With the signs of spring already upon us (pic is crocus from our yard) it is high time for me to start my ride prep. I had originally planned to start sooner, but ride partner was having difficulty with getting the time off for it. That didn’t stop me from buying a set of rollers to try and get some time on the bike over the winter. Unfortunately, I never got around until recently to putting those rollers to use. I blamed it on not knowing for sure that the trip was going to happen, but truth of the matter is that I was a little intimidated by them. Go on youtube and search for “bike roller fails” and you’ll quickly understand. I do have a bike trainer that I could be using, but it just gets too monotonous for me and I can never force myself beyond 40-45 minutes. I was hoping that the rollers would be more interesting, and turns out they are…
My first attempt to ride on them didn’t go well. I set the rollers up by a post in the basement and held onto it until I thought I was starting to get a feel for it. I let go once I felt stable, but only last a few seconds before crashing. Yes, crashing. I went down hard, with my left wrist taking the brunt of it. Fortunately I was smart enough to wear my helmet (don’t want a #TBI) because I did hit my head as well. (Did you know that every time you crash on a bike and hit your head/helmet you need to replace it? It absorbs force of impact by breaking, and even if you don’t see the cracks, safety is compromised if you continue to use it. So please, buy new after a crash. Some helmets you can get a discount/prorated when doing this.) My wrist, and pride, was hurt enough, that I called it quits for that attempt.
A couple of days later I tried again. I watched a few videos online and realized my biggest mistake was looking down at the front wheel instead of 10ft ahead. I also put the rollers in a more enclosed area where I had support on both sides of me, just in case. Fortunately, it wasn’t needed as I was successful in my attempt. Focusing ahead of the bike instead of the front wheel did the trick. Focusing on front wheel leads to over correcting when first starting out. By focusing ahead of me, my corrections were more gentle and I was riding with confidence very quickly.
I know riding on the rollers won’t properly prepare me for this summer’s ride, but I don’t have enough time during the school year to get many miles in out on the road, and this at least gets me used to being on the bike and still gives me a good workout. One step closer to the ride, and I’m getting excited.
**To donate to the ride (I’m fully funding ride, all money goes to #TBI): https://www.crowdrise.com/transam-ride-4-tbi **(see below)
**When making donations you have the option to pay the transaction fee and have all of your donation go to #TBI BIAofNYS, or have it taken out of your donation. They charge 10% if you pay transaction, but only take 5% of donation if you don’t pay it. I recommend if you want to pay transaction, so “all money” goes to to #TBI, that you just include an extra 5% in your donation (multiply amount you want to donate by 1.05) instead of selecting option to pay it yourself. That way the you pay less for the transaction, AND you can claim it in your taxes. So for $20 donation, multiply by 1.05 gives you a donation of $21 ($20 to TBI, $1 for fee) and you can claim it all on taxes.
Special thanks to Nikki Stang for helping promote my on her blog, “My Traumatic Brain Injury”