Getting Ready for Cooler Weather

trainer

Cycling seems to have taken over most of my hobbies this past summer. While I have done other hobby things, I have put more passion, time and energy into cycling. My strength and stamina are definitely way up. Sadly, my weight has not improved. This is because I have not been able to break up with pizza. Diet is crucial….but that is a blog for another day (and a different site–see here)

Autumn is here and winter is coming. Traditionally, owing to wonderfully frigid temperatures, around here people tend to hibernate more.   For a hobbyist this means getting into indoor pursuits. I can look forward to more time with the models, more time with the trains, more time watching hockey…..

While all of this sounds wonderful, it sounds as if all the gains I made in stamina and energy might go to waste. It is with that in mind that I contemplate spending a big chunk (perhaps the whole chunk) of my hobby budget on a cycling trainer. I am not talking about your average stationary bike. I am talking about using my road bike as my exercise bike for the winter.

The advantages

  • I will use the muscles that I have to use when riding on road courses–unlike a stationary bike, which is great for fitness but isn’t really my bike and won’t work exactly the same muscles.
  • I will better simulate my cycling because I will be wearing my cycling shoes and practice full pedal strokes.
  • The trainer itself will take up much less room that a stationary bike does during the summer when I am not using it. (or using it less)
  • On rainy days, if I elect not go out for a ride, I can still use the trainer.
  • There seem to be quite a few apps that work in conjunction with this–not that I have a smart phone, but ……someday. Either that, or I will set up a tablet.
  • Riding the same saddle all winter should make it less of an adjustment when I get out riding again.

The disadvantages

  • While there are cheaper options the one I have pretty much decided on is a significant amount of money.
  • If I am lazy, it will not have been money well spent. I love going out for the group rides, but I am unsure if I can push myself to workout alone. If I don’t use the machine, it will definitely make me feel guilty as I watch TV and gorge on pizza.
  • I will have to invest in a “training tire” as these machines will definitely put substantial wear on my rear tire.

While nothing has been decided, this is definitely where my head is at right now.  I guess another option is to bike all winter.  This sounds rather hard to me, but one of my favourite bloggers does just that.  If that sounds interesting (or mildly insane), take a look at her blog.

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Where Did All This Stuff Come From?

While looking through my unbuilt collection of models I came across a few other boxes.  These boxes fell into three categories.  The parts box, the scratch building box and the other box.  What is all this stuff and where the heck did it all come from?
The parts box or the spares box (there are probably just as many names for this as there are modellers–partners of modellers probably call this the box of crap, but that’s another story) came about from the extra parts that are included with models.  Some models have different parts because they can be build different ways (the 2 in 1 or the 3 in one model).   I have a 57 Fairlane that can be built stock/custom/or with optional parts.  Some have parts left on the parts tree from earlier versions of the model kit.  I have drag bars because one of the 66 mustang kits I’ve built had a previous life as a dragster kit.  I couldn’t throw them out, so now their in the parts box.
The scratch building box is collection of stuff that I thought might one day might fit into my models.  Often I think of building unusual train car loads, or wild science fiction ships. This probably came about from searching out the stuff under the title Maschinen Krieger, or watching the great Japanese TV show Plamo Tsukurou–if you haven’t done so, you should check both of them out.  Either way, I suspect all modellers look at stuff destined for the trash or recycle box the same way.
The last box, which I have labelled the other box, in my case is a bunch of models that I have decommissioned.  Maybe they fell from their shelf in cleaning.  Maybe they broke in one of the many moves I made.  Maybe they weren’t as well done as I would have liked and became euthanized.  In the case of one of my top fuel dragsters, I broke some pieces putting it together and became so frustrated that I stopped building it and sent the strong parts to the box.
So what am I going to do with all of this?  Besides the aforementioned flatcar loads, I have the same dream as many modellers do.  I plan (and plan is a good word, as it may never get beyond the planning stage) to build a great diorama.  These parts will look excellent it that.  These parts will make that diorama look amazing…I hope.  This diorama will most likely be some kind of car shop diorama.  The extra car parts (the tires, the engines, the seats, should all fit in perfectly.  So I guess that means I will be holding onto them for a little while longer.
What about you readers?  What do you do with your parts boxes?  I would love to see some examples.