'Bents on Rollers

From: Byron Simms

A few more tips for those brave souls out there who may be interested in attempting to ride their recumbents on rollers, rather than those boring, noisy wind or mag trainers.
First of all, set yourself up near a stationary object on one side; a workbench, table, or even a wall that already needs a paint job anyway.
Place a milk crate or low footstool on either side, so you'll have a surface to put a foot down in mounting/dismounting and panic stops or "derailments".
Next, you'll need a fan set up a few feet in front of the rollers, preferably one that has a floor stand that will blow right at you as you are riding. If possible, rig it up so that you can control the fan speed while you are riding; when you first start out you won't need it at all, but after 10 minutes or so you'll want to have it blowing pretty good to keep you from melting. I have mine plugged into a Powerstat (light dimmer) at arm's length away, and I gradually increase the fan speed as I warm up. It works great!
Also, it's a good idea to have a mirror placed directly in front of you on the far wall, preferably no wider than the rollers themselves. This will aid in keeping you centered between the roller rails, as it's difficult to look down and see them while riding most 'bents. The mirror helps a lot in keeping you "on track"- if your reflection is moving off center in the mirror, you know you're headed for trouble.
To avert the blinding boredom that comes with all indoor training, have some music playing, and invest in a heart-rate monitor. Playing head games with myself doing intervals will usually get me through 30+ minutes, which is really all you need. I tried watching TV a few times, but found my mind wandering too much and wipeouts were more frequent.
All this sounds like a lot of work, I know, but it has helped me stick to some kind of regular training schedule for going on 5 winters now. And rollers really are great for developing a smooth spin, which is even more important on a recumbent than a wedgie. And after a few months of riding rollers, "holding your line" on that first morning commute in morning traffic will seem easy by comparison.


Thursday, 29 January 2009