Monday, December 10, 2007

Call me Crazy

I actually enjoy riding rollers. With familiar music piped directly into my brain I can ride the tempos it provides to get a well-planned workout. With less familiar music I can feel around for the right cadence. All the while the precarious balance forces me to spin smoothly.

Today I used the rollers to loosen up my legs after the first two days of Nordic skiing. Whatever you do to train before snow arrives, real skiing is different. Even on roller skis you don't steer your feet and balance quite the same way. Wheels on pavement track like wheels on pavement, without the constant minor (and sometimes major) wiggles and wobbles made by two sticks sliding over snow.

Steering and balancing muscles burn out quickly. My legs were thrashed after the first day and worse after the second. But nothing compares to the peace that saturates me after cross-country skiing. Every system of the body has had a beneficial workout. The specialized muscles will remember their roles soon enough. Meanwhile, the stiffness gives me a good reason to hop on the rollers.

The best roller music offers layered tempos in which a good riding cadence may not immediately be obvious. Heavily accented beats aren't good, because you want to pedal evenly. Flowing tunes make it easier to keep time only from the hips down. You don't want to be throwing your head and shoulders around or shaking your booty, unless you want to waggle and get launched (" 'scuse me while I kiss the wall...").

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