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Clipless in St. Paul

I installed clipless pedals this week. For non-cyclists, these are a lock-and-cleat system that allow the pedal and shoe to snap together. This allows me to apply power by pulling up as well as pushing down, thus making me twice as powerful! Okay, not twice as much. But it did make a noticeable difference. Namely, my right knee hurts a lot. I need to adjust that cleat before the ride home.

As cyclists know, the main drawback to clipless is the falling-over. They only disengage by swinging your ankle out sideways, and not by, say, pulling up and kicking in a panic when you realize that you've stopped and are starting to tip over and both your feet are locked to your bike and you have nothing to put on the ground for leverage and--CRASH.

Luckily, this hasn't happened to me yet, but I hear it happens at least once to everyone who goes clipless. Sooner or later, you fall, and it will probably be at the least opportune time. People will see, and they will laugh at you. There's nothing you can do except stand up and get back on the bike.

Categories: bicycles, life


Anonymous said...

Haha, yeah, I fell over once at a stoplight right in front of a bus stop full of people. All I could do was laugh and point to the clipless pedals. I got back up and avoided eye contact from that point on, speeding away when the light changed green. It was ok. It happened. I got over it and haven't fallen over since. You get used to it pretty quickly.


Sascha said...

I've been riding a road bike for 5 years and clipless for over 4. I've never fallen due to my clips. I've had two major collisions, neither related to clips. You just gotta think/plan ahead.

annie said...

Sascha, you're the only person I know who can claim that. Everyone else does it at least once, and no matter how experienced, it'll still happen from time to time. Usually in front of a crapload of people, too. I've done it twice - once within the first two weeks that I had the pedals, and once (cough cough) this year in the midst of some confusion over whether we were going to go through the yellow light or not.

Lunatic Biker said...

Fell over at the light at the SE corner of Lake Calhoun within an hour of going clipless. No big deal. Probably less than 50 people saw it. You'll like them. Better efficiency. And that cool sound of clipping in.