FulGaz ambassador and Women’s World Tour rider for FDJ Nouvelle – Aquitaine Futuroscope shared with us her thoughts on FulGaz, and why she loves to ride with us!. 

Riding on the ‘ergo’ or doing home workouts is historically something I have feared.

Before you suggest fear is an overreaction – consider that I would get moody, irritable, increased heart rate, sweaty…all before I had even jumped on the trainer. I suppose I could perhaps reframe it as anxiety.

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I have never been someone who loves to ‘train’. I like to ride, I LOVE to ride fast, but all the associations with self-inflicted hard training vernacular such as ‘suffering, pain cave, smashed crab, breaking PR’s or chasing new ridiculous numbers does not appeal to the part of me that is a professional cyclist. It took me until last year to call what I did ‘training’ and I still prefer the term ‘intervals’ over ‘efforts’. ‘Efforts’ – sounds like an… effort. 

Not to mention my aversion to figuring out modern technology.  

The pretext is important because recently my attitude has begun to shift. Over the Australian summer I was confined indoors for the most part due to my asthma and the smoky conditions because of the bushfires close by to my apartment in Sydney.

This meant I had no choice but to kit up from the waist down and climb aboard the dreaded trainer to build up some base towards the (anticipated) UCI 2020 Women’s World Tour season. 

Out of this necessity, I did get into virtual riding a bit, and I can really understand the appeal on the social front as well as the ability to race against others on the same platform.

However as someone who used to just bash a controller when attempting to play X-box games…the virtual world wasn’t the inspiration I had hoped it would be to make me ‘Love’ the ergo. I race all year. I am on this machine to train.

Enter FulGaz. Real world rides, meticulously similar road feel with a very personalised setup available (CDA of your bike, road feel, bike weight, rider weight, gradient sloping, wind) and I could choose an actual race course which directly reinforces why I train in the first place. 

Fast forward to ‘spring’ 2020 and all racing has been called off and most of us are indoors on our home trainers. Outdoors, we have diversity. We have endless roads and options to shake things up.

FulGaz is a good answer to mixing it up a bit, even if you are using other virtual ride platforms, adding a new type of indoor ride to your schedule is good for morale and motivation I find. It is filmed by real world cyclists from the riders point of view – and you can adjust the speed from ‘steady’ where you ride at the pace it is filmed to ‘reactive’ you can cover the ground exactly how fast you want to ride it.

I have been riding the Switzerland UCI Worlds course, the course forces me to get my HR up and the hour is up before I know it, whereas in the past I would be counting down the minutes until I could get off the ergo. I like that for me as a professional it feels like there is a ‘purpose’ to riding this course, and I can become more familiar with lines on the descents, and take note of real life landmarks to indicate An important point in the course.

For a recovery spin or cadence intervals, I have been choosing a scenic bike path route in Germany, a place that holds many fond memories for me! It is nice to feel like you are on a little foreign holiday from the middle of your lounge room!

I am only just delving into what is possible with FulGaz, and with rides being updated every Tuesday, the options are fantastic. I plan on riding up Alpe d’Huez in France and I can even revisit one of my favourite climbs in Girona, Rocacorba, as I don’t know when I will be back there next.

It feels like I am describing stages of a tour rather than my indoor training regime during lockdown!  

Last week on FulGaz I cut some laps of Centennial Park in Sydney, I know every bit of road around that park with my eyes closed. My park laps on the home trainer with FulGaz felt exactly as expected, which gives me hope that I might even be better equipped to go for a fast time up Rocacorba when I eventually return to Girona. 

I have no doubt that in the future this technology will become integral to my race recons, as well as a way to test out ride holiday destinations or training camps. 

As I work through the courses on FulGaz, I will check in back here to let you know my favourites and some of my training tips.

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