Indoor training seem a little boring and unmotivated to spin?
If you have an indoor trainer with a wireless speed sensor on your bike, or a heart rate monitor, or a power meter, you can likely use a program called TrainerRoad to do training specific to what you wish to achieve on the bike this winter.
I recently acquired a used, but new to me, indoor trainer, and my Christmas wish list included a wireless speed/cadence sensor just so I could do TrainerRoad workouts. I have two weeks of training under my belt and I think I can give Tour de France a shot later this year. Ok, not really, but here is what I have discovered about TrainerRoad so you can decide if it might be a great tool for where you want to go with your bike fitness.
They have a TON of training programs you can follow. The overall categories offered include Traditional Base fitness, Sweet Spot Base, Building Base Fitness, 40k TT, Half Distance Triathlon, CycloCross, Century, and Time Crunch. You can pick a training plan, follow all the prescribed workouts, and see your fitness sore over the weeks.
To begin you first need a USB Ant+ device or a Bluetooth receiver for your computer. This is in addition to the corresponding wireless speed sensor, or Heart Rate monitor, OR wireless Power Meter, or all of the above. Select your trainer, and then ride to determine your current fitness level. TrainerRoad then tailors all the workouts to YOUR level. They are always the right intensity for you. You retest your fitness level every 4-6 weeks, or as you think you need to, and all of your training programs adjust to your new level of fitness. How cool is that?
I recommend checking out their website and seeing if it is right for you. There is a monthly fee of $10. With no commitments. So for $10 you can try it for an entire month and decide if you want to go another month, or cancel and be done with it.
Ok, so you have determined you really want to do this, and have everything you need except for this USB ANT+ sensor thing-a-ma-jig for the computer. You are wondering what this thing is and how to get one. Let me recommend the SuuntoMovestick Mini, or a Garmin ANT+ usb stick. You can typically purchase one for less than $40. It is tiny, and looks like what you use for a wireless mouse. Simply plug it into your computer and it is like magic.
I have found watching past IronMan races from YouTube while training to be rather inspirational, but simply jamming to music also works.