good choice of rides available across the US so if you’ve always wanted to ride in the USA but have never been able to …now is a great time to start. This will also ensure you never get bored, which as we all know is key to keeping up that winter training schedule.
Exclusive Discount Deal
We’ve talked to the producers of the epicRIDES training video series and have convinced them to give TurboTrainerReviews.com readers an exclusive discount on their downloads. So head over to epicRIDES now and use discount code TURBO to get 20% off all downloads! And yes, it’s valid for all of their downloads, not just the Great Western Loop. So now you’ve got one less excuse not to be training!