This time our SpotLight moves to Europe, to the homeland of Rouvy - the Czech Republic. Thanks again for being interested in sharing your "story" with the Rouvy community!
Greetings, Anton! What is your home country and town where you spent your childhood?!
I was raised in Innsbruck, Tyrol/ Austria, a town internationally known mainly because Innsbruck hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice, though this was some time ago (1964 and 1976).
[We remind you that you are able to experience an upcoming ride on 2018 UCI World Championship Routes from Innsbruck-Tyrol. Both the Men Road Race and the Individual Time Trial routes are available.]
Please, describe your story of getting acquainted with cycling and your first bike.
This was quite late. I was never enthusiastically in sports till the age of 45. Of course, I skied and did some mountain climbing as a typical activity for somebody living in the heart of the Alps. But sports did not play an important part in my life until I realized at age 45 that I would rather do something for my body on a regular basis. This is why I started biking; first with an e-bike (to make sure the next hill would still be manageable), very soon I found out, though, that I did not feel too much in my legs being supported by an engine. So I started to leave the heavy battery at home and to go without support. After some time, I realized it was not really smart to cycle with a 30kg bike, and switched to an 8kg racing bike. I felt like I was in a different world.
Where are you based at the moment?
I am based in Prague, the Czech Republic for many years.
What are you doing outside of the training room (workplace)?
My profession is real estate development, mainly focusing on larger commercial schemes, such as shopping centres and office buildings. My strong link to the Czech Republic was due to an opportunity to develop a large-scale shopping and commercial centre in the historic heart of Prague. In addition, we do residential developments in Prague.
My "PainCave" looks like (bikes, trainers, accessories):
I arranged it in a part of our living room, a semi-separated area, but still part of the main living area, as I wanted to be sure not to be cut off from family life during training. Currently, I am on a Tacx Neo, and my bike is a Simplon Kiaro. There is a large TV screen in front of the trainer; sometimes the kids join in, not for cycling, but for watching TV or films.
How long have you been training on Rouvy?
About 2.5 years. I did some quick research on different platforms, and decided, quite quickly, that Rouvy would be the right platform for me.
Nice work :-) Which types/brands of trainers have you already tried? Which one is/was your favourite?
Wahoo Kickr and, for a short time, Tacx Neo. Both proved to work well and without complications.
How many hours per week do you usually spend on a trainer during the winter season?
Never calculated it, but could be up to 10 hours easily. As my work requires travelling, the time I am able to do training varies substantially.
Did you focus exactly on a "Rouvy Career"? When did you start?
I started some 2 years ago and just used the Career system as a motivation to train regularly. Even after 2 years, it is not always easy to motivate yourself to do a Passo Pordoj at late evening hours after a long working day.
[Since June 2016, Anton has ridden a total distance of 11,321 km (including ascended 223km). Longest Ride: 120 km. Total time: 551 hours. This allowed him to reach a "Legend" status that is being awarded based on the mix of completed levels, challenges and scored points.]
Which task was the hardest one for you to proceed in "My Career"?
There is no particular one. The setup is well structured so that it gets increasingly tougher on each level, which is also expected.
Which feature do you consider as most useful in Rouvy?
I like the possibility to cycle in real videos. This gives you the feeling of not just being indoor and on a virtual trainer. I also like the sensitivity of the setup, every decimal in road grade change can be felt on the trainer.
Do you still miss something in Rouvy App? Any particular feature?
Provide for the possibility of users to display their age and to sign up for predefined age groups to compete. I have seen in comments from many users that this seems to be a topic for further improvement of the platform.
Why do you think each cyclist should try Rouvy?
It gives you the possibility to continue cycling through the winter months, at least in areas in the world where outside temperatures and road conditions make it dangerous and uneasy to do outside cycling during certain periods.
Also, indoor cycling reduces the time needed to get ready for a training session to a minimum. You dress and get on the trainer, that is it.
How do you balance your work, personal life and cycling training?
Family and work are key components of my life balance. Cycling trainings are important, but will always stay an ancillary component. The good thing about virtual training is that it is completely individual, there are no restrictions timewise or – like in many sports – the necessity to comply with predefined slots and locations.
Any advice or final encouragement words to the cycling community?
I was a little bit proud to read that the Rouvy platform, which was obviously established by having users around the globe, was created by Czech guys. It is a good example of how well thought-through concepts can succeed quickly in today’s new media. The platform lives from its frequent users, who feel that they are part of a community. I encourage everybody to keep such community up and growing, thereby increasing the variety of the system. Good luck to the Rouvy Team and Rouvy Community in its future development.
Thank you for the time taken to chat. Congratulations and best regards from the team!
(For his great endurance, Anton (like every legend) received a package of handy items personally signed by Jaroslav Kulhavy - World champion, 2012 Olympics gold medalist in London and silver medalist in Rio.)