Name: Natalie Bruckner-Menchelli
Goal: Ironman Canada
Days until race: 9 months and counting
Miles cycled on Cascade Fluidpro Bike Trainer: 0
Miles cycled on Cascade CMXPro Power Exercise: 0

I’ve finally done it. I’ve signed up for my first Ironman Triathlon. With record numbers now signing up to compete in a race that consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bike ride and a marathon run of 26.2-mile (42.2 km), this is hardly groundbreaking news.

But let me introduce myself. My name is Natalie Bruckner-Menchelli, and just ten years ago you wouldn’t catch me even running around the block. I hated it. Yet in a little over nine months I will be an Ironman competitor (and finisher hopefully).

Cycling and swimming have always been my forte, and having competed in a number of triathlons, including the Ironman 70.3 in Oliver, BC, Canada, I was ready to tackle Ironman Canada. Another one to tick off on my list of things to do before I’m 40.

But living in “The Great White North” means training over the winter months can get a little difficult. I have no issues running in the rain in Vancouver, BC, (well we have no choice), and heading to the pool to do laps is actually pleasurable during the cold winter months, so my dilemma was, how was I going to build up the miles on my bike with slippery, wet and often snowy conditions during the months when training is meant to ramp up?

And so I started researching static bike trainers. I had heard some horror stories about stability and equipment failures, so I needed recommendations, and fast, and a fellow triathlete referred me to Cascade. After touching base with Anne at Cascade and chatting about my goals, it made sense to try the Cascade Fluidpro bike trainer as well as the Cascade CMXPro Power Exercise Bike.

Greedy, perhaps? But while the Fluidpro static bike trainer would allow me to increase my mileage while using my own bike (ensuring my setup was correct and to get the feeling of being on the road), the Fluidpro spin bike would help me to develop my cardiovascular strength and muscle power. And in truth, when you have an indoor training goal that consists of four to five hours a week on the bike to begin with that would soon be increased to around eight to ten hours a week leading up to the race, anything I could do to keep motivation up and vary my training was going to be highly beneficial.

When the “goodies” arrived at my house, I was like a child. I didn’t want to wait for my husband (usually the DIY person in our house) to get home and help me assemble the equipment, so I ripped the packing apart and started reading the instructions. It looked far too simple….and as we all know from IKEA products, that’s not always the case.

However, within 20 minutes I had both the Cascade Fluidpro and the Cascade CMXPro Power Exercise bike set up in my basement…I mean home gym. You see there were no missing screws, no extra tools required, it was all there for me with a step-by-step instruction guide.

Of course, any sensible person would have changed into their workout clothes and tested the bikes. Not me. I couldn’t wait and hopped on in my work clothes and was like a child at Christmas. I was amazed at how stable the equipment was. The components are sturdy and the most exciting part is, I can track my miles, my heartrate, my cadence, speed, watts, time and distance with the wireless FLUIDPro Power meter.

I took countless images to send to my friends, proudly stating the “real” training was about to begin. Time for this Ironman to get on her bike.

Follow me on my Ironman training journey here at Cascade.