• Wed January 03 2007
  • Posted Jan 3, 2007
By S.A. Thornbloom When Barry Brantley, a cyclist from Atlanta, came to the Quad-Cities for the holidays to visit his in-laws, he wasn’t planning on cycling. He didn’t bring his bicycle or his bike shorts or shoes. But on New Year’s Eve there was Brantley riding down the road enjoying an outing. Except the outing wasn’t outside — it was at Donnie’s Indoor Cycling Experience (DICE), a new indoor cycling facility at 1554 52nd Ave., Moline. “Actually, I just happened to see the sign coming from the airport,” Brantley said. “I’ve brought my bike and ridden here before, but this time we flew, and I left my bike at home. When I stopped in here they lent me a bike, and I was able to get in some training. It’s great.” DICE has been open since October. Donnie Miller, the owner, said the facility is one of 12 in the nation that features the CompuTrainer System. CompuTrainer is a computer video program that can stage up to 350 different courses where eight stationary bikes are arranged in a semicircle to simulate a very real race. The building where DICE is located has large doors in back to allow cyclists to bring their bikes in and set up on an ergometer stand that connects the rear wheel into the system. Miller says it is as close to the real thing a cyclist can get. “It’s really the ultimate video game. Not only can you compete against other riders on different road and track courses, but the CompuTrainer gives you a great cardiovascular workout. It can create up to 15-hundred watts at the rear wheel and up to 20 percent of climb. It can also show all your biometrics; average speed, distance, cadence, wattage and heart rate. So you can actually see where you’re at in relationship on a course to other people,” Miller said. “For racing teams and clubs, the trainer can teach team tactics, time trialing, drafting, and I can put wind in it so you can train with a head wind. It is the biggest coaching tool a team or cyclist can have today.” Miller said he can program race courses from the Tour de France to the bike race portion of the Iron Man in Hawaii. Race distances can be programmed from one-fifth of a mile to 238 miles. Even though he can program different race courses and distances, Miller said the scenery is basically simple scenes from Seattle, British Columbia and Atlanta. “Most of our races are set up so the rider can see the entire course, where he or she is on the course and monitor all their biometrics,” he said. “The 3D sceneries can only be set up for one-to-three riders. Most of the serious riders would rather see their biometrics, keep track of their speed and heart rate and see where they are on the course than look at the scenery.” Miller, 42, has been cycling for 30 years, and he is the vice president of the Double “I” (Iowa/Illinois) Cycling Experience club in Bettendorf. He recently was named the director of the annual Memorial Day Criterium bike race in The District of Rock Island. He’s also a cycling trainer and a certified USA Cycling coach, governed by USA Olympics. He has conducted indoor cycling, or spinning classes, at the Davenport downtown YMCA for a number of years. But he has always wanted to have a place like DICE to offer a training facility for advanced and beginning cyclists. “I didn’t want to open a place just for the club. Besides we ride outside most of the time. I wanted this to be a place where a beginner can come and learn how to cycle properly, where someone can come to lose weight and get a good aerobic workout,” said Miller, who also has 13 CycleOps stationary bikes in his facility. “It’s a place for people that might not be comfortable in a gym setting or comfortable riding in traffic.” Former marathon runner Andrea Myers, 23 of Moline, calls DICE a great place to cross-train and keep in training shape during the winter months. Myers, who recently gave up running because of a leg injury, dedicates her time now to cycling, and she has been signed to a professional contract to race with the Target Training Racing Team in Connecticut. “This is the perfect training facility,” Myers, a 2001 Moline High School graduate said. “It’s great having a place to train where you can see how you’re doing, monitor your cardio, that doesn’t get real hot inside and there isn’t a lot of weight machines in the way,” she said. “This is like my dream training facility, especially in the winter.” Both Myers and Miller said cycling is also a good rehabilitation tool. “The best way to rehab from knee or hip surgery is riding a bicycle. The best way to lose weight is to ride a bicycle. I am a coach and trainer and thought a place like this would fill a need in the area,” Miller said. “I want to train people and help them lose weight and feel better about themselves. I’m only basing about 20 to 40 percent of business on club riders and cycling athletes. The rest is actually for people trying to get in shape.” Miller has 25 members so far, mostly beginners, working around the SouthPark Mall area. The DICE Team does come in periodically for training, and he started sponsoring weekend races for his team members and other area cyclists in December until March 11. “I’m sure once the weather gets worse more people might check us out. Just like the DICE Team, because of the recent nice weather, people have been cycling along the bike paths outside. I don’t blame them but when it gets colder and the snow starts falling again, hopefully they’ll continue their training through us.” Contact the sports desk at (563) 383-2285 or IF YOU GO Donnie’s Indoor Cycling Experience is located across from SouthPark Mall at the corner of 16th Street and 52nd Street. The facility is open from 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information contact DICE at (309)743-0260 or log onto their website at Miller said DICE also offers Pilate and Yoga classes. “We also have a massage therapist that comes in and is a big help and important to a cyclist getting the blood flowing in their thigh and calf muscles.” Miller said cycling is becoming bigger than Pilates or other aerobic activities because it’s a group activity that can also be competitive especially using CompuTrainer. “This is my passion. I really love this sport. I’ve been doing it for a long time and I thought now was the time to give back and share this with other people.”

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