Beat the Indoor Riding Boredom

Or – what to watch when riding the trainer in the basement/garage/spare room.

Now, I can’t take credit for the idea for this post… It came from my friend Stephenk.

So here goes, in my opinion – what to watch when riding the trainer in the basement. Just a note – my setup is a two-screen setup – one for Zwift and one for Netflix.

One Hour or So – Just Riding Along

These are the hardest rides to do indoors. All you have to do is get on and pedal at recovery or endurance pace. Time feels like it slows down. Even Zwift is a bit lacklustre in helping to pass the time since you’re not supposed to be “racing”. This calls for action on the Netflix front.

  • Line of Duty
  • Wallander
  • Broadchurch
  • Happy Valley
  • Hinterland
  • The Killing
  • The Big Family Cooking Showdown (not a police drama)
  • Ozarks
  • Dicte
  • Trapped (so damn good)
  • Nobel

These are all excellent police/crime dramas. Good writing. Interesting stories. Not too scary. As with any Netflix watching, the subtitles must be on.

Longer than an Hour with Intervals

Intervals just seem to make the ride time fly by. This is when you want to watch something interesting but not something that takes supreme concentration. Remember, subtitles are on.

  • Fittest on Earth (both episodes)
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • The Crown
  • Froning
  • The Barkley Marathons
  • Finding Traction
  • Last Tango in Halifax
  • One Chance

These programs are highly motivating. I’m not a crossfit person but the three documentaries about this sport are fascinating. The Crown does take some attention so you might want to save it for another time. The Barkely Marathons and Finding Traction, are more than running documentaries – they’re about humans and the pursuit of something higher.

Hitting the Two Hour Ride Magic

This is the sweet spot trainer ride. Two hours on the trainer is purely satisfying and can have a good mix of intervals, just pedaling, and cruising. This might be the perfect length of ride for a group ride or race – in that case, you’ll need to adjust your viewing choices.

  • Any of the series in the above two lists. Binge-watching on the trainer is totally acceptable.
  • Arrival
  • Birdman
  • One in a Billion
  • The King’s Speech
  • 20 Feet from Stardom
  • The Queen
  • Amy
  • The Impossible
  • Losing Sight of Shore
  • Hunt for the WilderPeople
  • Eddie the Eagle

Some of these are a bit shy of the two hour mark – but just tack on one of the series from above. Or ride and watch nothing (yeah whatever).

Two Hours and Beyond

Now things are getting a bit intense. I really need to be engaged for these rides. Often I’ll try to watch some live cyclocross races for the first hour and a bit and then choose from a selection of movies or favorite series. Choose any of the movies/series from above. I’ve got a bunch of movies saved to watch for these epic rides.

  • Hidden Figures
  • While We’re Young
  • Love Actually (I watch this one all the time…)
  • Snowden
  • Patriots Day
  • 300 (not sure if it’s on Netflix but a trainer classic)
  • The Whole Truth
  • Woman in Gold
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Impossible Dreamers
  • Miss Sharon Jones

As you can see – not much in the way of thriller/sci-fi here…Whatever you decide to watch for these long rides – make it interesting. Definitely don’t watch any food-related documentaries – not good for the long rides or for after the ride…

So there you have it – my suggestion for what to watch when riding the bike in the basement/garage/spare room.