Question: I’d like to ride rollers this winter but don’t know how to begin learning. Is there is a book that teaches technique? — Paul C.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: I’ve not heard of a book dedicated to riding rollers, but you don’t need one. It’s not hard when you know basic tips. Then you can train the same way you would on an indoor trainer or even out on the road.
For the first few sessions, set the rollers in a doorway so you can easily reach out to steady yourself. Use a moderate gear (not too low) and get a steady spin going, then try balancing without the help of the doorframe.
Once the wheels are up to speed, balance should come naturally, just like out on the road. You’ll quickly get the hang of it. The smoother your spin, the steadier you’ll be. That’s the big benefit of rollers — they ingrain a circular pedal stroke and equal power output from right and left legs.
Later, when you no longer need the doorway, you can put the rollers next to a wall or railing, or have a stool close enough so you can easily step onto it. You know you’re good when you can mount, ride and dismount the middle of an open area with no supports.
Remember, if you come off the rollers you won’t go flying across the room. There is no forward momentum. For safety, don’t set rollers near anything that would hurt if you toppled onto it — like a coffee table, TV or Fido the Wonderdog. Have fun!