Article Written March 26, 2017 at 11:43pm by Cecily Whiteside for Launch WestCo
Every great idea starts with a problem to solve. When professional mountain biker Eric Landis went looking for training videos to use for his indoor winter workouts, all he found were road bike videos. “I wanted to have mountain bike videos for my indoor training, so I started making them myself.” As he began filming local trails and using his homemade videos, word of mouth spread; friends wanted to try them. “The demand was there. People asked for more. These were amateur but people were enjoying them.”
Now, several years later Eric has built a professional product that meets the need he saw and other confirmed as a gap in the market. “We have seven authentic trails filmed start to finish featuring professional riders. There are five or more different workouts for each trail totaling 40 available videos! We have an on-screen training graphic or “Heads Up Display” with specific workouts for each video. And we have original music by local artist Andy Bowen that matches the cadence so you pedal to the beat for each section of the ride.
For each trail, you can do the authentic ride that matches what the rider does on screen: When the trail goes uphill, the cadence slows and the intensity increases. You can opt for a power workout with short intervals, a strength workout with mid-length intervals, or cross-country with intervals of 10 minutes or more. Each of these options gives you a graphic in the upper right hand corner of the screen to let you know how hard your current section is and what’s coming next. Alternatively, you can simply watch the video for entertainment during your indoor training session.
Trails featured are 18 Road/North Fruita desert which features Eric Landis riding, Mary’s Loop/Horsethief Bench/Steve’s Loop featuring Anne Keiler and Sara Landis, Lunch Loops with Pete Knepper, Deer Valley Utah with Erica Tingey, Lenawee in Arapahoe Basin with Leigh Bowe, Crested Butte with Jari Hiatt and Evan Ross, and Sedona with Eric again.
Eric has always been interested in technology, having worked with car stereos in his teens, then moving to commercial and residential technology systems with All Sound Design for the past fifteen years. “That experience made this video project possible,” Eric says. “Making these videos is so hard, I realized why this product didn’t exist.” As Eric explains the process of filming for each of his videos, I agree. This is quite an undertaking!
“Basically, I am running all day carrying a pack with food and lenses, with a heavy camera held at arm’s length using motorized gimbals to stabilize the shots.” When making a road bike video like this, they use motorcycles to film. On trails, it’s all on foot. “The rider and I get set up. Sometimes I lead the shot, running, holding the camera backwards while the rider rides past me, then I turn and follow. I yell cut, and we do it again. Each shot is dynamic, moving and adjusting.” It sounds exhausting. Each video takes about a week to film. “I run all day every day for a week. There’s really no way to train for that,” Eric smiles, “but I try by hiking Mt Garfield with rocks in my pack.”
With the launch of the personal-use product, Eric has made these trails and workouts available through several purchase options. With unlimited streaming for $9.99 per month, you can access them through any major device: smart phone, computer, TV, and streaming boxes like Roku and Apple TV. “You can also download to your device to use for travel or at the gym, since their Wi-Fi usually isn’t fast enough to stream a video,” Eric adds. A three-day rental costs $3.99, or you can buy individual videos outright for $14.99.
The next steps for Eric, now that his product has launched, are threefold. “We have started working with a smart trainer manufacturer to integrate our product with smart trainers. This allows our videos to drive the workout from an app directly to the trainer. We manage pedal cadence, wheel speed, heart rate, and wattage.” These innovations will open the doors to a new and dedicated market. “We are also looking at new trails to expand the library.” This is an intense and time-consuming process that includes getting permits and planning for riders and well as preparing for the challenge of another physically exhausting shoot. “I do all this in my spare time,” Eric says. “I have to work around my time at All Sound Designs.”
The third aspect of Eric’s endeavors are to expand into the commercial market. “Gyms and spin studios would benefit from this product, so we are creating a turnkey streaming structure including video projection system for this application,” Eric explains. “More than half of our videos feature women riders. The majority of spin classes at gyms are made up of women. We wanted this product to feature riders they can identify with and are inspired by.” With the videos available now, and more in the works, Spintertainment brings a unique and exciting product to the mountain biking community.
Check them out for yourself at Spintertainment.com.
You can see 60 second samples of each trail to determine which one(s) would motivate you the most in your indoor training adventure. You can also try out free 30-minute versions on their YouTube channel. The bonus is that after riding to these videos all winter, you will not only be in shape for the mountain bike season, but on your next trip to western Colorado, you will be intimately familiar with some of our most iconic trails. While nothing beats the wind and sun and feel of rock and dirt under your wheels, Spintertainment gives you the next best thing; and takes the suck out of indoor workouts.