I never realized how much fun losing weight could be until I started using them. I will confess that during the winter months I tend to go “Bear”; in other words I usually like to sleep a lot and just act plain lazy. The summer months on the other hand are quite different. I will take long bike rides and in doing so try to turn off the world’s problems.

A friend of mine recently recommended a device that I could use that would allow me to ride my bike indoors and he added that “it isn’t the stationary bike type that you may be thinking about either”. OK, I was intrigued to say the least so I looked into what “Rollers” were and found out that they could be used as a new twist for me to lose weight by exercising.

Rollers 101

So I did a bit of research on what rollers were, and to be honest, they looked quite simple really. There are different types available but they all do the same thing. The unit comes with 3 drums (usually pvc or aluminum), two of which your back tire sits between and then the third which is used to drive your front wheel. The rear drums (i.e. rollers) are attached to the front one via some type of belt.

What Do You Do With Them

The idea with rollers is that through pedalling, you are driving your rear tire which is in contact with the rear rollers which are in contact with the font rollers which in turn spins your front tire. Believe me, it is more complicated to explain than it is to actually just use them. Since your front tire is spinning, you now have control of your bike and you can literally ride just like you would if you were on the road.

Tough At First

The toughest part about using rollers is actually getting on your bike and then starting to pedal. There are hundreds of videos online showing “newbie” roller users trying to start and get their balance initially. They make great videos because they usually involve a crash of some sort; funny but not all that dangerous. If you ride off your rollers, your tires stop immediately and the rider will tend to just fall over (unlike the road – Ouch!).

Pretend You Are On The Road

If you can ride a bike, then you can ride these. My suggestion for first starting out is to place them between a door way or beside something that you can grab for balance purposes. Get onto your bike and then sit on it while holding yourself upright using the wall (or whatever else you are using for balance). Place your feet on the pedals and place one of your hands on the front bars while holding yourself up with the other. Now the fun begins.

Slowly start to spin the pedals and concentrate on keeping your front wheel as straight as possible.

The faster you pedal, the easier it will be to keep your balance (no different than the road). Now slowly remove the other hand from the wall and place it on the bars. You are now riding rollers.

As you ride, try and focus your attention ahead of you and try not to look down too much. I have found that looking ahead gives you much better balance than constantly looking at how your wheels are doing. As your balance improves, you should experiment with shifting gears noticing how speed affects your balance while you ride. When you get really good, you can even get up off your seat and try pedalling like you are going uphill.

Your Bike Skills Will Improve Immensely

If you regularly ride your bike rollers over the winter, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to actually ride on the road. Besides being fun, riding these is also a great way to lose weight exercising. I know it has worked wonders for me.

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