Getting your partner started with indoor cycling

My partner has shown interest in doing 1-2 days per week this winter on our Stages indoor bike.

Gear & fit aside, what’s the best way to get them started?

They are a confident bike commuter, but have never ridden a bike for fitness beyond 1-2 terrible indoor cycling class experiences years back. Fitness background is less cardio and more in yoga and app-guided hiit classes at home.

My approach is first to “just ride” for 20 minutes and start capturing some data. Structured workouts can make it more engaging, but I’m hesitant to start explaining FTP and building custom workouts.

Would love some thoughts!

Hey @bobbystemper,
That’s great you have an aspiring rider to help develop! I think structured workouts are great for passing the time faster while riding indoors, but some newbies can be intimidated by that at first. But on the other hand, just pedaling without any goal could also be boring!
I don’t know which, if any apps you subscribe to for indoor riding- Zwift, TR, Wahoo Systm, Rouvy, etc. but I’d recommend something that provides an entertainment factor or keeps their attention without being too intense to be intimidating. Zwift could be good if they have any friends who also ride, so they can do it “together,” Rouvy or Wahoo RGT can be good if they want to feel like they’re “going somewhere” or have some real life scenery to enjoy rather than riding in a virtual world. Wahoo Systm also has a couple of channels that provide structured workouts that aren’t overly challenging (though some are, so be careful which one you load up!) - the Inspiration series are short documentaries with an undulating aerobic workout to pedal along with while enjoying the film. The On Location series is a workout and a guided tour of various regions in Europe and I think theres one in Australia. And the Week With Series has you pedal along with and get to know various well known cyclists like Ian Boswell, Phil Gaimon and Neal Henderson.
I’m not too sure Trainer Road would be very engaging, unless your partner is into watching progress on a graph… :laughing: I don’t think that would hook me if I were new. I’m sure there are other options our there as well, but that’s what comes to mind me for me at least. Maybe pick their brain to see what they might find engaging without being intimidating.

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Hi Bobby,

Just riding to ride would get boring. Workouts would be fun. If you gave her a few fun workouts such as burst or crisscross type of workouts I would recommend just giving her a scale of perceived exertion as opposed to setting up training zones to begin with.

Example. Ride for 5 minutes easy (2 out of 10). Then ride 8 minutes at a 6 out of 10 with a burst of 10 seconds every 2 minutes (9 out of 10). Ride easy for 4 minutes (3 out of 10 then repeat the 8 minutes with burst) Finish easy with 5 minutes (2 out of 10).

I would recommend Zwift though. And not even doing workouts. They have several pace partners now under 1 w/kg and of course higher based one what she can do. This is engaging. Once she feels more confident and comfortable may be should would like to explore a race, test herself up a climb to see what should could do. Then may be over a few weeks she will be hooked into doing a plan to get better.

If she is into it, it will happen naturally but don’t force it.

Thank you both for your thoughts & input! Prompt, thoughtful, and much appreciated.