Clipless Pedals

Picked up a pair of clipless pedals yesterday. John, from the Golden Spoke, told me that although I would really like them, I should know that I would fall down a few times. I should have listened to him.

I spent a good portion of this morning swapping pedals. It would only have taken ten minutes, but I found the old left pedal had seized. Since I don’t really have the proper tools, it took quite some time to get the pedal off without screwing up the crank arm in the process. Once finished, I practiced clipping in and out for about fifteen minutes while simply sitting on the bike. Then I loaded it in the van and headed for the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.

Since I spent most of my free time today swapping pedals, I only had three hours to ride the preserve. I quickly learned that John was right. The first time I came to a stop, I couldn’t get my feet loose … and fell over.

I’m sure it looked quite comical: I come rolling to a nice controlled stop, begin struggling in vain to get my feet off of the pedals, there’s a subtle change in the struggle as I attempt to keep my balance, and the last ditch spasmodic effort as gravity wins out and I fall in slow motion to the side while attempting to land in a soft spot among the rocks and sage brush. Oh well, nothing was hurt but my pride.

I fell over a few more times during the ride. I lost count exactly how many times, but at least I didn’t get hurt any more seriously than a few minor scratches. I did finally learn enough to get my feet off the pedals when I made intentional stops. I suspect — I hope — it’ll become habit soon and I won’t have to worry, to much, about unexpected stops.

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