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review of Endurancefilms' Las Vegas Ride - long

roadie gal2010-05-02 15:33:57 +0000 #1
Let me start by saying that I'm a long time Spinervals fan. Coach Troy can be annoying sometimes, but mostly I like the DVDs. I spend about 6 months out of the year on the trainer, so it's important to have decent motivation. I saw the Endurance Films DVDs online and thought I'd give one a try.

I "rode" the Rides Las Vegas for the first time today. It's an hour long DVD that's a virtual reality ride on the same order as the Spinervals Virtual Reality ones. You follow/are part of a group of 8 riders, 5 men and 3 women, as they ride up the road and around the Valley of Fire State Park outside of Las Vegas.

The big difference in the way this DVD works is that they don't tell you which gear to use and the riders don't talk or interact with you. Instead, there's a "dashboard" (the car analogy is a little strange, but it works) at the bottom of the screen. Here's the site. If you scroll down to the bottom and click on the video you can see the screen. www.endurancefilms.c...16150&cat=263&page=1

In the middle of the dashboard there's a long "guage" that tells you if you're going up or down, counts down the last 5 seconds of the interval, tells you what's coming up, or tells you what heart rate zone you should be in. To either side are 2 more guages. On the left you have total time left and time left in that interval. On the right you have a guage for RPE and one for cadence.

As the intervals change from uphill to downhill, etc. the guages change to tell you what cadence and RPE or heart rate zone you should try to maintain. You get to pick the gearing that fits. I liked this method a lot although I found myself flipping a lot of gears until I felt that I had a match. This was my problem, not the DVD's. Once I got the idea it became easier to find the right match quickly.

As well as these guages they also have pop up balloons, sort of like VH1, that have short motivational quotes or bike riding hints or Las Vegas historical trivia. I liked having the distraction but I can see some people finding this annoying. It was easy enough to ignore, especially when the riding got harder.

It starts with a 10 minute warm up and then goes into some moderate steady state intervals followed by hills. There's one 6-minute spin at 100+ rpm at RPE of 5. Ouch. I'm not a good spinner. There are also a number of recovery intervals at an RPE of 2.

The scenery is well photographed. I've done this ride in person. The Valley of Fire is amazing in an unearthly/deserty sort of way. It comes across very well. The camera moves around, changing perspective from behind the pack to in front, and back again, with some helmet cam work as well. You don't get bored with just one view. There are also some aerial views of the valley and one or 2 shots of the Vegas strip.

The music is a very good combo of artists. It's mostly rock with some jazz-rock and a little bit of reggae thrown in. They put up a small pop up at the beginning of each song to tell you the name of the song and the artist as well. At first I thought that was kind of strange. Maybe it was a product placement. But I realized that I liked the music and I appreciated knowing the artist. It's a HUGE improvement over the Spinervals music.

Finally, those of us who have used Spinervals know that the workout usually ends 3-5 minutes before the timer counts down to zero. In this ride, you finish at zero and they then suggest a 5 minute cool down.

I definitely recommend this over the Spinervals Virtual Reality DVDs. I worked harder and I was more entertained and engaged than I have been with the Spinervals Virtual Reality series. I may get another Rides one. I'm also thinking about checking out one of their cycling fitness series, an in-studio series of intervals, like the Spinervals fitness or competition series.

The DVDs are $29.99 each. If you belong to USAT, you get 15% off.

katluvr2010-05-02 15:48:23 +0000 #2
Thanks for the review!

I may have to check this out. Although weather allows me more time outside, finding the time is hard. Somehow it is quicker and easier (at times) to just hope on the trainer than get on the bike and ride outside.




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