There are winter days when even the most hardcore Bicycle Coalition member might think twice about bicycling, and for rest of us foul weather or family obligations might keep us from getting out at a time of year when physical activity is most important.
So having an indoor trainer or stationary bike does have its place (if you have enough room). But the monotony of watching Judge Judy or Dancing With The Stars might get you off the bike faster than a pothole.
Videologs and Bike Cam Videos may be a way to provide a hint of where you really want to be, these tools may even help you plan a recreational ride or even a cycling vacation.
Roadway Videologs are a visual inventory of an entire state highway system. PENNDOT and Oregon DOT are the only two state transportation agencies that offer public online versions. For example you can see every inch of US 6 across Pennsylvania or US 101 the Oregon Coast Highway. ODOT's website is more user friendly but PENNDOT has many more miles of roads.
Bike Cam Videos
Attaching a camera to your handlebars may be nerdy but the end products offer a more realistic feel than the jumpy videologs. The ones set to music are more tolerable to watch. YouTube and other video websites have bike cam videos. Search for Bicycle Camera, Rail Trail, or Bike Path