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rollers...another question
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how the heck do you ride on these things?
i have a hard enough time just getting on my bike, let alone being
able to let go of the door jamb (which now have my finger prints permanently embedded in them).
any suggestions??

THANKS FOR ALL THE ADVICE....I'LL KEEP YOU UP TO DATE ON MY PROGRESS!!
Last edited by: triandtri again: Jan 6, 09 7:28
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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First, make sure you are on them correctly (rear wheel on the double rollers, not the single) I remember someone posting a while back that turned out to be riding them backwards. :-)

It definitely takes a little time to get used to them. It sounds like you are already riding in a doorway - very good first step. After that, I'd make sure you are relaxed (I know, easier said than done) and not looking down - look ahead at the same approximate point you'd be looking at if you were riding on the road. For me, those two things made a ton of difference. I wanted to throw the rollers out the window for the first few rides, but hang in there because once you get the technique down, you'll be hooked.

M

------------------------------------------------------------
The beatings will continue until morale improves

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Re: rollers...another question [mdraegernyc] [ In reply to ]
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If you drop a plum line from the front axle the tire/roller contact patch should be IN FRONT OF (edit!) that point.
If it is behind the the plum line (eg between the fork and BB) the bike is very hard to steer.
Get a stool or phone book to help you step up onto the bike and start in a a low gear.

Keep your head up as much as you can. A lot of your balance comes from visual references and looking down means you don't have any.
Last edited by: mayhew: Jan 6, 09 15:28
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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I've spent way more than my fair share on rollers...we were at the point where the whole team could ride with no hands and read books....with no more than a couple of feet between us. It takes a lot of practice but once you get there it's a beautiful thing. You learn to ride with people leaning on you, bumping you, making faces at you...bike handling goes through the roof.

I always teach people with high-backed chairs and not doorways - makes for more spectacular crashes, but oddly enough it taught us to get going quicker and to learn how to not jerk the bike from side-to-side - only had one safe side....doorways are probably a better idea for the rest of the world...just make sure you graduate to a chair or couch or counter or something else....take away the safety net eventually. And try not to lean too much on the doorjamb, just lightly use it a check when needed or when just starting, keep your weight on your butt. Also try to keep your hands as light as possible, you can't muscle the front end very effectively, the bike will want to stay in a straight line by itself....use your center to stay put.

Rule #1 - KEEP PEDALLING. And pedal quicker. Your bike has the zany desire to ride vertically and if given the chance will most likely right itself (assuming both wheels are still on the rollers at this point). If things start to get hairy or you think you're going off the edge, keep pedalling and look up and relax. Let your pedals and the inertia keep the bike upright, don't try to muscle the bike back to center - you'll go off the other side. The point of rollers is cadence, not mashing. Pick a fairly high cadence and spin it - the band will loosen up as it warms, shift to keep your cadence high and learn to spin faster.

Rule #2 - Don't look down. It does you no good to look - you'll only see that yes, you're going from side-to-side and getting close to the edges (which makes you jerk back to the other side, which makes you panic, which makes you stop pedalling, which makes you either fall over or bump off the side of the drum onto the frame....) Keep a natural head angle and take a deep breath...if you've got one arm on the doorjamb, keep the other on your base bar or your hoods and keep a light grip. I love to have a mirror in front of me and stare at the reflection of the front hub or a TV.

Rule #3 - Relax and keep pedalling and don't look down. Keep a towel nearby, you're going to sweat, it'll be hard for awhile but it's a steep learning curve.

I've never had more quality entertainment than teaching people rollers...or my own attempts the first time each winter. Just take a breath and try not to get frustrated, think of the entertainment. Just keep pedalling.

AW
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Re: rollers...another question [mdraegernyc] [ In reply to ]
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>>) I remember someone posting a while back that turned out to be riding them backwards. :-)<<

That would be me.

One more tip--ride them every day. Just get on and go 10 minutes if that's all the time you have. You'll get the hang of it.

And maybe start out not watching TV. Or at least don't watch bike racing or anything exciting.

clm

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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When I started on rollers I did my first rides in trainers as it meant I could put my foot down should the worst happen. A handy little confidence booster. I'd also recommend you use a kitchen worktop, high backed chair, or similar, rather than a doorway. This gives you a single safe side, not that it matters since you're wearing trainers, and it gives something to put your hand down on, which you can't do with a door jamb. I think this is more natural than gripping a vertical surface, and allows you to hover your hand above it if needed.
Keep your hands on the tops. You can use the drops, hoods, or tribars, but using the tops of the bars is easiest.
Don't have a white knuckle death grip. A light touch is all that's required. Thanks to the wonders of physics, it's not actually necessary to hold the bars at all provided the wheels are rotating at a reasonable speed.

Look forward. Relax. Smile. Pedal. As illustrated by the rider below.





"Here's how you run a marathon. Step 1: You start running. Step 2: There is no step 2." - Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
how the heck do you ride on these things?
i have a hard enough time just getting on my bike, let alone being
able to let go of the door jamb (which now have my finger prints permanently embedded in them).
any suggestions??
The fastest way to learn how to ride rollers is simple. Go to your basement or any room with a strong beam over head. Next tie a rope around your neck and attach to said beam. This will give you all the motivation that you need not to fall.........at least not more than once.
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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You've got some good tips here. My suggestion would be to give yourself a "time" that you are going to ride without holding on to the door frame. Even if its just one second, give yourself permission to let go and then grab back on. Keep practicing and increasing the time that you're going to ride w/o holding on.

Its just a mental trick that keeps me from getting down on myself for not being able to do something. This is what works for me with things like pushups or front plank. I like focusing on what I'm accomplishing, rather than what I'm not-so-good at.
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Re: rollers...another question [neil_laing] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I'd also recommend you use a kitchen worktop, high backed chair, or similar, rather than a doorway. This gives you a single safe side, not that it matters since you're wearing trainers, and it gives something to put your hand down on, which you can't do with a door jamb. I think this is more natural than gripping a vertical surface, and allows you to hover your hand above it if needed.

One nice thing about the doorway for beginners is that they don't need to let got of the bars - ever. Just lean up against the doorframe with the shoulder a little bit, and then a gentle bump or push with the elbow will being them back to (close to) center.


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Re: rollers...another question [Khai] [ In reply to ]
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That's one of my favorite things with watching newbies on the rollers...ping-ponging from side to side of the doorway. Or at least that's been some entertainment previously. And also part of the reason I stopped using doorways - when someone quit paying enough attention and didn't correct fast enough and the bike slipped between the doorjamb and the rollers...it made for an equally hilarious (if not frightening) fall, missing head and doorway by a very small space.

Did make for interesting bruises though....I like the noose idea from earlier, too. Incentives. I learned in a room that had bars hanging from the ceiling (parallel to the rollers) to hold on to. Reaching above your head to hang on made for quickly learning to let go.

AW
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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Don't look down. Pick a fixed point in front of you and focus on that. KEEP PEDALING. You don't "coast". If you stop pedaling, you'll come off. And, honestly, just gut it up and go for it. My husband put up a wooden rail on the wall in the garage. I used that (and still do when first getting on). That way I also had a "clear" side. Good news is, if you do fall and into a "clear" area, you just fall over. It's not that big a deal. Good luck and have fun!
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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Don't feel bad about holding onto the side doorjambs for a while. You can try the top of the doorway as well if you can reach it - that can be a better help for learning how to balance with your pedaling. Also, what others said about high cadence is important.

One thing that I found useful was to put one of those cheap door-length mirrors on a wall in front of me (it was about 10 ft in front of me). Just enough so that when I was looking forward I got some feedback on if I was straying too far to one side.
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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Re: rollers...another question [mayhew] [ In reply to ]
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yeah....but can he cook?
too crazy.
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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Re: rollers...another question [triandtri again] [ In reply to ]
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Dave made me a little step to go over my rollers - basically just a scrap of plywood nailed to some 2x4s. This made it way way easier to get on and off the bike and also really helped with confidence when I was learning as I could just unclip and put a foot down at any time - just like on the road - rather than having to try and balance in my cleats on the narrow frame.
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