Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Going Clipless

After reading Bike Skirt's "Case For Clipless", I was inspired to post my clipless experience. I have been debating this issue for almost six years. The Psycyclist is always clipped in to his road pedals and in fact, had a little trouble riding his Fuji Mountain Bike, the other day, because it still has platforms. He has been gently persuading me to "go for it".

About six weeks ago, we stopped into our local, Y-Not Cycling, and they had this pair of Nikes on clearance for only $35. One would be fool not to. They were the right size and I liked the looks of them. I also like that they are mountain shoes so if I want to stop at a store, I'm not going to be clomping through it, like I would be in road shoes. So anyway, I bought the shoes. After looking through the Performance Bike catalog all week, I decided it would be best if we took a road trip to Columbus (about an hour away) to the Performance store. I have a thing about touching and seeing the things that I'm gonna buy. So while Psycyclist was hooked on a Crank Brothers pedal, I opted for the Shimano PD-M520's. They were on sale for $49.99.

I got home and Psycyclist put them on my bike while I put the cleats on the shoes. He thought it best if I tried to learn how to clip in and out while the bike was on the trainer. That only messed me up worse. I felt like the whole contraption was going to fall over while I was trying to clip in. So in a huff, I got the bike out of the trainer and just went for it. After a couple of times, up and down the street, I had the hang of it until... I rode up my own driveway and stopped the bike before I got my foot out. Crash..Splat...Boom! I went over, bike and all. Not a big deal. I got over the fear of falling a long time ago. It happens. Just had a couple of bruises.

Then we were off to the bike trail. I rode the fastest and strongest...ever. They were comfortable and I was so pleased. I'm still getting used to them. It's the mind telling the foot to release thing. I haven't clipped in to ride around town yet. I'm not ready and I'm not going to push myself to do it. I have two other bikes for errands and commuting. I think that knowing I'm not ready to tackle heavy traffic is a good thing. I really don't need to crash and get run over by a car. Besides I wouldn't want to mess up my bike.

I can understand Bike Skirts reasons for clipless. The extra power over a mountain is crucial. I don't think she is a trader to the urban cycling movement. You have to do what's right for you, your climate, and your terrain. As I posted the other day, I love everything cycling so I don't really get the line drawn between the lycra-clad and fashion-conscious. Anybody on a bike is a good thing... no matter what they are wearing. Remember: Form Follows Function
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