I never realized how much fun losing weight could be until I started using them. I confess that during the winter months I tend to go “Bear”; in other words, i usually like to sleep a lot and just act lazy. The summer months, on the other hand, are quite different. I will take long bike rides and in doing so I will try to put out the world’s problems.
A friend of mine recently recommended a device I could use that would allow me to cycle indoors, adding that it’s “not the type of stationary bike you may be thinking of, either.” OK, I was intrigued to say the least, so I researched what “Rollers” were and found that they could be used as a new twist on losing weight by working out.
Inline Skates 101
So I did some research on what rollers were and to be honest they actually seemed pretty simple. 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 are placed between the rear tire and then the third used to drive the front wheel. The rear drums (ie rollers) are attached to the front by some kind of belt.
What do you do with them
The idea with the rollers is that through pedaling you drive the rear tire which is in contact with the rear rollers which are in contact with the front rollers which in turn spin the front tire. Trust me, it’s more complicated to explain than just using them. Since the front tire spins, you are now in control of the bike and can literally ride as you would if you were on the road.
hard at first
The hardest part of using rollers is getting on the bike and then starting to pedal. There are hundreds of videos online showing “newbie” roller users trying to get started and get their balance up front. They make great videos because they usually involve some sort of glitch; fun but not so dangerous. If you go off the rollers, the tires stop immediately and the rider will tend to fall over (unlike on the road, yikes!).
Pretend you’re in the way
If you can ride a bike then you can ride these. My suggestion for getting started for the first time is to place them between a door or next to something you can grab for balance. Get on your bike and then sit on it while holding yourself upright using the wall (or whatever else you’re using for balance). Place your feet on the pedals and place one of your hands on the front bars while holding on with the other. Now the fun begins.
Start slowly turning the pedals and focus on keeping the front wheel as straight as possible.
The faster you pedal, the easier it will be to keep your balance (just like on the road). Now slowly remove your other hand from the wall and place it on the bars. Now you are riding skates.
While driving, try to focus your attention in front of you and try not to look too far down. I have found that looking ahead gives you much better balance than constantly looking at your wheels. As your balance improves, you should experiment with changing gears and noticing how speed affects your balance as you drive. When you get really good at it, you can even get up out of your seat and try to pedal like you’re going uphill.
Your bike skills will improve enormously
If you regularly ride your roller bike in the winter, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to ride on the road. In addition to being fun, riding these is also a great way to lose weight through exercise. I know it has worked wonders for me.