Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cycling in Hawaii (sort of)

Sherry and I both took this week off for a little "stacation" (basically, a vacation spent at home). My only real plan was to ride. A lot. However, mother nature seemed to have other plans as an unusual series of late rain moved into California. So as I sat inside on June 4th watching it rain out yet another day of riding I had a thought. I could be on the bike in my garage enjoying the beautiful sites of Hawaii.

A few months ago, I received a comment on my blog inviting me to review a new type of indoor trainer DVD from Global Ride Productions. In essence, they would send me their 3-DVD set of virtual cycling in Hawaii if I would be willing to write a review. So I went to their website and was very intrigued by this introduction.

"Global Ride's Virtual Cycling DVDs give indoor cyclists a unique first-person riding experience. Each DVD was carefully created by road cyclists to provide the best possible training for indoor cyclists, outdoor cyclists and group Spinning® classes. Upbeat music, multiple selectable coaching tracks and high-quality video shot from the rider's perspective take you on a global journey unlike any other cycling / Spinning® DVD on the market."

This really did sound interesting, so I agreed to check them out. A few days later the 3-DVD set Hawaii Rides arrived and I was ready to go.

Before I begin my review, I would like to set the stage. First of all, I would almost always prefer to be on the road and not the trainer. Although I understand, and enjoy, the benefits of trainer workouts, I would just rather be outside. I do have almost the entire collection of Chris Carmichael DVDs, which I use regularly. And I must admit that I have not seen any of the Spinervals® DVDs. With that said, on to the review.

Let me start off by saying I really enjoyed all 3 of the DVDs. They have a beauty and flexibility to them. And while I did not truly believe I was in Hawaii, I did enjoy the scenery and found myself getting "lost" in the moment. Now let's talk about what I particularly liked and what I would change.

What I liked:
  • The most important thing for me was that these DVDs psychologically engaged me in the ride. For instance, because the video is shot from the riders perspective you can see you are on a hill. At times when I wanted to ease back on the pace I found myself saying "You can make it to the top" and I would keep pushing. This is the exact kind of self-talk that would occur on the road.
  • The music was excellent! It all comes from real artists and doesn't have that canned studio sound you get with other workout DVDs.
  • I also enjoyed the coaching aspect. While there were significant differences between coaches, these differences added to the variety and did not distract from the quality of the workout.
  • The flexibility provided by these DVDs is also outstanding. You might be coached to hold a certain heart rate but it was up to me to determine if that heart rate would be 120 bpm or 160 bpm. Or, you can turn off the coaching and do your own thing while still enjoying the sites and music.
  • The video quality was excellent. I am not sure how they got it so still. I enjoyed watching the road from the rider's viewpoint. There was also video of a "fellow rider" so it felt like you were riding with someone.
What I would change:
  • I started with the DVD Maui Rollers. It starts with a series of still photographs and music but no other guidance. After about 2 minutes I realized I was supposed to be warming up. I think more instruction at the beginning would be beneficial.
  • I watched the DVDs with and without coaching, but always with music, and I sometimes had trouble hearing the coach over the music. I would to see them make the coaches voices a little stronger.
  • Each one of the DVDs has a bonus workout. For example, Maui Rollers has a yoga session, the Oceanside Ride has pilates, and the StrenDurance in Hawaii has strength training. I am wondering why each DVD can't offer all three.

In an effort to be thorough, I also completed a garage ride with Coach Tim where we completed 2 of the DVDs back-to-back. He was highly impressed and plans on recommending them to a few of his clients.

So what's the bottom line? I thought these DVDs were extraordinary and I would definitely buy them. If I am going to ride the trainer, I feel these give me the greatest flexibility in designing the workout of my choice.

I understand the next series will be on Italy. I can hardly wait.


1 Comment(s):

Gary Hawkins said...

Dear Lee,

I noticed that you have reviewed videos from Global Ride in the past and I am writing to see if you might also be interested in reviewing Ride Fit™. Launched in November 2011 and with satisfied customers in twenty-five countries, Ride Fit™ ( is rapidly establishing itself as a leading supplier of affordable indoor cycle training videos. The Ride Fit™ product addresses the following problems for the indoor cyclist:

"Bored working out on your stationary exercise bike? Too busy to get to your local indoor cycling class? Wishing you had a structured cycle training program to provide motivation? Bad weather forcing you indoors? Prefer to workout at home? Faced with another hotel gym with nothing to look at except the walls?"

We understand making exercise enjoyable, entertaining and goal orientated is essential to keep people coming back for more. To provide the most realistic virtual cycling experience possible, Ride Fit™ videos are shot from the first person perspective using bike-mounted video cameras. Users will experience, as closely as can be achieved in an indoor environment, actually being there on the road.

Our widescreen HD downloadable videos and DVDs are suitable for display on all types of media device from smart phones, the Apple iPad and tablets, to the latest flat-screen TVs. The simple on-screen digital dashboard provides critical ride information (resistance, cadence and perceived effort) and a terrain profile with progress indicator shows you where you are and what's coming next so you can pace your workout appropriately.

To provide the user with a wide variety of training videos, our titles are very affordable (individually about the price of a lunchtime sandwich); we want our customers to feel they can come back week-after-week to build-up their exercise collection. We currently have seven individual titles and three combo packs available at our website but have plans for many more. Our latest two releases feature ride footage shot in and around Madrid, Spain. A third featuring this region will be released shortly.

Please visit our website ( for additional information and trailers that showcase our product. If you would be interested in reviewing our product I'd gladly supply coupon code(s) so you can download one or more titles of your choice. I'd also be interested in discussing how we might be able to cooperate in other ways, particularly relating to placement of a banner ad on website. We already have several very successful affiliate relationships running and would love to enter into a similar relationship with yourself.

I very much look forward to talking with you.

Best regards,

Gary J. Hawkins
Founder, Ride Fit
(M) +1-858-231-8881