In a world that is ruled by schedules, intervals, speed and efficiency, sunday is the only day of the week to do whatever, whenever and however. Some people like to relax all day and only switch between bed and couch, some people are finally able to do their favorite outdoor activity.
Whatever it is … Sunday is the day, that everyone can rely on!

Since this website is all about cycling, I’d like to write about the reasons, that make sunday the perfect day for cycling:

Sunday is the most quiet day of the week …

… perfect time to aim for a relaxed ride around town, take a timeout on places that are crowded and noisy all week long and start seeing the city from an unknown side. Noone is going to make a huge fitness progress from a ride like this, but if you take this day as your recovery day, you can discover your city from a totally new side and prepare your body for next week’s interval training hell.

Early Birds will get the trophy!

On sunday mornings, cities are absolutely deserted. The traffic is super low, roads are empty and if the wind is on your side, this is the perfect moment to smash the strava segments, that you’ve aimed for a dozen times at least. Most of the time, you won’t have to break for pedestrians or dogs and there are just a handful of cars, that’ll try to do an insane cutting move or whatever.
So, what you’re waiting for? Let’s go and get that trophy!

Endless Time on an unscheduled day!

Thinking about sundays always feels like standing on a rooftop, looking at an wide open area of free space. There are cities, but the roads are empty, there are forests and offroad areas, that I don’t know yet and far in the distance, there are huge mountains covered in fog, so there’s no possibility to see the summit from where I’m standing.
There are dozens of possible rides on a sunday and sometimes it’s hard to decide on where I want to go, however, sunday is the only day of the week to scout some new roads, paths and trails, so make sure to take this chance every single week of the year!

Personally I think, sunday’s the perfect day to do a huge ride around Dortmund and districts, that are just too busy during the week. It’s so cool to do a ride across the harbor or even the city centre, because there’s just a super low amount of cars and not a single truck around.

However, what about you? Why do you think sunday is the best day of the week to do a ride on your bicycle?
If you’d like to write about that, feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below this blogpost!

-Dennis

Eventually winter has left this area after a tough and ugly period of time. The sun is shining for more than 30 minutes per day and the trees and plants take back control of the urban landscapes in Dortmund. The last couple of weeks were pretty rough for any cyclist. It was super cold and there was extraordinary lot of rain, which becomes a total evil combination, if you add the dozens of windy almost stormy days to that. People called it “normal April weather” and although “der April macht was er will” is an old farmer’s wisdom for a reason, it still felt a bit weird to wear winter’s clothing in the fourth month of year.
These days should be over by now, although you can never be a hundred percent sure about that…

Nevertheless, the sunny sunshine weather conditions around the eastern holidays were the perfect opportunity for me to do a nice recovery ride across town and stop for a picture whenever I spot a tree in total bloom.
It was no surprise, that the best shots and sightings came out at the Technical University of Dortmund. The TU Dortmund is one of my favorite spots in Dortmund for taking urban landscape pictures, because there is a great combination of architecture and nature.
Plus, the trees at the university have a bigger and larger bloom or crown (is that how you call it?) than most trees along the roads across town.
However, if you look close enough, there are great spots everywhere in Dortmund and I think, I’m going to do another ride to the local parks to find additional spots soon.

‘Til then, make sure to visit the Seasonal Content Page on this website, if you’d like to see the whole archive of urban landscapes in spring!

-Dennis

The other day, the free coaster on my everyday bicycle, the Creme Cycles Vinyl Solo, broke. I had to run some errands and the weather was okay, so I really wanted to take the bike for that. The only quick fix for that problem was to flip the rear wheel and start riding on the fixed gear and that’s how I got into riding fixed gear bicycles within five minutes.

So far, my entire knowledge about riding fixed gear consisted of watching other people riding fixed gear bikes in YouTube videos and they make it look so easy … well, of course it’s not that easy:

The first problem hit me, when I tried to jump on the bike to start riding. The bike stopped immediately and nothing happened: I jumped on the bike when the pedal had just passed its lowest point, which is basically the perfect way to hit the rear brake.

Once I had that figured out, I still looked like a noob on a bicycle whenever I had to stop or start again (which is definitely the reason, why so many fixed gear riders try to avoid getting stopped in traffic – including myself…) However, at least I was able to get the bike going after all, although it didn’t take long until the next problem showed up:

Usually I like to let the bike roll whenever there’s a slight downhill or there’s not much going on and I’m not in a hurry. Stop to pedal and enjoy the view, that’s how simple it is. Did you know how hard it is to get rid of such behaviour?
Stop pedaling is not a great idea on a fixed gear bicycle, because the pedals won’t stop spinning unless the rider kicks and pushes the pedals back into the opposite direction with an unreal power and strength effort. I learned that the hard way when the pedals almost knocked me out of the saddle…

However, right now I’ve already spend a few hours on the fixed gear and sometimes these problems still bother me during the ride. Nevertheless, I already feel way more comfortable riding fixed gear, than I did in the beginning. Actually I think, that this is possibly the coolest and most chill way to ride bicycles in a city or on a commute to work.
I left the rear brake and the rear brake lever on the bike, just in case I didn’t like the fixed gear at all. Right now, I don’t see a reason why I should keep it on the bike any longer, because I’m absolutely hyped about riding fixed gear.

-Dennis

In the beginning of December I began to ride bicycles indoors once more. The temperatures dropped below 5°C for a handful of days and that was the official end to my outdoor cycling season. It always takes some time for me to get used to riding indoors, however a few weeks later I’m absolutely and a 100% focused on riding on Zwift in my second season.

The workout always runs like the same pattern. I always start with stretching for a few minutes as a short warmup, legs and back mainly. When I’m done with stretching cycling starts.

This year I’m basically using the same setup as last year. The Fuji roadbike spends the winter inside, installed on a Wahoo Kickr Snap. As I explained in the last post, there’s just one thing I changed about the setup. The smartphone, which is the Zwift device of my choice, is now mounted to the bicycle rack in front of the roadbike. This improves looking at the screen while riding a lot and it makes riding on Zwift way more fun than last year, when I had the smartphone mounted on the bars.

I guess my average riding session on Zwift lasts about an hour, depending on how much time I got left pre or post work, but it definitely lasts longer than 30min or all the preparation just wasn’t worth it. Besides, warming uo on a bike always takes about 15 to 20 min until I feel like being ready for a bit more intense ride.

Do you like climbing on Zwift? I definitely don’t like climbing more than 7%-roads. Everything above is just pure agony in my opinion. The rear tire slips with every pedal stroke and pedaling just feels so mechanic. I’ll never forget the one ride I did up to Alpes d’Zwift …

Since I don’t like climbing too much, I prefer Zwift routes that are rather flat. I think, my average route is about 20km’s long, with not more than a hundred meter altitude. Add up to three or four sprints, but no KoM, and I’m happy. I also like to choose a short lap with up to 10km and then do a few laps on it. This improves my knowledge of the track and I’m able to raise my time in the sprints, simply because I know where the sprint starts and finishes!
On the other hand, time goes by a lot faster, when I’m riding a longer route and just one lap.
I guess the choice depends on how hard I like to push myself on every specific day.

When a Zwift session ends, preparation for the next ride begins. And this means cleaning the bicycle after every single session. This makes a huge difference on the status of your bicycle in spring and of course, a clean bike is a fast bike!

That’s pretty much it about how I workout and ride bicycles on Zwift in 2022. Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

-Dennis

For most people in Europe and Northern America January means one thing: Winter has come! And although there are many cyclists, who just don’t care whether it’s 20°C or 2°C outside, many cyclists, myself included, are struggling to keep on cycling outdoors.
However, if you don’t want to lose all the progress you’ve made over the last year, indoor cycling on a smart trainer is a great way to keep on cycling and stay fit and strong, in times when it’s impossible for you to ride outside.

This is my second winter on an indoor trainer and there are a lot of things I’ve learned and changed compared to my rookie indoor season. You’ll probably discover most of these things for yourself in time, just like I did. However, the following advices may still help you getting started on an indoor trainer even better:

#1. A fan is a must have, it’ll keep your sweat output under control and prevents you from overheating. Don’t forget about getting some fresh oxygen though and open your window!


#2. However, you’re going to sweat … a lot!
Sweat bands on wrists and head will help you stop dripping sweat all over the place! It’s hard to hold on to your bars with sweaty hands, plus the smell is going to stick in your room forever. Just put on some sweat bands and you’ll get the 80’s fitness workout look on top … for free!


#3. Don’t forget to clean your bike after every session or the sweat will eat up your bike! Sweat is full of salt and this salt is going to destroy your bike’s painting, bottom bracket, chain and possibly everything. Just clean your bike after every ride to make it last longer and have a nice looking fresh bicycle to start the season in spring!


#4. Put a cover on the ground and under your smart trainer.
It will protect the ground below and may even reduce the noise of the trainer a bit. When your neighbors start asking, why you keep washing your clothes every single day … in your living room, it’s time to use a noise reducing cover on your floor. I’m using the thickest pvc carpet I’ve found on the floor and it worked out great. However, I’m also thinking about a nice turf carpet to create an outside feeling for the next indoor session.


#5. Make sure your Zwift device is not mounted on your bars!
This advice is for everyone, who can’t afford a brand new laptop, screen or whatever to run Zwift on. I’m using Zwift on my smartphone and it works just fine. However, when I started to train indoor last January, I used to mount the smartphone on top of my bars, because it was the first and easiest idea that I’ve got. Zwift may run just fine on a smartphone that is mounted like this, some things will start annoying you in time for sure though:
First thing you’ll recognize is, that the screen will start rotating, everytime you sprint and shift, due to the vibrations, that are transmitted through the bike’s frame or the slightest movement of your bars. And before you start asking … a locked up screen, won’t fix this problem…
Next thing you’ll recognize is, that the position of your neck and head is not ideal compared to riding bicycles outside. Usually, you’re looking straight ahead to things that are in front of you. With a Zwift device mounted to your bars, you’ll be looking down to your screen most of the time. This position didn’t cause pain or anything, it just didn’t feel naturally and won’t simulate riding outside in a good way.
This year, I placed the bike stand in front of my roadbike and mounted old MTB bars on it, to put the smartphone on them instead of the bars on my roadbike. Pull the bike stand up high as possible and the smartphone will be placed right in front of your head. Personally I think, this is the best and cheapest solution for that problem and it works just fine.


These are the top 5 things I’ve learned during my time on an indoor trainer and probably the most important one’s and I hope they will help anyone who is just getting started on indoor cycling. Make sure to let me know what you think about it, in the comments below!

-Dennis