First roller races start on Thursday, Jan 9. For those returning, they know the drill. After all, it’s been pretty much the same for some 20 years now! Thanks, Joyce and John and the Gang at Pedal Power!
For those who have not tried this, read on. The only way to become a smooth, stable rider on the road and in a pack is to practice riding rollers. You know, those three rolling drums mounted on a set of rails, with a long band keeping the front one turning to allow you to balance. It is very intimidating at first–at least until you forget that you’re not going anywhere. You simply balance, just as you would on the road, but in a smooth, straight line. Riding faster actually makes it easier.
Although some people attach resistance units to make the workout harder, that is not necessary. In fact, you’re probably better off not doing that. Rollers is about smooth pedal motion, not power (power workouts are best done using a stationary trainer that you clamp around your bike.) Working smooth pedal motion is a much-neglected part of training, and there really is no other practical way to master this. Just remember this when you start group riding in the Spring: you will be able to tell instantly which riders have been riding rollers and which ones haven’t, based on their squirreliness.
You don’t have a set of rollers? Come on down anyway. There are plenty at Pedal Power, and a lot of folks bring their own sets along to warm up. We’ll get your riding the first night–guaranteed!
Once your get comfortable riding them, you’ll get a chance to get timed on 500m, 1km or 2km sprints, either by yourself or against up to three other riders at once, thanks to the gizmos and software that Katherine Snell has assembled. Progress and results are displayed on a full screen in front of the rollers. To make things fair, there is a gear restriction (rollout is 25’3″ maximum, ideally 51×14 for 700c wheels) so that the only way to lower your time for the set distance is to pedal faster! Despite the no-load, you will never see your heart rate go higher than at the end of one of a 1km sprint!
So bring your road bike, shoes, shorts, a T-shirt and a towel to Pedal Power on Thursday evenings and watch your progress throughout the Winter. We usually go next door for a light dinner (pizza if you want!) and some great bike talk.
Thursdays from 6:00~8:00pm (late arrivals are fine, as long as we clear out by 8:00)
Pedal Power Bike and Ski
176 Great Road (Rts 2A-119) (2 miles west of the Concord Rotary, across from the Chevy dealer)