I Don’t Need To Bring Out The Rollers Quite Yet

11.23.2010 | 12:50 pm

Oh sure, there’s a blizzard warning today for where I live — with exciting phrases like “arctic front” and “4 to 8 inches of snow is likely late this afternoon through tonight.” But I’m pretty sure it’s just a passing thing.

Winter is not here to stay.

And, I suppose, you could make an argument that with tomorrow’s high of 15 degrees (fahrenheit), it may be time for me to consider my off-season cycling options.

But I would counter your argument with the fact that by Saturday, temperatures will be all the way back to a high of 41 degrees! That’s warmer than freezing! Practically balmy, if you ask me.

And, by the way, by “balmy,” I mean “mild and pleasant”, not “mentally irregular.” Just to be clear.

My point is, naturally, that there’s no special reason for me to get out my rollers and start riding them.

You feel the same, I’m sure (except those of you who live in climes which allow you to keep riding, in which case please trade houses with me for the next five months, please).

The following are additional reasons why I feel it is not yet necessary to consider riding my rollers:

  • Once I have begun, I must accept the fact that I will — more often than not — be riding rollers pretty much every day of the week for the next several months. And honestly, I just don’t think I can quite wrap my head around that fact quite yet.
  • My pants still fit. More or less. After I hand-stretch them and then do a couple of crouches. Which is good exercise anyways, right?
  • I do not yet have a TV series or movie trilogy I’m so excited about that it nullifies the daily dread I feel over the thought of another hour on the rollers.
  • It’s a good idea to take a break from riding a bike for a while — you know, actually stop riding. By doing that, you prevent yourself from burning out. And from overtraining. And…other stuff.
  • OK, fine. I just don’t want to. I really don’t.

Please feel free to use these as your reasons to not ride the rollers yet, as well. Furthermore, please help me out with your own compelling reasons why it’s not yet time to get out the rollers.

Together, I’m sure we can convince each other we’re right.


  1. Comment by rich | 11.23.2010 | 1:01 pm

    last winter I set up the trainer thinking it wouldn’t be so bad. I had no idea the sheer suckitude of riding a trainer….decided I’d rather do just about anything than ride a trainer. I ended up signing up for a series of spin classes which wasn’t quite as sucky, but still not great

  2. Comment by Clydesteve | 11.23.2010 | 1:39 pm

    I am right there with you, bro. Our current weather is like yours, but less snow, and temperatures closer to 32 – 33F. The exact temperature where the thin layer of ice on the road, along with the thin layer of snow, is at its’ slipperiest.

    I have mostly been in the reason #2 + #4 mode. OK, the #5 mode too.

    here is another reason – my roller / trainer bike currently has cyclocross tires on it, and I do not want to remove them, because those are the tires that actually work with a little snow, and, and, I don’t want to ride the other bike on the rollers because I might crash it, and I don’t want to put it on the mag trainer because, umm, because I think the trainer is hard on the wheel bearings?

    So I am really stuck in a dilemma where ‘do nothing’ is the only reasonable choice.

  3. Comment by Chris | 11.23.2010 | 1:43 pm

    Don’t ride rollers because it’s time to invest in a new bike and more gear that allows you to enjoy winter riding. This might also mean that you have to invent some or all of the needed equipment (giant climate bubble around your bike- think greenhouse). Don’t ride rollers because you need to be at the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Qatar to promote Livestrong. This requires training time in both places. I’m sure your company will give you time off for this if you wear a jersey with their logo on it (in small print below the Fatty Clydesdale). I’m sure your children would appreciate some international education as well. These are both very good and very realistic reasons to keep the rollers away.

  4. Comment by JP18D | 11.23.2010 | 2:03 pm

    It’s not time for Rollers yet, because it sunny, breezy and 60 degrees at the beach today in San Diego.

  5. Comment by axel in texas | 11.23.2010 | 2:04 pm

    cross training – xc skiing, snoeshoeing or ice skating (worked for eric heiden)
    the right bike – surly pugsley with the 4″ tires
    the snow bike http://www.gearysnowbikes.com/
    but not the dreaded rollers.

    …as if I knew something about that – it is 80 today.

  6. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 11.23.2010 | 2:05 pm

    I’m disappointed, Fatty. This blog just became slightly less educational. Regulars will know what I mean after reading:

    15 degrees Farenheit is
    -9.4 degrees Celsius and
    474.7 degrees Rankine and
    -7.6 degree Reaumur and
    263.7 kelvin.

  7. Comment by NYCCarlos | 11.23.2010 | 2:13 pm

    Rollers are dangerous too… that’s why I don’t ride’em… I’d rather not ride than risk injury and miss the real riding season…

  8. Comment by owen | 11.23.2010 | 2:40 pm

    Lions aren’t even mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet..its too early.

  9. Comment by VA Biker | 11.23.2010 | 2:49 pm

    Here’s best reason I’ve ever encountered as to not ride rollers (“ever”, not “yet”). There’s a CX race in the Mid-Atlantic called the Ed Sander Memorial. Poor guy died crashing off his rollers and through a glass table, to be found by his wife after his demise. Ugh.

  10. Comment by aussie kev | 11.23.2010 | 3:07 pm

    i rode rollers for our winter here (when the temp can drop as low as 0 degrees in the winter

    i watched weeds and strated watching lost. lost is huge i will finish it next winter (july)


  11. Comment by RANTWICK | 11.23.2010 | 3:09 pm

    Ride all winter baby. Studded tires, ugly mutant bike, lookin’ like a total freak yourself, the whole deal. It is awesome.

  12. Comment by PaulScarlett | 11.23.2010 | 3:13 pm

    Hey Fatty
    Come down under, in Melbourne today it is about 85F (30C) – even in winter in lowest we get is 41F (5C). Like most of my riding buddies, I don’t even own rollers and I can ride almost 365 days a year. Oprah is doing it, why no you?

  13. Comment by Jacob | 11.23.2010 | 3:20 pm

    How about a list on what to watch whole riding rollers. Are 20-30 cm of snows in Denmark in the coming days.

  14. Comment by Allison Plantation FL | 11.23.2010 | 3:28 pm

    Hey Fatty! No need for rollers here in S. Florida… ever! It was in the 80’s today. I do have a great Showtime series for you… Dexter! Very simply, it’s about a serial killer (that you actually grow to love) that satisfies his urges in a good way by killing very bad people. Excellent series! Season 5 is in progress now. The first 4 are available On Demand or on DVD. I brought my DVDs to work and my fellow firefighters became obsessed! Have fun! By the way, the star of the show, Michael C. Hall, recently battled non-hodgkins lymphoma and is doing well.

  15. Comment by Josh | 11.23.2010 | 3:31 pm

    I’m not riding rollers yet and that’s because I’m still riding outside despite the fact that we hit -34C yesterday here. I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, probably -100 or something like that.

  16. Comment by DanO | 11.23.2010 | 3:43 pm

    You could be me, and limited to a trainer, not even rollers! I WISH I could be outside, it’s above frezzing here, but not by much! On the other hand, the Doctor says I am doing great with the new stem cells. So I’ll take riding the trainer for the next several months, even when it is nice enough to ride outside.

  17. Comment by Brian | 11.23.2010 | 4:00 pm

    Rule #1 it is never to cold to bike outside
    Rule #2 When it is too cold add a layer and see Rule #1

  18. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 11.23.2010 | 4:16 pm

    Season 8 of 24 doesn’t come out until Dec 16th. Take the time off until then.

  19. Comment by Geo | 11.23.2010 | 4:16 pm

    Can’t use any of your excuses. It’s 80 here in Texas today and, though it will get chilly for a couple days later in the week, it should be in the 70s again by Sunday so no roller, just rolling.

  20. Comment by Genaro | 11.23.2010 | 4:20 pm

    I am in New Jersey and it is still too nice out to break out the trainer. This is the time of year when you can not count on the weatherman’s forecast. One day is sunny and warm and the next its dreary and cold. You can not win. Until I see five straight days of freezing temps, I am going to keep cycling my butt off.

  21. Comment by JeffyJeff | 11.23.2010 | 5:27 pm

    The cats and dog all find the whirring of the back wheel while on rollers to be something akin to audible catnip – all the pets gather around while I am training indoors. In order to avoid any accidental amputations I have opted to put the rollers on a high shelf, far away from the prying eyes of the furry creatures.

  22. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 11.23.2010 | 6:27 pm

    Since you’re planning marathons in 2011, get on a Dreadmill instead.

  23. Comment by Martin | 11.23.2010 | 6:31 pm

    Come on… What is this roller thing?

    It is possible to ride 12 months non stop.

    As the saying goes “There’s not such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”

    Get out there.
    I have never ever been cold on a bike.
    If we do it (in Canada, with a lot of snow, and in as low as -4 to -10 Farhenheit temperatures), you surely can do it! Stop complaining.

    (And enough with this weight thing. When we eat right and do the amount of sport that you do, weight should be far from a problem. Ahh, the religion of Appearance!)

    And please excuse my english.

  24. Comment by Bragger | 11.23.2010 | 6:32 pm

    Add it to the growing list of reasons I love, love, love living in the South. I don’t even own rollers! (Okay, I admit it. When it gets too cold, I just don’t ride.)

  25. Comment by Yahoo!Rob | 11.23.2010 | 7:04 pm

    I moved to California for the sole reason that rollers scare me. I can’t stay on the damn things without slipping off, racking my ‘boys’ and having my wife find me in a grotesque quasi-compromising position with my bike (while still clipped into my pedals!!)

  26. Comment by Loco88 | 11.23.2010 | 7:36 pm

    I have a great excuse I don’t own rollers. Unfortunately I do own a trainer which is worse

  27. Comment by Luc | 11.23.2010 | 8:30 pm

    I live in Miami and you can ride here 365 days a year, if you don’t mind a little rain every now and then. There’s a reason Lebron took his talents to South Beach after all.

  28. Comment by Uncle Pete | 11.23.2010 | 8:35 pm

    I echo one other above…

    You’ve got to learn to love sliding around when its cold outside, Ski!

    (of course then you always get that wonderful transition of remembering that skiing and biking really do use different muscles…)

  29. Comment by roan | 11.23.2010 | 8:51 pm

    Seriously Fatty I know that you will never need to use rollers. Look in the mirror, there not enough there to even think rollers, besides you don’t stand a chance getting close to Runner’s or the twins.
    I would suggest a tatoo that enhances the tan lines from your favorite helmet. Thus you will have the endless summer.

  30. Comment by Lonster | 11.23.2010 | 9:05 pm

    Rule #9:

  31. Comment by MrDaveyGie | 11.23.2010 | 9:11 pm

    Two words. “Snow Bikes”

    MukLuk http://salsacycles.com/bikes/mukluk/

    Pugsly http://surlybikes.com/bikes/pugsley_complete/

    FatBack http://speedwaycyclesak.com/pages/fatback.php

  32. Comment by Doug (way upstaye NY) | 11.23.2010 | 9:55 pm

    Riding in snow is fun. Especially when it hits you in the face when you are going 30 mph……..

  33. Comment by Gary W. | 11.23.2010 | 10:38 pm

    Think bigger: Buy a very expensive motorhome or an old cycling team tour bus. Put a video camera on the front to capture a view of the road and install your rollers and a big-screen TV in the rear. Convince (or pay, if that’s what it takes) a friend to drive it on your favorite road loop while you ride the rollers in comfort. Make nachos in the kitchenette. It’s even got a bathroom. Problem solved.

    Market it. You have the clout and the connections. Make a fortune. Send me half.

  34. Comment by SMK | 11.24.2010 | 3:19 am

    You ask us to help plan your 2011.
    You (understandably) hate the cold.
    It sounds to me like fate is guiding you to South Australia in January.
    Lance’s last race. Cav vs Farrar vs Griepel. Fantastic rides every day, and all the stages within riding distance.
    Vineyards. Cooper’s beer. WARMTH.
    Come on down! You know you want to.

  35. Comment by Jacob | 11.24.2010 | 5:12 am

    @ SMK
    I know I want to. Uhmm Coopers.

  36. Comment by MattC | 11.24.2010 | 7:42 am

    Fatty, you disappoint me. Don’t you read Jills blog? (Up in Alaska, even though she is currently in Missoula)

    Good gods man…Jill can’t even SPELL rollers…I’m quite sure she would just as soon cut off a foot as don rollers. Winter riding…I used to live in North Chicago. Come the chilly days, put on the studded tires and warm clothes (change out the pedals for either toe-clips or the big straps..can’t remember the name but they work GREAT). Your FattyFly is perfect…no suspension or gears to get gobbed up w/ now and sluch…simple is a good thing in bitter cold. And hot chocolate never tasted so good as it does after an hour or 2 out in the snow. Of course, I live in Cali now…cuz I’ve had my share of cold days. My trainer is permanently welded into the attic, never to return. Man up and get out there on the bike anyway. Rollers schmollers.

  37. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 11.24.2010 | 8:34 am

    I’ve ridden the rollers only once so far this winter, but that will change soon. Sure you can ride around on snow covered roads when it’s below zero, but you can’t do any worthwhile training. I hope to make some DIY e-motion rollers this year. Look it up on Youtube.

  38. Comment by MikeL | 11.24.2010 | 10:24 am

    We have a lot of road grit, sand, and other stuff on the highways after the last few weeks here in WY. Riding the trainer or rollers saves me having to hose the bike off and clean it in sub freezing temperatures. I also don’t have to worry about the additional resistance training from the wind.

  39. Comment by Matt | 11.24.2010 | 10:54 am

    Just got a new (to me) Pugsley…no rollers this winter for me.

  40. Comment by steve | 11.24.2010 | 11:07 am

    As suggested before by various commentators, nordic skate skiing. IMHO it has more in common with biking then running does.
    Link below by tallsteve (mtn biker, fatcyclist reader, neophyte skate skier) discusses groomed trails right up your beloved American Fork Canyon.

  41. Comment by lkb3 | 11.24.2010 | 11:30 am

    Move to Cleveland and buy a season pass to Rays MTB Park.

  42. Comment by doszpi | 11.24.2010 | 12:14 pm

    Nasdag I agree, I also spi classes I attend. But do not buy it, but I’m the instructor

  43. Comment by oilcanracer | 11.24.2010 | 12:23 pm

    i agree, its not that cold and although i got the pugsley rollin in the snow and the studded tires on the jet9, i secretly(to my other bikes) have kept the 29er single speed at the ready for lower trails and quick snow melt days!!

  44. Comment by Lord Adamantine Sedgepig | 11.26.2010 | 5:53 am

    Why, if you ride on your rollers (I assume some mechanical training device rather than large oceanic waves) every day do you put on so much weight over winter?

  45. Comment by Alexandre Cruz | 11.26.2010 | 8:06 pm

    Hey Fatty, hi guys!
    I know we don’t produce a vast crop of riders, but still, imagine yourselves on a land were you can ride the whole year… I’m talking about Brazil my friends.
    Look at this vid shot last Sunday, November, 21st. The departure of a climbing race from Santo Antonio do Pinhal to Campos do Jordão, temperature aroud the nineties, lot of greenish landscapes… a beauty.
    Tks for watching,

  46. Comment by JenJen | 11.30.2010 | 5:25 pm

    Yeah, going to be hitting the trainer tomorrow for sure. At least 1hr a day.

  47. Comment by Jennie | 12.3.2010 | 11:52 am

    I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need rollers ’cause I could just run rather than bike ’til it’s warm enough to bike… then I realized I don’t like running in the cold. So, I’ve now moved on to pretending that yoga is cardio… yoga is conveniently indoors where it’s warm and it’s not nearly so awful as rollers. If I go to the yoga studio and do “hot yoga” I sweat enough that I can pretend it’s a real workout.

  48. Comment by Brandon | 12.26.2010 | 7:10 pm

    I agree. To this day, Saturdays have still been good road riding down on the south county roads. Lots of open roads between the fields.

  49. Comment by Angie | 03.29.2011 | 11:19 am

    I’m almost current! I’m almost current! Naaneenaaneepoopoo!


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