Pain Cave

The weather has been swinging dramatically from unseasonably warm to unseasonably cold. And when it gets cold, the cycling goes inside.

A pain cave can be put together almost anywhere.

Our coach can be transformed into an awesome pain cave with multiple screens to help amplify the glorious pain and suffering.

Takes a bit of effort though.

The trainer that I use, a Tacx Neo, is a wee bit heavy at roughly 48 pounds. I stow the Neo in the passenger side forward bay. It is somewhat challenging to move it out of the bay and into the coach on my own. With Lorraine’s help, no trouble at all.

We spread foam mats underneath the bike to protect the tile floor and to absorb the energy being transferred to the trainer. The Neo, fortunately, is very quiet and very stable.

A few towels are spread out to catch all the sweat. Not unusual for me to drop 4 or 5 pounds of sweat in a typical 1-hour spin. Although not visible in the picture, there is a fan to push some air around to create the false impression of being cool on the bike.

The bike itself is stored in a bay that has a pullout tray. I store it with both wheels off. I bring in the front wheel and set it aside. I bring in the bike — without wheels — and attach the front wheel when I am inside the coach. Then the bike gets attached to the trainer.

I attach a sweat guard to the top of the bike. You can make it out in the photo above. It is the triangle shaped black and red material near the handlebars. Two water bottles at the ready.

I fire up Zwift on the Apple TV if I am doing a recovery spin or the Sufferfest on the MacBook Pro for some real pain and suffering. With the Sufferfest, I use AirPlay to throw the computer screen to the two front screens of the coach via Apple TV.

The Neo and my heart rate monitor connect via Bluetooth, transmitting all of the metrics of the ride to the software apps I am using (either Zwift or Sufferfest). My Garmin bike computer also tracks the ride.

The software app takes control of my smart trainer and the fun begins.

Great sound in my custom built home theatre system and the coach’s blackout system really does conjure up a cave-like experience.

Takes about 10 minutes to setup and roughly the same amount of time to tear down.

This was a video tour of my old pain cave at our former house.

Doesn’t matter where you are though. Suffering is always available.

Even in a motorcoach.

The Long Weekend

This is home for the Thanksgiving weekend. Not exactly as per plan.

No status on our timeline. The parts have been ordered but we do not know when they will arrive. Obviously not today. Hopefully sometime next week.

Here are a couple of shots of our current site. We are nestled amongst the trees with a large, open area that, for most of our time here, has been ours alone.

There have been a few coaches that have set up beside us for an overnight stay here and there. Four coaches over three nights. Otherwise, it has been a very private spot at the Hitch House.

Here is a shot of the baseplate on our Lincoln.

We were supposed to be here for two days to have this base plate installed for our Blue Ox tow bar system. We will have spent at least three or perhaps four weeks before resuming our journey due to a series of unexpected issues which you can read about here.

The base plate on our car is discrete. From a few feet away you would hardly know that it is there.

We have a Blue Ox Patriot II as our supplemental braking system.

To legally tow a vehicle behind a motorhome, in any State or Province, the following is required: a base plate bracket to connect to a tow bar, a tow bar with safety cables, a supplemental braking system, a break away system and the ability to display stop, turn and running lights on the towed vehicle.

Plateau XLMB

As we enter our third week at the dealer, we have seen quite a few coaches coming and going. Most for service although a fair number of newly sold coaches.

We have had a few neighbours during our stay. They spend a night in their new coach and then head out.

We, on the other hand, are starting to become permanent fixtures. We now know most of the staff here on a first name basis. They all seem to know us.

Our newest neighbour is the proud owner of a Pleasure-Way Plateau XLMB. They received their coach yesterday and they are parked beside us for a night or two.

The Plateau XLMB is a 22-foot coach built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. It would be far too small for me for extended travelling but a perfect size for touring. It is a coach that can go anywhere.

No slide-outs but a very clever use of space.

The interior features a queen-sized Murphy bed and a good sized washroom. Pleasure-Way is a Canadian company that stands behind their product with an excellent 5-year comprehensive warranty.

Starting at roughly $150,000 Canadian, it looks like a compelling option in this segment of the RV market.

I went through Pleasure-Way’s video tour and I was quite impressed with the builder and the attention to detail. And our new neighbours seem very happy with their new coach.

Passing The Time Away

We won’t be leaving the dealer any time soon. We are going to be spending Canadian Thanksgiving at The Hitch House.

We have been here for two weeks and it looks very much like it will be at least three weeks before we are back on our way.

Everything is fine though. We are pretty much living as we expected in retirement. We love our coach. It really is a beautiful space for the two of us and for Tabby. We have a nice site at the dealer. It is quiet and private. The only inconvenience is that we need to dump tanks every five to six days. That requires us to pack up the coach, drive about 20 kms, empty our tanks and then return and set up the coach again.

And there is a lot going on in our lives so no shortage of things to do.

This past weekend I did sound for a live event in Guelph, Ontario. I also recorded the event. The picture above was a shot of Lorraine helping me at the sound console. Lorraine was prompting me through the cue sheet. At that moment in time, I was asking her what was going to happen next in the program. We had four bands, an MC, a guest speaker and multimedia running throughout the evening. Lots of inputs to manage. At times there were over 20 people on stage and upwards of 32 active inputs.

Kept me on my toes.

It all went so well. Late night though. We left the dealer at 9am. Arrived at the sound rental site at 11am. Packed vehicles with lots of gear and did our load-in and setup. Surprisingly, I was able to get ready for sound checks by 2:30pm. Worked through the various bands — I was handling front of house, monitors and event recording — until 6pm. Event started at 7pm. Finished at 10pm. Tear down took a couple of hours.

We did not get back to the hotel until close to 1 am. I then did an audio engineering seminar the following afternoon for 3 hours, teaching a team of 6 audio engineers about mixing for live streaming and how to operate a specific model of digital console. Then straight back to the dealer.

Pretty full week-end.

I’m now spending my days and evenings working up the tracks from Saturday’s event in my mobile Pro Tools rig. I suspect that you would not see too many of these setups in a motorcoach.

So much capability in a rig of this size. Fully featured console, accurate monitoring through the Genelecs and some high-end headphones and, of course, the Pro Tools platform.

Roughly two and a half hours of recording to edit and mix. Might take me a couple of weeks all in to get a release candidate out to the artists for sign-off.

The event was shot on video and the video production company will need the two track mix to finish their post production work. I gave them a guide track of the house mix during the event. Once they have the completed mix, they can align the finished mix with the guide track.

It is fine with me that we will be here for another week or two. I have lots to keep me busy.

As long as we are good to go across the border on November 1st.

It is starting to get cold now.

My primary objective in retirement is never to be cold again.

Still Here

This is a screenshot from my Lincoln app off my iPhone. The app has a cool tracking feature where you can geolocate the car. Handy if you trying to figure out where your car might be.

The blue spot is where our coach has been parked for almost two weeks now.

The yellow spot is where the car had been sitting for most of that time.

We did get it back on Friday. I suspected it was ready to be delivered when the app told me that my car was moving. I followed the test drive in near real time.

Baseplate for the tow bar successfully installed.

Braking system for the car successfully installed.

New oil pan successfully installed.

New chrome grill plate successfully installed.

Progress.

We were away for the weekend. Action packed and I’ll definitely need a few days to recover from it all. It was wonderful to come back to our coach even if we are still stranded at the dealer.

Today we will be looking to get some kind of timeline for when we can be on our way.

From what I know at this point, the coach will need the parts to replace the awning, time in the paint bay, and some testing and fine-tuning to make sure all is well with the equipment.

I spoke with the service manager on Friday and he believes that there is some kind of firmware bug in the awning system.

We have four weeks remaining before we cross the border.

Hopefully this all gets resolved before then.

Oh and our hot water and hydronic heat continues to work.

Thankful for the small things in life.