I allowed myself to be cajoled into a set of clipless pedals this spring (the brand name escapes me, for the moment, but they're your standard egg-beaters). I took the Jake inside and put it back on the trainer, where I spent an hour or so fiddling with cleat adjustment. Once I was comfortable and had some confidence in my technique, I took the bike for a spin. Once again, actual riding revealed that my cleat placement needed further attention.
Also: no matter how much you practice releasing yourself from those nifty pedals, when it's crisis time you'll still be caught off guard. Or maybe you won't, but I certainly was. My sister visiting from Ottawa was there to see it all happen. As were the occupants of a van, two cars, a dirt bike and an ATV. I figured it was best to let everybody clear the intersection before I took the corner, so I unhooked my right foot and set it down. Unfortunately, as the traffic slowly moved by my balance shifted to my left foot which was still hooked into its pedal. "It was kind of like watching it in slow-motion," said my sister.
It's been three weeks now, and the scab has finally come off. I can't believe children weather skinned knees with such a complete lack of concern -- mine was inconveniencing me at the strangest times, with considerable discomfort. I've probably learned a lesson or two, but I'm not yet sure whether they relate to clip-less pedals. I understand that once everything is adjusted to perfection you can't beat their utility. But for now my personal jury is still out: I still miss shifting my feet around, inefficient though that "freedom" might be.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I apologize for the iron hand approach, but I'm subjecting all comments to my personal approval, because this blog is getting walloped with off-shore weirdness. But don't let that dissuade you from saying something pertinent. If it's worth saying, it's worth posting.