What's Cool In Road Cycling

READERS’ PAIN CAVE: Doug’s Pleasure Palace

Pain Caves of the Pandemic: After our first ‘Pain Cave’ contribution from our literary editor, Leslie Reissner, we now present our first ‘Readers’ Pain Cave’ from Doug Rusho. And what a palace, enough to make you very jealous.


What is your set up?

Specialized Crux, converted to a 2 * 11, with a jury rigged grip shifter for front shifting duties, Stages Dash head unit. Stages SC3 indoor bike, best road feel in the business. If the money tree ever grows, the newer Stages Smart bike is a big want.

Wahoo Kickr Core w/two cassette bodies (narrow and wide range), and Stages SC3, both on DIY rocker plates, 3” Airex foam pads.


Other accessories:
Home brew fitness desk made out of old treadmill parts, 10lb dumbels, Titan Fitness adjustable kettlebell (27-65lbs), 2L soda bottles filed three quarters for “reactive” movements. Foam rollers, Swiss ball, suspension trainer, 40-100lb bands with multiple handles/attachment points, multi height boxes for lower body strength movements. Dry erase boards for motivational messages, photos/medals from past races. Two small fans, de-humidifier, space heater, Anti-Doping scale.

How do you run your set up?
Do you use TV (Apple TV), laptop, iPad or mobile phone?

Apple TV hardwired via ethernet cable(key), flatscreen, dvd player, Pioneer receiver using Advent Heritage tower speakers circa 1993. These are the highlight, you can feel the watts pouring out of them. Old iMac for displaying structured workouts with usb extension cable/ant+ dongle, and a secondary speaker for interval alarms.


Is the bike just for the home trainer or is it also your outside bike?
The Crux serves as my indoor bike, road bike, gravel bike, CX bike, and once a year Tri bike in various configurations.

How do you protect your bike?
Just a towel. It gets ridden in the snow/salt during the winter and on the smart trainer, good cleaning once/month, drivetrain weekly.


How many hours do you do?
2-8 hours indoor, on top of outdoor hours depending on the weather and desired workout. 1-2 times per month in the summer.

Which is your favorite: Zwift, RGT, Rouvy…
No favorites, I choose the right tool for the session. Zwift, Rouvy, Sufferfest, Trainer Road, or self designed workouts with good o’l pencil and paper.


Why did you start indoor training?
I have always loved training with music, and When I started Personal Training 25 years ago, teaching indoor cycling in addition, was a natural fit. Winters in Rochester, NY can sometimes be harsh, and beyond that having the ability to control your training environment is advantageous.

What do you do on your trainer? Just ride or a set-out training plan?
Structured workouts, testing, and recently heat acclimation protocols. Really like completing workouts with longer intervals during races, and using races for FTP/critical power testing. The ability to put yourself in a pseudo competitive environment at any time, any day has massive advantages for training if used appropriately and with “ego” discipline.


Do you enjoy it or is it just a chore?
I like the variety, and using music (w/those speakers!), and various training platforms is very motivating.

Best/worst thing about indoor training?
Long and/or easy rides are still very boring and get uncomfortable quickly, still best served outside.


With the skill/safety component removed, you can go very deep and really connect with your effort. Using E-racing intelligently to test, complete intervals, or actually race any time can maximize your training effects.

Last words?
To any virtual platforms: Please design KOI (King of Intervals) racing! Riders race for a set interval time, measured by distance or w/kg. Leaderboards for each interval and overall sum of intervals. Riders banded together for recovery intervals. Total training game changer!


A huge Thank You to my wife Kristen and her fictitious company “Momdiggity Designs,” for her vision of our finished basement and including my pain cave. I have trained in the dankest, darkest caves throughout my life, this one is a true luxury!

Thanks to Doug for sending in our first ‘Readers’ Pain Cave’. If you want your ‘Pain Cave’ featured in PEZ, send us your submission direct to [email protected] and your ‘special place could be in all its glory here on PEZ.

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