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I never realized how much fun losing weight could be until I started using them. I will confess that during the winter months I tend to go “Bear”; In other words, I usually like to sleep a lot and just act lazy. The summer months, on the other hand, are quite different. I will take long bike rides and in doing so I will try to turn off the world’s problems.

A friend recently recommended a device that I could use that would allow me to ride my bike indoors, adding that “it’s not the kind of exercise bike you’re thinking of either.” Okay, I was intrigued to say the least, so I took a look at what “Rollers” were and found that they could be used as a new twist on weight loss with exercise.

Inline skates 101

So I did a little research on what the rollers were and to be honest they actually looked pretty simple. There are different types available, but they all do the same. The unit comes with 3 drums (usually pvc or aluminum), two of which are between the rear rim and then the third which is used to drive the front wheel. The rear drums (that is, the rollers) are attached to the front one via some kind of strap.

What do you do with them

The idea with the rollers is that through pedaling, you are driving your rear tire which is in contact with the rear rollers which are in contact with the source rollers which in turn spins your front tire. Believe me, it is more complicated to explain than just using them. Since your front tire is spinning, you are now in control of your bike and can literally ride like you would if you were on the road.

Hard at first

The hardest part of using rollers is getting on the bike and then starting pedaling. There are hundreds of videos online showing “novice” reel users trying to get started and initially earn their balance. They make great videos because they usually involve an accident of some kind; funny but not so dangerous. If it comes off the rollers, the tires stop immediately and the rider will tend to fall (unlike on the road, yikes!).

Pretend you’re on the road

If you can ride a bike, you can. My suggestion to start first is to place them between a door or next to something you can grab for balance. Get on your bike and then sit back while standing upright using the wall (or whatever else you’re using for balance). Place your feet on the pedals and place one of your hands on the front bars while supporting yourself with the other. Now the fun begins.

Begin turning the pedals slowly and focus on keeping the front wheel as straight as possible.

The faster you pedal, the easier it will be to balance (no different than the road). Now slowly remove your other hand from the wall and place it on the bars. You are now mounting rollers.

While driving, try to focus your attention in front of you and try not to look too far down. I found that looking ahead gives you much better balance than constantly looking at how your wheels are going. As your balance improves, you should experiment with shifting gears and notice how speed affects your balance while driving. When you get really good, you can even get out of your seat and try pedaling like you’re going uphill.

Your bike skills will improve tremendously

If you regularly ride the rollers on your bike during the winter, you will be surprised how easy it is to do on the road. Besides being fun, riding them is also a great way to lose weight with exercise. I know it has worked wonders for me.

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