It’s not what you’d call “trainer season” down here in Tasmania. I keep my Zwift membership active all year round as it’s handy to jump on the turbo trainer when I am time-pressed or work gets in the way. I regularly join the SAS or AHDR morning Zwift bunch rides. It’s a solid hour of tempo/sweetspot work. In my books though, the turbo trainer should ALWAYS be the last option…
The other day I had planned an hour’s Zwift session before work. As I lay in bed that morning contemplating the ride I noticed the sun streaming in through the window. Getting up it looked clear and crisp (if a little smokey from the bushfires). I quickly ditched the idea of sitting on the trainer in the garage. Screw Zwift!* I got dressed, grabbed the good bike and wheeled myself out the door!
Best decision ever. Riding outside is WHY we ride bikes. It’s what they were built for. Fresh air, wind in your face, burning in your legs and lungs. Sure the indoor training companies may try and convince you that riding inside in somehow better or safer or more exciting. But, they’re wrong. End of. The turbo is simply a means to an end.
In my opinion, if the option is there to enjoyably get outside, you should NEVER choose the trainer over actually riding your bike.
The only exceptions to this rule** are if you are a professional cyclist, you are training for an actual race or you have other important commitments that keep you from leaving the house. In those cases you can stick to your plan and hit up the turbo.
Otherwise get out there. Enjoy the road.
* I do have love for Zwift of course, it’s been an indoor training game changer over the past few years… #RideOn
** Also, ride safe. If the weather is too bad, if there’s deep snow or black ice or a Sharknado. Get on the damn trainer. There’s always another day.