This is an exciting new development: We’ll soon be receiving the new Minoura Live Training trainers and other necessary equipment to allow you to virtually train on any Google Maps route in the world. To start with you require an iPhone or iPad (in the future Minoura hopes to expand their software and hardware to work with other platforms too), and it’s best to purchase a Minoura stationary mag trainer that’s calibrated specifically to work with the rest of this application.
The good news is that you can buy the hardware, software, and trainer for around $600 or so, and you’re good to go. That is to say you can then load any Google Map onto your iPhone and as you pedal your bike your virtual position will advance on the map. What’s more, the app will tell you what resistance to set your trainer too as you progress through the route according to the actual elevation changes on the route. Because you’re using a trainer that’s calibrated to work with the instructions on screen you theoretically will be riding at the same effort you would be if actually on the course in the real world.
Think of the applications: Are you training for an MS ride? You can train indoors in the winter on the actual (albeit virtual) route simulating the same effort required on the event day. Pretty cool. We’ll post a further review when we receive the hardware and software, which is scheduled to arrive soon!