Sunday, February 17, 2008


The thing with riding rollers is that there is absolutely nowhere to hide any imperfections in the way you ride. It's kinda like standing naked in front of a full length mirror with really harsh lighting.

It's been about a year and a half since I've ridden on rollers. Mostly because I've been too lazy to go get a replacement belt for my old rollers and I've been doing lots of ILT (Isolated Leg Training) exercises on my stationary trainer. ILT's are really great for improving your hip flexor muscle strength- which really increases your power at the top of your pedal stroke, which is great for improving your climbing power. So I've been doing lots of riding on my stationary trainer with fluid resistance unit. The only real negative to stationary trainer workouts is that you don't improve your pedal stroke or overall fluidity and you can even dig yourself a hole with your technique.

Yesterday I finally cracked and got roller'ed-up again. So last night I got out and rode the rollers for nearly an hour, for the first time in about 18 months +/-. For those who don't know from experience, riding rollers is close to a 1.5:1 ratio- an hour on the rollers is like an hour and a half on the road (or so). I was happy that I hadn't forgotten how to ride rollers and that the form wasn't all that bad. I did manage to get out of the saddle and ride without riding off the drums, as well as being able to drink from my bottle, wipe my sweat off with my towel and change position on the bike. I didn't go full bore in my seated sprints, but I did get the legs going at a good turn of speed.

The bad news is that I found that it has been too long since I spent time on my rollers. I was riding my fixed gear, which also highlights your pedal stroke deficiencies, and at speed I was bouncing enough to make me worry about riding off the drums. I didn't, but I had to pay attention. The one time I did ride off the drums, I was wiping my face with my towel and had my eyes closed and couldn't see that I was drifting across the drums. Fortunately, I just rolled off on to the frame and then caught myself on the fence next to me. But, it does mean that I have to work on my form again... so it's good that I am on the rollers now.

And, that 50+ minutes on the rollers had me "sweating like a redneck at a spelling bee". Afterwards, my bathroom scale claimed that I weighed a mere 198! That's even lower than the 199 I saw a few weeks ago for the first time in about 10 years. The weight is coming off, the legs are feeling good and the power is coming back. April 1st is the beginning of Tuesday Night Racing here at the San Diego Velodrome... and I'm trying to bring the heat this year. I was pretty far off the pace last year, so I'm hoping this year is better because I'm hunting for medals at the State Masters track championships in the Kilo, Sprint and Team Sprint (maybe).

Ok, time to get a few things done here and then it's off to the gym. Then I need to write some new copy for the catalog- I had to change a few things from what I wrote earlier.

Enjoy your day!



Super Rookie said...

i can't ride rollers, but i do ride at the National Sports Center Velodrome.

A place that you should come to this summer!


What kind of socks today?

--$riCh$-- said...

blah too much reading, only thing i read was you buck naked in front of mirror and you look bad. sorry thats you bud!

if u were at camp, u'd be 2 spots hotter, and we could chase hotties together.....

Anonymous said...

Yo tim! Hey just think that after I had knee surgery my life consisted of a steady diet of rollers for three months! You know you're a pro roller rider when you can ride one leg no hands! Awesome looking Especial CX - should be popular in the pacific northwest

James said...

I am glad to hear that I am not the only one. My rollers have been sitting unused since last winter because I never seem to get around to picking up a replacement belt. I have ridden my fluid trainer a few times this winter, but it is just not the same. So thanks for the reminder Tim. I am ordering a replacement belt right now.

wrw said...

"What 'rollers'?"
Yesterday's event afforded a third place for my age group aboard this revised MASI.
Yes, it pedals better by design!
Time to meet with my lawyer ...

Al said...

You should try clipping out on the rollers like this guy:

I saw the video here: