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Rollers... it was all psychological

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Rollers... it was all psychological

Old 04-13-11, 10:45 PM
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urbanknight
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Rollers... it was all psychological

When I was a teen and heavy into the racing scene, I got a set of rollers at the advice of just about everybody at the velodrome. Many days were spent with me being too nervous and worried about falling off... which of course caused me to actually do just that many times over. Despite being able to track stand for as long as I wanted, bump elbows with my meanest competitors, ride no handed, and otherwise handle my bike just fine, I gave up on the rollers and figured it was just something I could not do.

Well, now I got a secret weapon: A hallway that is no more than 3' wide. I set the rollers up in the middle, and with the comfort of knowing I could just lean my shoulder onto the wall, I proceeded to ride the rollers for 20 minutes without needing the walls. Oh, the power of the mind.

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Old 04-14-11, 12:03 AM
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Good for you. And to think that all this time you coulda gotten more time in "riding" indoors and staying close to enjoy your newborn son.

Now if only we could similarly discover a way to stabilize education funding in California.

Edit: I just saw in your belt for rollers thread that indoor riding while keeping an eye on your son was/is the plan. Cool!

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Old 04-14-11, 12:08 AM
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Old 04-14-11, 12:50 AM
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It's one of those things you just have to 'do'. Rollers can't be approached with timidicity. (yes I made that word up)
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Old 04-14-11, 03:07 AM
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Those doorways are also handy for leaning a shoulder into. But the main thing for me is to look up and into the "distance"... as though I am looking at where I am going. Riding with my head down is a recipe for crashing (if you can ever really crash at zero miles per hour...).
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Old 04-14-11, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
(if you can ever really crash at zero miles per hour...).
sort of though

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN1cuVRRRzM
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Old 04-14-11, 07:35 AM
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If you have any plans for riding rollers, do not watch that video!

I have ridden rollers for years and it never occurred to me that I would crash. Then I watched that video and the next time I got on them I was suddenly sure I would go down since I had a newfound awareness of all the ways that things could go wrong.
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Old 04-14-11, 07:53 AM
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I bought a set of rollers over the winter and have been spectacularly unsuccessful at riding them... I'm sure it's mental for me as well, but I don't have a hallway in my condo that allows me lean if needed...
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Old 04-14-11, 08:20 AM
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That is the exact same setup I used. The hall way is much preferred to the door frame because you have a large area you can lean on, and if you do in fact fall you may not be able to hit that frame exactly how you need to in order to avoid injury. I actually have had more time on the rollers since I bought my road bike than I have had on the road. It's obviously not something that is impossible to do because so many people use them. Once you realize this you know it's only a matter of time and practice before you'll get the hang of it.
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Old 04-14-11, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
When I was a teen and heavy into the racing scene, I got a set of rollers at the advice of just about everybody at the velodrome. Many days were spent with me being too nervous and worried about falling off... which of course caused me to actually do just that many times over. Despite being able to track stand for as long as I wanted, bump elbows with my meanest competitors, ride no handed, and otherwise handle my bike just fine, I gave up on the rollers and figured it was just something I could not do.

Well, now I got a secret weapon: A hallway that is no more than 3' wide. I set the rollers up in the middle, and with the comfort of knowing I could just lean my shoulder onto the wall, I proceeded to ride the rollers for 20 minutes without needing the walls. Oh, the power of the mind.

You are exactly right. It's like being able to walk on the white fog line on the side of the road, no problem never miss a step. Now raise that line 20ft off the road and try it.
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Old 04-15-11, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by kr32 View Post


I love the idiot who tried the BMX bike on a treadmill.

Gotta wonder about people who film themselves on rollers in the first place, and THEN post the falling-off-the-rollers clips to the internet, tho...
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Old 04-15-11, 10:08 AM
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I have exactly the same hallway as yours and I set my roller there the same way. It helps a lot knowing if you are going to fall, you can touch the wall.
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Old 04-15-11, 10:23 AM
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There is no try, only do.

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Old 04-15-11, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
You are exactly right. It's like being able to walk on the white fog line on the side of the road, no problem never miss a step. Now raise that line 20ft off the road and try it.
Good point. That reminds me of a mountain bike ride I did last year where I encountered a sheer 40-50' cliff exposure on the right side of the trail. Although the trail was smooth as butter and about 2' wide, I opted to walk. I frequently scream along 1' wide singletracks with ruts and rocks and creeks, but the penalty was just too stiff for that one.
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Old 04-15-11, 11:54 AM
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A lot of issues people have with rollers has to do with the position of the front roller. The bike gets really twitchy if you have that front roller too far ahead of the front axle. Ideally, the front axle should be right over the top of the front roller.
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Old 04-15-11, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
A lot of issues people have with rollers has to do with the position of the front roller. The bike gets really twitchy if you have that front roller too far ahead of the front axle. Ideally, the front axle should be right over the top of the front roller.
I didn't know this, thanks.
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Old 04-15-11, 02:45 PM
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I did. I obviously had other issues
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Old 04-15-11, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
I did. I obviously had other issues
No soup for you!
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Old 04-15-11, 03:54 PM
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fair word of warning though... you'll soon gain enough confidence to do it in the middle of the room with nothing except maybe a footstool... you'll be rolling like a pro just looking ahead/drinking from water bottle/riding one handed even no handed.... thats when the spectacular falls/fails/crashes happen.
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Old 04-15-11, 04:08 PM
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Mine are in the doorway, away from sharp objects. At least my husband doesn't make me wear the helmet in the house any more....
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Old 04-15-11, 04:22 PM
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Doorframe works fine.

The key move for all you folks really struggling:

Start off by leaning on the wall/doorframe on your ELBOW or SHOULDER. As a beginner, NEVER use your hand to 'catch' yourself - always use your elbow/shoulder, and keep your hands on the bars where they belong!

You'll be able to 'bounce' yourself off the wall with your elbow and eventually ride along. An error most beginners who fail completely make is to start off by reaching out with the hand and grabbing the doorframe, which completely throws off their balance - you should already be skilled with rollers before reaching for stuff, let alone putting your weight onto your hand while riding.
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Old 04-15-11, 04:24 PM
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I tried to learn on my friend's rollers and knocked my wheels out of true
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Old 04-15-11, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac View Post
I bought a set of rollers over the winter and have been spectacularly unsuccessful at riding them... I'm sure it's mental for me as well, but I don't have a hallway in my condo that allows me lean if needed...
If you don't have a doorframe, have a friend or significant other hold your body upright while you ride. After a few minutes ask them to let go but hold each arm up about 6-12 inches from your body to "catch" you in case you totter. This works very well for those that don't have a doorway or don't feel comfortable enough letting go of the doorway and putting their hands on the bars.

If you do this for a few minutes I suspect you will feel more comfortable and be able to just ride alongside a wall, which is what I do now.
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Old 04-15-11, 05:51 PM
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If I can ride rollers, any clumsy oaf can do it.
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Old 04-15-11, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
If I can ride rollers, any clumsy oaf can do it.
Yes, but it does take a little getting used to.

Once you know how, it's like riding a bicycle...
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