Sunday, September 20, 2009
I've known this day would come, but I had been dreading it. I call myself a cyclist, but I was using old fashioned pedals. I knew the clipless pedals would help improve my efficiency, but I'd heard so many stories about people crashing as they got used to the pedals. I didn't mind crashing, but I was afraid of hurting something, read that break something, which would mean I couldn't ride. So I wanted to finish the biking season before I made the move.
But then the men I bike with started making fun of me. Which was, of course, too much to take. So I decided that if I was going to break something, it would be better to have the winter to recover, then lose riding time in the Spring.
So yesterday, I went out and got my pedals and shoes. (Unfortunately, they didn't have any pink shoes which I wanted to show the boys that I am proud to "ride like a girl.") But they did have these cool white ones with red stripes! The local bike shop guy must have thought I was doomed. He put me on the trainer, and I had so much trouble clipping and unclipping, but he sent me out saying, "It's easier on the road." and "People say it's the pedals when they crash, but when we ask questions, it becomes clear it was something else."
I'd already done 50 yesterday, so I was fine to put off the big ride until today. I went out, cleaned the bike--delaying the ride. I first tried to practice in the back yard, but it wasn't big enough to have time to clip in. So I finally decided that I had to hit the road. I put the cell phone in a pocket, so that I could call the ambulance when needed, and set out.
It was great, the local bike shop guy was right, it was easier on the road. I found that the shoes clipped in automatically. I probably unclipped early for stops, but that was fine too. I don't think I added any speed, but I didn't lose any either and my starts were a little slow because I wanted to be sure I was clipped in right, and as noted my stops were early because of unclipping. No problems whatsoever!
And I looked cool too!!!