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I'm clipless!

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!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you!!! What a big step! It’s not easy but it makes such a big difference in the long run!

    My first clipless ride was great until I noticed that my husband, who had been way ahead, had stopped in a little town for a quick break. I saw him and tried to stop right away, forgetting that I was now “one with my bike” and fell off in front of café al fresco at lunchtime! There had to be 50 people out there!! The town is known for trails, bike routes and has a little bike shop so most of them were also cyclists! I’m not sure I have ever been so embarrassed!!

    3997 days ago
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who was terrified about this. I got a Shimano SPD SL pedal. I was told that it was easy to clip in and out of, and I went one level up from the basic. My shoes are Diadora Speed racer carbon, which were 40% off since it's the end of the season.
    4025 days ago
    Yay! I remember getting my pedals--scared out of my mind! I practiced on a grassy area and fell over and over and over....I still clip out way early. I was told to practice clipping in and out between two cars, or in a hall way where you could support yourself on each side. My biggest problem is in hills--if I have to stop, I usually go over first. Still there is nothing like clips! What kind did you get?

    Another thing--I was told to push my heel out at the bottom. After going over way tooooo many times on a killer day on the BRAT, I was told to go IN and the TOP. Makes it a whole lot easier for me.

    Congratulations! I'm with you--I like riding like a girl!
    4025 days ago
  • KAT7457
    Way to go girl, whatever works show those men you can do it. happy biking.:)
    4025 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5002230
    Not yet clipless, here. I'm still wrestling with the mental image of me stopping and promptly falling over. I enjoyed your success story.
    4025 days ago
  • ROSENJ1965
    YAAAAY! Way to go!!! Conquering the clipless fears is a BIG step. I resisted for a long time - for the same reasons. Then, about 2 years ago, I finally decided to go for it. I went with the SPD style (easier to clip in/out, in my opinion) and a double-sided version to make it even easier (I do single-sided now on my new road bike, but double-sided to start was a good move). The guy at the bike store basically took me out to the parking lot, said here's what you do, and sent me off around the parking lot before my boyfriend (at the time) and I rode the 4.5 miles back home. WOW. On the first hill, I was yelling "I love these!!!" And (knock wood) I've NEVER fallen - either in motion, stopping, or starting - due to the pedals.

    Congratulations on making the move!!! I think you will find that they do make a substantive improvement in both speed and efficiency - and I'm sure you look WAY.COOL! :)
    4026 days ago
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