You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I rode my friends rollers a few times in my teens but gave up on them in favor of the new craze of  “Turbo” trainers. Turbo trainers clamped your forks and you couldn’t fall off no matter how hard you tried. I never rode the rollers again until I was 21 where I entered the East Riding division roller racing championships.

Roller racing my way to a bronze medal.

The good thing about roller racing was that someone held you up so all you had to do was pedal, really hard. I was a bit of a sprinter demon at the time (I know I don’t exactly look like one) and managed to get a bronze medal for my efforts.

Fast forward 27 years and I was suddenly presented with a dilemma on how I was going to warm up for time trials on my fixed gear bike where the roads were not suitable.  In a mad impulse I purchased a pair of rollers and thought how hard could they be.  Unfortunately for me I have been plagued by sinus problems for the last 9 months and this seems to have had some negative impact on my balance.

My first attempt at riding the rollers was absolutely comical and terrifying at the same time. The worst thing you can do on rollers is stiffen up and I ended up frozen rigid with fear. It was my first time riding my new fixed gear project bike too and it took me a while to have the courage to let go of the wall for fear of falling off and scratching it.   In total I did about 10 minutes and that was enough for one night.

Next day I got up early before work and had another go. This dog was going to learn this new trick come hell or high water.  This time I got going pretty quickly and managed a full 20 minutes without any serious wobbles.  I still don’t feel at ease on this strange contraption but hopefully on tomorrows session I will see the same level of progress and by the Dunlap TT on Sunday I will be an expert 🙂


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