What are rollers. Exercise takes over

Is it too late to talk about Christmas presents?

My Christmas present, the one I got myself, has kept me so busy, I’ve hardly had time for anything else in the evenings. No, I’m not talking about the new Call of Duty game (even the Black Ops have more or less fallen by the way side) or the American Idol DVD box set (as if I would watch it). What I got for myself was a set of Travel Trac Inertial Rollers.

If you’ve never seen or heard of rollers, they are like a treadmill for your bike. Unlike your traditional bike trainers, which lock in the rear wheel and keep the bike stationary and supported, the rollers don’t secure your bike. The back wheel goes in between the 2 rear rollers, the front wheel — on top of the front roller. That’s it. It is up to you to keep yourself upright and balanced. Since the rollers use centrifugal force to keep you upright, the faster you pedal, the easier it is to keep your balance. Your speed and / or your cadence is beginning to drop, you begin to drop, too.

Most rollers don’t provide any resistance, but this specific set has adjustable inertial resistance, which comes pretty close to giving you the feel of riding on a real road.

Another advantage of rollers is that they force you to maintain proper form while riding: perfectly smooth, even and balanced. One rough move and you can fly off the side, which is something that I did a few times at the beginning. The first few times on the rollers were a nerve-wracking experience: holding onto the handlebars for dear life, afraid to so much as shift gears lest I lose my balance. But now, after using them regularly for almost 2 moths, I feel like I’ve got it: balance and control are not a problem anymore.

And the results are amazing. I feel stronger and better on a bike than ever. Can’t wait to see how this will translate into performance on the open road.