EVER wondered how you could have a workout that combines a 43-kilometre ride and 337 metres of elevation without the need to leave your living room?
While most other sporting codes around the Hastings have been forced to postpone their seasons indefinitely, Port Macquarie Cycle Club has thought outside the box.
The club held their first-ever E-race on Saturday and are now planning to implement a 10-week race program to help combat the effects of COVID-19.
It comes after Cycling NSW cancelled sanctioning for all cycling events effective immediately until at least April 30.
The decision includes sanctioning for all club races, state open races and sanctioned recreational rides.
To have a break from racing is pretty sad so it was about looking at alternatives of what we could do within the confines of being inside.Mel Cockshutt
As a result, the Port Macquarie club called on the expertise of member Mel Cockshutt who had previously ridden in world-wide E-race competitions online.
Under the E-race setup, a rider hooks up their bike to a smart trainer via bluetooth on a phone or laptop computer.
"If there's an downhill or downhill part of the course, the trainer throws in resistance so you have to change gears," Cockshutt said.
"To have a break from racing is pretty sad so it was about looking at alternatives of what we could do within the confines of being inside."
Cockshutt admitted riders "get smashed" throughout the race as a result of less air circulating inside compared to being outside.
Never has there been a need to have air-conditioning or a high-quality pedestal fan.
You get on there for as long or as short as you like; you can have a short race like a five kay, but we raced 42.8 kilometres as a club.Mel Cockshutt
"You're pedalling all the time so it's nuts because in a race, the first kilometre is crazy because everyone wants to get in that front group," she said.
"You get on there for as long or as short as you like; you can have a short race like a five kay, but we raced 42.8 kilometres as a club.
"It's just consistent pedalling whereas outside you can stop if you want."
Other clubs such as Armidale looked at the program and also raced on Saturday, but chose a public worldwide event that they hooked up to.
Under the app, riders can choose a variety of venues from around the world, including world championship courses.
"I think we need to have a bit of fun in the confines of what we can do to be healthy," Cockshutt said.
Club member Alani Cockshutt finished third in B-grade, but won the sprint finish and said it was "definitely different, but so fun."
"You've been able to ride inside for a very long time, but it can be quite boring," she said.
"I never thought we'd make it into a computer life and be able to race all over the world, but now there are world championship courses you can ride in.
"They've opened up crit tracks as well which is pretty cool."
The teenager said the all-inclusive nature of e-racing meant it was enjoyable for all riders, no matter the ability.
"The best part was we all stayed together for the first 10 kays and then decided to race so we could go at our own speed in each of the divisions," she said.
"No one felt like they were behind everyone else, but I hope we can hook up our phones in future so we can talk as well.
"That's what you do when you're riding anyway."
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