Saturday, March 6, 2010


Once upon a time, about 6 years ago, I rode Mug's new bike home from school for her. I didn't realize that the brakes might need to be adjusted; when I barely touched them, I did a spectacular endo directly in front of two people I knew well. I swear, that was the worst part. Well, that and my elbow. I took off a major hunk of it, and I must say.. healing up a body part that is constantly bending is not a fast or easy proposition.

So this brings us to this very day. Spring fever abounds, and there were absolutely loads of people out riding today. I was really excited because after picking up some shoes from MEC, we went to see the Bike Bros in Cochrane to retrieve my Cannondale. I wanted to upgrade my bike somewhat, and had new grips installed, switched to a clipless pedal system and also switched tires from commuter to slicks. Graham told me that the tire switch lightened the bike by 2 (rotational) lbs. After we got home I put the bike up on the fluid trainer and practiced clipping and unclipping my shoes to the bike.

Goes like this (on the trainer): Pedal. See imaginary stop sign. Unclip right foot. Apply brakes. Slightly steer towards right foot and lower unclipped foot to the ground. Raise left, clipped foot somewhat. Step down with same foot, creating motion; meanwhile clip right foot.

I had read quite a few clipless pedal threads on Team Estrogen, and asked my friend Jen for her input and suggestions. It was difficult and frustrating at first, but after a while things improved. I decided to take my show on the road.

Would have been really excellent if my natural motion was to step down with the right foot when I stop. Turns out that I'm a left foot stopper.

Same elbow. Matching knee. That's my bike seat you see above... I didn't love it in the first place, so no biggie. No broken bones, just some missing skin, lots of aches and pains and a butt shiner. I learned something important:

Failure to unclip = Ass over tea kettle.

I'd talk about knitting, but everything I knitted on the Orenburg today needs to be frogged because I somehow missed a rest row, so I'm zigging when I should be zagging.

Failure to purl =

Well, you know.


Trish said...

My clipless pedals are at home, tucked safely away in my garage. Scary things, those. Big hugs.

I bet, being a much better (and braver woman than me), you will jump back on and ride away into the night (we all know how you like to daredevil ride in the dark, maybe naked?) and conquer your pedals.

Get better now. xoxo.

random Cindy said...

I love you.

Anne B. said...

Don't give up! 30% higher power going uphill with those things. The first summer I put them on my mountain bike I was black and blue from hip to toe on both sides. But after awhile, you train yourself, and clipping out becomes very natural. Are they as loose as they can be? I run mine very, very loose so that I can get out quick!

Annie said...

I have to admit that I'm pretty scared... That was a really gentle fall, and I hurt from head to toe. I didn't unclip when I fell, so there I was... like some kind of carp under the bike. I have 'Look, Quartz' and they don't seem to be adjustable, or I would really go with a loose fit. I can 'float' tho, and I like that. I think. It's easy to forget that you're clipped. I just cleaned by bedroom instead of riding.. so I'm that kind of uncomfortable. Tomorrow tho.. tomorrow I'll ride for sure.

and Jacinda, my girl.. it is so totally mutual. xoxoxo

shhhhh about the naked daredevil rides.