Monday, February 27, 2012

Holy Rollers

Ever since I got my bike, I knew I wanted to get a bike trainer so that I could ride through the winter. I could ride outside, but 1. I don’t like to be cold and it gets cold on a bike let me tell you, and 2. I’m too lazy to wash my bike, so the slush and salt would just destroy the frame and components. I had always leaned towards getting rollers, as it seems a more natural way to train, but I came across a fixed wheel trainer for $15 at our local thrift store, so I could never justify the cost of also getting rollers.

Laima has started using my bike trainer and it is, from a lazy man standpoint, a pain in the butt to change the bikes, adjust the settings, etc. With my birthday coming up (I look pretty good for 57, right?), I finally bit the bullet and asked Laima to buy me rollers. As it turned out, Performance Bike had a sale on some relatively inexpensive rollers that also had decent reviews overall, the Travel Trac Technique PRO Alloy Rollers. Great timing.

We brought them home Saturday afternoon; I cleared some space in the basement, and then got it set up Sunday late morning. First ride was after lunch, when I put Little Worker down for his nap and I had the house to myself (no one to hear me scream when I rode off and crashed). WHOA! Totally different experience. I had the TV on (hockey highlights), but I was too petrified to look up most of the time. It is not easy riding rollers, let alone getting on to the bike! I rode for 20 minutes in all, and it felt like an hour on the road or at least a half hour on the fixed trainer. My balance SUCKS! so I spent a lot of time weaving back and forth on the rollers, hoping not to fall off. Of course I did, but only twice, pretty good in my opinion. Apparently it takes most people several weeks to get the balance dialed in. Can’t wait to have this down so that I can start watching TV again - my mental toughness is pretty weak as well.

I can’t imagine ever going back to a fixed wheel trainer again – even though it’s terrifying, this is so much closer to riding on the road. Another benefit is how quiet the rollers are – I usually wear headphones on the trainer, due to its noise as well as the furnace, washer, etc., but with the rollers I could easily hear the TV, even though it wasn’t on that loud.

Do you ride rollers?
Any tips?

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  1. I'm bummed I missed your first ride - sounds cool, but I think I'll stick to the trainer:)

  2. Rollers scare the shit out of me! We have a set that I bought the hubs a long time ago. I've never ventured onto them. They will make you a really strong cyclist, though! Keep at it.

  3. Well done. Shouldn't be (not) watching hockey, though. Should be watching Sufferfest. That'll engage your mental toughness!

  4. That is something! I don't bike but can imagine that to be scary as hell the first time.

  5. You wouldn't catch me on rollers. I fell off the trainer twice during the super century. Thank goodness for being set up near a wall!

  6. I can't believe nobody (yet) has agreed with your statement that you look good for 57yo. You are 57???? :)
    That roller looks evil but I would be so tempted to try it at least once.

  7. wow, that looks tricky! They should make a model as wide as a normal hall way. I wouldn't watch hockey even when you are comfortable. I find myself leaning on the trainer trying to help the puck find the net with a little body english all the time. I had to stop watching hockey while on the treadmill after a couple near misses :-).

  8. Ewa, I'm not 57, but almost 46, was just kidding around. Thanks for reading everything!


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