The Scott Sunderland Diary 2001

The Scott Sunderland home trainer awards for 2001 - Part I

Scott threw down the challenge in his last update: Who of you has done a longer session on the home-trainer than Scott's fakta teammate, Roberto Lochowski (6 hours)? Some of the responses recieved so far have been published below - there are some indoor lunatics among you! The "winner" of this informal competition may be rewarded with some fakta team kit according to Scott.

Read entries 20-26
Read entries 27-38
Read entries 39-46

Entry #1


Who could honestly (sanely?) say they ride that long on a home trainer?

Here in Montreal, going outside in winter is sometimes NOT an option, as opposed to pretty much any day of the year in Australia. I know of guys who ride all year long around here. Have you ever seen Montreal bike messengers in action in the February cold? Properly dressed, it beats the trainer any day.

Still, what is the point in riding the static gear for more than an hour?

Mental toughness?
Nothing better to do?
Auto-punishment for polishing clean too many VB's?

Ha ha! If it's too bad to ride, I'll go to the gym and switch to a cross-training machine and do 5 minutes intervals, then a cool down on the trainer, or work on the spinning.

That's the only use for a home trainer; spinning, fitting your position... keepin' the butt in tune! Off season, after a break, I'll go from 10 minutes intervals cut with stretching to eventually up to 20 minutes intervals. I only use a roller (never a fixed bike) so concentration is part of the deal. You cannot really "zone out".

I understand the reality of a professional bicycle racer. But the pro should also have the facilities to train properly. Why would anybody stare at a garage door for 8 hours! But, yep, I suppose it's a bust to do crazy stuff once in a while! Now I can't wait to see who's gonna try to break that record.

You're a legend.

Sébastien "fair dinkum Vegemite user" Lamarre

Entry #2


Here's my entry for the home trainer award:

Date: Saturday February 17, 2001
Duration: 9 hours
Location: Seaford, Delaware, USA
Environment: I set my magnetic resistance trainer on the floor of a small health club (I was managing the club at that time). There was a TV up on the wall and I wore headphones. Big fan in front of me was for cooling. My pace was not intense since it was an early season "base building ride" - Heart rate about 75% of maximum. I took an occasional break for bathroom or to refill my bottles. Actually the outside weather wasn't too bad - I believe cloudy and temperature between 0 and 5 degrees C.

I do ultra distance cycling events (my longest race was 1200 km in about 50 hours, minimal stops) so I wanted to see how long I could last indoors.

David Power
Wilmington, Delaware USA

Entry #3

Dear Scott,

I envy you being back there in Oz for the summer! I am living in the Czech Republic at the moment (I am an Aussie currently working for a bank here) and yesterday we had a MAXIMUM of -13, so I've been doing a few workouts on the home trainer myself, but I too find about an hour my limit. I've been doing some good cross training on XC skis though.

Anyway, to your question, I read in Cyclingnews recently there were a couple of mad old Belgians who did 24 hours on a tandem on a windtrainer and they averaged over 50 km/hr. I don't care if two guys pushing one home trainer doesn't sound like much resistance, I reckon that sounds pretty amazing, and is certainly the longest stint on a windtrainer I've ever heard of!

Sam Alison
Czech Republic

Entry #4


First off, let me say that I really enjoy your biographical updates in CyclingNews - it gives us "outsiders" a really good picture into the life and world of pro cycling.

Now about mega-sessions on the home trainer. I read, in the early 1980's, about Lon Haldeman (first and multiple and winner of the Race Across America) from Illinois preparing for his events by riding in a shed, in the dark, on rollers no less, for over 8 hours at time with no music or other sensory distractions.

I have a friend that knows Lon personally and he has heard from Lon about these "boredom training" sessions first hand from Lon. Lon said it was done mostly for getting used to riding all night during the long dull stretches as well as fitness.

However you indicated that you'd be interested in his mental state first. My friend says Lon is a certifiable nut-case. I just thought you should know.


Dave Hunt

Entry #5

Entry #6

Hey Scott,

A French guy named Philippe Dieumegarde who was an ultra distance ironman (like triple IM, deca IM etc...) was interviewed in an old tri mag in France and explained how he was toughening up mentally for these events... one of these tough sessions was a 24h trainer ride in a corridor, at home, in the dark...on new year's eve...

90 min 2 times a week is my limit. Best of luck for the new season

Cameron Watt

Entry #7

Dear Scott,

My name is Chris Gehin, I live in France. I want to say thank you for your great diary. To my knowledge you are the only professional cyclist who shares his life in this way with us, supporters and cycling fanatics. It is great to read the stories! Every time I go to the Cyclingnews page I anticipate another update; you are a great writer and your sense of humour is subtle; I really appreciate it. It is the only diary my fiancée Renée reads! You are very popular here in France, especially since your good performance in Ploauy last year.

My personal record on the hometrainer is 3 hours and I do agree with you: One would have to be crazy to last any longer than 8 hours. Renée and I are mountain bikers, the hometrainer is boring for me.

A few of my friends have trained over 4 hours on the hometrainer. But they ride the track so I think that is something completely different again.

Good luck for 2002, Chris and Renée

Entry #8


I want to enter the hometrainer comp because I think I have a chance. My record time: 12 Hours, while preparing for our trip to the Tour de France. I was training in the garage, with headphones on for a couple of hours, but nothing to look at but a grey wall. My wife declared me insane when I went inside for the occasional sanitary break, but she does that frequently when I go out for one of those long rides on the road too.

Please inform me if I stand a chance. If not, I will go and train on the hometrainer even longer as I would really like one of your team fakta jerseys. I have looked in all the bike shops but can't find them anywhere.

All the best for 2002 and kick some more butt !

London, UK

Entry #9

Hi Scott,

I'm an elite racer from Yugoslavia. I was 7th in the TT national champs this year (wow, superstar!). My "normal" indoor trainer-time is ~60 mins. On my most inspired days, I could manage 2.5 hours.

I used to prefer running, just to be outside. But, 3 months ago I twisted my ankle sooooo good that it seemed like I stepped in the bucket of ink. Now it's good, but not 100%...I can walk, and ride bikes. And as a therapy, I am spinning 110 rpm for one hour DAILY. (since outside is snowing, otherwise I'll go to fight with the wind)

Curiosity: My maximal heart rate EVER was measured on the trainer last winter. (Just imagine that, I am never THAT rested in the season! Silly man.)

My wife Lola, third in the National Championships and member of national squad is another story. Like this:

10:00 "Maybe I could do one hour, hmmm?"
10:05 "O.K. I'm goin'..."
10:10 "Forgot my headband..."
10:25 "Gotta go to toilet"
10:30 zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
10:40 "You called me? No? O.K. I'm back, oh, an hour almost passed"
10:50 "I'm finished, an hour, almost, I mean, can't write in training diary 55 min. or so, would be difficult to summarize, I'll put 1 hour "

Sasha Antich

[Ed: This is my favourite]

Entry #10


I'm with you much more than an hour and I'm bored.

As part of the entertainment at the recent Round Taupo ride here in NZ 5 people did 12 hours each on a trainer in the name of charity. While they had each other as support and the crowd I think it is an extreme effort.

Roger Bedford

Entry #11

Dear Scott,

We enjoy your diary here in Belgium; your second "home".

As you would know, we Belgian cycling tourists need to train on the home-trainer during the winter if we want to be in form for the spring. The longest I have done on the home-trainer is 2 1/2 hours and that was more than enough for me.

My friend Paul on the other hand has done a lot longer, I do not recall exactly how long but it was no less than 8 hours! I would like to surprise him for his 40th birthday by giving him a Fakta jersey as he is one of your biggest fans!

Yours sincerely
Jozef De Poortere

Entry #12

Hi Scotty!

Great diary, best on the net! I enjoy every single update.

I share your opinion on the home trainer issue: more than 2 hours and you must be a nutter! There are a few guys in our club who think it's cool to train for 4 hours on the rollers but as you were mentioning mental health: they are absolutely raving mad!

Wishing you all the best for 2001, keep those good results coming!

Entry #13

Dear Scott,

My personal best is 1.5 hours so I guess I won't even come close to winning it. I do enjoy a little time on it now and again, but I have to agree with you: it gets very boring very quickly!

Nicolas Tavernier

Danny Chew, the RAAM cyclist is famed for 8 hour trainer rides in his basement...with the lights turned off...

He says its to simulate riding through the desert at night, I just think he's psychotic.

Andrew Murdock

Entry #14

My longest roller rides were about 2 hours, but I have step climbed up the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning Building (400 feet tall) 86 consecutive times, gaining a vertical elevation of 38,000 feet.

Danny Chew

Entry #15


I was reading your article on indoor training records. While I cannot boast more that 8 hours in 1 'sitting', I have done a 43:10:04 week of cycling, of which only 4:31:10 was done outside - the rest on the trainer. Needless to say, I was eager to get outdoors the next week!

I always enjoy reading your articles and race reports. Good luck with the upcoming season.

Ben Sisco

Entry #16

John Stamstad. Iditabike champion and ultramarathon sicko would routinely train 8 hours on a home trainer staring at a white wall to "mentally prepare himself" for the iditabike ultramarathon in Alaska. We are from the same city in the US. I know him casually from buying old bike parts from him. He is a very sick man.

Charles C
San Francisco, USA

Entry #17

Hey Scott

John Stamstad, the nut that holds the record for the Idtiasport (race across Alaska in winter) is renowned for his insane indoor trainer sessions. He does them staring at blank white wall. Says it gets him mentally ready for 3 days in the snow. I have heard things like 2 hours at the gym, a 3 hour run and 6-10 on the trainer.The guys a nut case, and not that fast, cause I use to beat him at mountain bike races in my younger days. If however, the race went on for say 24-48-72 hours, no one stood a chance.

Good luck in the upcoming season. 35 was the best bike year of my life.

Warren Hunt
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Entry #18

Hello Scott,

I do like training on the home-trainer, in front of the television that is. But my maximum time is 2 1/2 hours, I could not possibly train on it any longer. I agree with you: indoor training is boring and the least we need to do the better.

All the best for 2002. Best wishes to your family also.

Entry #19

I think Jackie Simes set a 24 hour record back in the 70's

Terry Tolman