Monday, October 29, 2012

Move over, Frankenstorm - Here's something that's even scarier...

Once we learn to ride a bike as a child, we're pretty much set. Mountain bike, road bike, tri bike - even aero bars are merely riffs on a common theme. You push on the pedals and off you go. But what to do when the forecast calls for gale force winds and both the pool and spin studio are closed? Use the trainer? Yes, that's an option. But also a rather boring one. Why not finally assemble the tinker toys strewn across the living room since the REI clearance sale last month?

I bring you: rollers. As you can see from the look on my face, these are not easy. In fact, they're kind of terrifying. Not only do you need to pedal forward, you need to balance perfectly in the middle, or else you slide off the sides. Thankfully, there was a nice marble countertop to break my fall. (Hence the helmet.) Elliott and I watched some YouTube videos for inspiration, and were able to get our heart rates up pretty high --though mostly from stress (rider) and trying to keep the front of the bike vertical (spotter/photographer).

Why bother? According to those in the know (and apparently with more balance than I can muster), rollers are a good way to practice bike handling skills, a smooth pedal stroke, steady cadence, and get in a good indoor workout. As if the fact I can barely open an energy gel while riding (or make left turns) weren't already indicators that I can improve in this area. Lucky for us (?) Sandy is supposed to be extremely destructive and treacherous, so I might have days and days of time to practice before I can ride outside again.

Do you have any tips for mastering rollers? Anyone want to come over and see who can last the longest? Think of it as a rodeo for triathletes.



  1. oooooh i've always wanted to try out a roller trainer!!!!

  2. I got the same advice - get rollers vs. a trainer. I also heard the learning curve was very steep, but to do what you're doing - have something to hang onto, or try putting the roller trainer in a doorway.