Sunday, June 26, 2011
Clip and Fall
Hello, friends! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. So here's my latest adventure...cycling shoes and clipless pedals! If you're new to cycling like I am, let me explain. Cyclists wear special shoes that help for several reasons:
1. The stiff sole allows for more energy to be directly transferred to the pedal versus a running shoe where the rubber absorbs part of the energy exerted before transferring to the pedal. YEAH PHYSICS!
2. The shoes clip into the pedals. This allows for a cyclist to not only push down on the pedal...but also lift up versus a plain old gym shoe. This also give more bang (energy input) for your buck (pedaling). Can you tell I'm a scientist? Nerd alert!
Once you buy the shoes, you have to buy the corresponding pedal. I ended up getting the 2-prong shoe versus the 3-prong shoe. It's not as stiff as the 3-prong so you can walk around in them without looking like a penguin. My main reason was because I went to Pro Bike Inc in Oklahoma City and they happened to have a pair of cycling shoes, in my size, that were half off! I guess a lady wore them once, decided they were too small, and returned them. As I mentioned before, cycling is expensive so I will save where I can! The shoes were $45 and the pedals were only $35 or so. John at Pro Bike did a fantastic job at helping me out. Plus he gave me 10% off! I call him "Astronaut John" since he has an article on the wall about Pro Bike sponsoring an astronaut named John...the first Native American in space! Turns out they are two different John's but I'll still call him "Astronaut John." I try to get the best value with each of the items I buy because is usually a wide range of pricing on cycling items.
John placed the new pedals on my bike and trimmed my shoes down to clip in perfectly. He set me up on a stationary bike holder to practice clipping my shoes on and off the pedals. It took me quite awhile to figure out how to line up my foot with the pedal. Next, it was time to move out to the parking lot to give it a try! I felt like I was learning how to ride a bike for the first time. Success! Thanks to my new coach, John, for the help.
Falling for the First Time
We had a TNT group ride this past Saturday morning at Lake Stanley Draper so I thought it would be the perfect time to try out my new shoes and pedals! The first part of the ride felt fantastic! It was earlier in the day so the temperatures weren't unbearable and the scenery at Lake Stanley Draper is beautiful! All of the trees reminded me of some of the beautiful parks I miss from Appalachia. We turned around at the 10 mile mark to come back and I realized why it was so pleasant - most of our ride was downhill with a tailwind. Not we had to go uphill and into the wind! It wasn't so bad since the topography blocked out the wind at times. It was a good time to practice shifting my gears to a lower resistance to keep the same pace, or cadence. I think we were averaging 15-17 mph so it wasn't too bad! Here's a picture with my riding buddies - Joleen and Heather. Heather is getting married next Saturday! Congrats!
I've been told by seasoned cyclists that everybody falls when they first use clipless pedals. For some reason I thought I was special and that it wouldn't happen. In fear of falling, I was extra cautious in unclipping my shoes before braking. But that's not how I fell, oddly enough! A few of us in front decided to stop and wait for the others to catch up and take a break for water. When it was time to get going again I clipped my left foot in and was about to start pedaling with the right when a big gust of wind shifted my balance and knocked me onto my left side. It felt like it was in slow motion and yet I couldn't do anything but scream! Thankfully I did not break, strain, or twist anything but I did get a nasty gash and bruise on my left knee.
I guess I'm not so special after all! It did not feel great but the fall made me more determined to get back to finish the ride so I could clean myself up.
After a 20 mile bike ride on a hot, windy morning, Joleen and I decided to treat ourselves to a snow cone. What a treat!
I survived my first fall! On the plus side, this gave me an excuse to use my pirate band aids! They are all I have in my first aid kit!
Thanks for checking in and have a great week!