Him: Get up on the bike then.
Her: How do I do it? I've got nothing to balance on. The bike will fall over.
Him: No it won't, you'll be fine.
Her: Come closer so I can lean on you.
(He moves closer)
Her: Come closer, you're not close enough!! I need you to hold me!
Him: I'm there !!
(She climbs onto the bike with difficulty)
Her: Oh my God, the back wheel's sliding around. It's like I'm skidding. I can't do this !
(She quickly gets off.)
Her: Ok - I'm really scared, I don't know if I can do this.
Him: What are you gonna do, d'you wanna take it back and get a refund?
Her: I'll try again.
Him: Hang on. Let's move the furniture around.
(They clear the dining table to another part of the room.)
Him: Right - now move the bike forward, step on the stand.....get the bike into position and climb on.
Him: Just lean on the wall and climb on.
Her: Can't I lean on you?
Him: No, it's easier if you lean on the wall.
Her: I need you to be there and catch me. Are you watching ??? Be ready just in case I fall !!
Him: Look, I'm here. Calm down!
(She struggles to climb on, then places her feet on the pedals.)
Her: What do I do now ?
Him: Start pedalling with one hand on the handlebars and put the other hand on the wall for balance.
Her: Oh God, this doesn't feel good.
Him: You need to pedal faster than that.
Him: Don't look down, focus on something ahead and just learn to feel the bike. Relax.
Her: I can't relax. This is really scary.
Him: Keep pedalling, and feel the steering, as the bike moves.
Her: Steering, are you joking??
Him: Just learn to balance the steering with the movements of the bike. Try it.
(She steers the handlebars to the right.)
Her: Aaagh!! F**ck!!
(She clumsily jumps off, almost falls but is caught.)
Her: (panting)Bl**dy hell what did you ask me to do that for??
Him: I only meant a gentle movement. And anyway there was no damage done. I caught you.
Her: Don't ask me to do that again.
Him: Look, have another go.
Her: I really don't want to. I'm tired and stressed out.
Him: Just have another go. Just try 30 seconds.
Her: Ok - but only 30 seconds, right.
(She gets back on and very hesitantly starts pedalling while holding the wall.)
30 seconds later.......
Her: This doesn't feel too bad.
Him: D'you like it now?
Her: Not sure, but it's not as scary. Just don't go away. Stay close by.
Him: See if you can do 2minutes.
1 min later.....
Her: I'm tired, it must be two minutes now. Are you messing with me? I'm just gonna stop anyway if you are.
Him: No, carry on. You're doing well.
(Almost 2mins later....)
Him: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,
Her: Aaaagh!!! Bl**dy hell,
(She falls into the wall)
Her: Where were you??
Him: Hmm it's not easy getting on and off these things. Anyway, how do you feel?
Her: (Panting and sweating.) That's it now, two minutes is enough. I'm so knackered -it's not the pedalling. It's all my arms and upper body! That is so stressful!
Whoever said parabolic rollers make it easy for beginners should be shot - my ar$e!
So, that was my first foray into the world of rollers. I like riding them now. I'm still not very graceful, but I can get on and off them unassisted, and I don't need anyone to be standing watching me the whole time. It reminds me of when I learnt to ride a two wheeler bicycle all those decades ago. (Though I remember the temper tantrums lasted over a few weeks !)
I can already feel that riding rollers is making a difference to my sense of balance on the bike, and also my pedalling, so I'll definitely be sticking with it. (Though, I still won't ditch the turbo trainer.)
Some people who don't have rollers may be put off getting them after reading this. Don't be - many people will have tried them for the first time and picked up the technique within minutes. (Fred did.) Also, once you're riding them, as with anything that you learn on a conditioned reflex you quickly forget what all the fuss was about and it becomes second nature.
Happy Training, my friends !