A while ago, I got an email though the contact form:

I’m writing from Global Ride Productions (www.globalride.net). We make virtual cycling training DVDs for indoor cycling. As a cycling blogger, we thought you may be interested in writing a review of our product.

Our virtual cycling DVDs are different from any others you may have tried. We travel to exotic locations, have multiple coaching tracks on every DVD, licensed music, and bonus yoga, pilates or strength training sessions designed for cyclists. They’re a great product and we just want to spread the word.

Though normally I would decline such an offer, I realized that not everybody has the chance to go out and ride through the real landscapes and frankly, I was curious to see them. I replied: “Sure, anything that will help people get on a bike is cool with me ;-)

It took a while before the DVD’s reached me as I am BikeTravelling myself, but I finally got too watch them, so here it goes:

I saw all 3 Hawaii Rides DVD’s and generally liked them. It is very hard to imagine sitting on a home trainer or a spinning bike in front of a TV or computer, while sitting on a beach in Mexico, but likely I would enjoy doing an indoor training much more while watching this. All DVD’s are about 50 minutes, and divided in several sections, warming up, hard stuff and cooling down, while the camera moves over nice and smooth Hawaiian roads. Sometimes you see a cyclist, most of the time it is viewed ‘through the eyes’ of the cyclist. You an choose whether to listen to the music, the coach/instructors’ voice, neither or both, which is nice. You can even choose your favourite English accent, I liked the Ozzie style :)

The video quality was decent, but not top-notch. I personally did not like the ‘creative’ rainy bit on one of the DVD’s though according to their website, others did. Most of all, all the images made me want to visit Hawaii!

Though the spinning/cycling coach is really pushing at times and if you follow him/her you will definitely improve your strength and stamina, I think this is less important for BikeTravellers as they cycle much differently and generally get fit on the road. I do actually think that the bonus materials on this set (30 minutes of Yoga, Pilates and strength training) is maybe the most important part for Bike Travellers. I have had much trouble with back, joints and knees on the current cycle trip and some of the exercises on the DVD were also recommended by a (much more expensive!) chiropractor and physiotherapist. I was about to send them back, but am keeping them with me so I can do the exercises.

All in all a nice product, with average images of an above average scenery, with a bonus material that could have been a separate DVD. And as mentioned: anything that gets people on a bike and fit instead of fat, whether indoor or outdoor, is a good product anyway, so maybe a nice gift for your friends with that overprices unused bike of theirs? Or a nice training for your next century ride.

You an order them and get more info here: http://globalride.net/hawaiibox.htm

(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Globalride, and receive nothing (other than the DVD’s themselves) to write this.)