My Tacx Virtual Reality home cycling addiction


Before resorting to a glass of whiskey each evening, I have been clipping into a bike in my bedroom, and losing myself in one of a number of virtual bicycling paradises. They came with the Tacx Fortius VR training rig, that I purchased from this gentleman, two weeks ago (he normally rents them out, but had a new one to sell me). Well, I’ve lost a kilo, my legs haven’t stopped aching, I’m eating like I did when I was in A-grade, and I am not sure why I’m sitting here blogging when the machine is beside me, and I could be logging a time.

Okay, so these virtual worlds I’m busting my arse to pedal through, are merely modeled terrains, with hackneyed landmarks you would be laughed out of architecture school for designing. But the gradients and surface types of those VR terrains, tell the roller brake touching my tire, precisely how much resistance to offer my pedaling, to have my whole body fooled, that it is, actually, somehow, inside the screen. Again I ask myself why I’m sitting here typing. In those worlds, I have to steer. I have to pedal. Going down hill into a bend, when the roller brake has turned into a motor, I even have to touch my rear brake. All this fun, and I have not yet progressed to real-time live racing, against Tacx users elsewhere in the world, or to using the Google Earth feature, or to completing my French Alps DVD challenge.


My first serious experience of virtual reality, came when reading George Orwell’s 1984, when I was in high school. The combinations of black letters on white paper effected my body, when they described Winston seeing Julia naked. I was lying on my bed reading, and from memory, I had an erection (I can’t be sure, but that age, I usually did). But 1984 story had a sad ending, whereas every VR challenge with this new toy of mine, ends with yours truly Dr. Behooving sprinting for glory, to the cheers of stiff looking CAD men lining the pixelated road I am riding on. And erections pale beside waves of endorphins, liters of sweat, and screaming leg muscles.


  1. Gusto says:

    Road racers are the COD gamers of cycling.

  2. Steven says:

    so rarely does course language enter into the sphere of competitive cycling, that I’m afraid I found that clip rather confonting, Master Gusto, and worry about where you may even have found such a thing. I worry too that, by not being a member of competitve bike racing club, you may be lacking structure in your life, putting you at risk of drugs. I reming you that a rwacing licence covering the whole of 2012 can be purchaced and used, from as early as October, that we are now in. If it is a matter of not owning a suitable bike, I’m sure one could be found that you might borrow.

    • Gusto says:

      I just find it interesting that while when gauging the general cycling public

      ‘More than half said cycling stimulates their senses, by putting them back in touch with their environment’ (

      But for you roadies it seems that winning is all, even if the glory is confined to your own bedroom.

      I didn’t realise that the technology extended to spinning your back wheel down hills, impressive. Perhaps I should acquire one of these gizmos so I can get that ‘Zen-like’ feeling on my fixed gear while riding naked in my apartment, taking drugs and transporting me back to my SouthEastAsian spiritual journey.

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