Friday, July 3, 2020


As my vacation in Pennsylvania nears its end, I have become the recipient of an unexpected bit of good fortune. After a few days of map gazing and on-bike experimentation, on Thursday I combined two now-familiar loops into a single ride. One of those loops took me through an affluent neighborhood where dog walkers outnumbered motorists by a wide margin. On the side of the road, waiting for the garbage truck, was a CycleOps magnetic trainer equipped with a climbing riser block and a trainer skewer. The house was for sale and these relics of the pre- smart trainer era would not be accompanying the owner to his new address.

The “used” market for bike trainers is weak. Maybe this collection had been intended for a garage sale made illegal or impractical by Pennsylvania’s stricter COVID-19 quarantine. Maybe it had failed to attract any attention on Craigslist. Whatever the case, it attracted my attention. When my ride was done I got in my car and returned for it. At full retail today, that’s $275 worth of stuff! The trainer is $230, the climbing riser block is $30, and the trainer skewer is $15. So, why didn’t the owner want it? He told me himself. As luck would have it, he was returning from a walk through the neighborhood just at the moment I pulled up. He’s relocating to South Carolina, where the warmer climate will allow him to ride outside year-round. (It will sometimes rain there, I thought, but I kept that observation to myself to prevent any last-second disappointment.)

So, what will I do with a second trainer? I’ve got two uses in mind. During the racing season, the new-to-me trainer can stay in the trunk of my car to give me a parking lot warmup option. During the offseason, this trainer can join its mate in my home gym to create a modest cycling studio I can share with a friend. Indoor training is always more fun with company, and I just made it easier for you, for free.

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