Saturday, February 22, 2014

Aaargh…. clipless pedals!

"The difference it makes in your riding will be gigantic"

"Optimum comfort and efficiency"

"[they] will enhance your enjoyment of riding your bike tenfold"

"you'll feel naked without them"

"Once you go clipless, you'll never go back"

So say all of the books, Web sites, and cyclist friends.  But I'm worried that in my efforts to become a badass "real" cyclist, I may have stepped over the line with this one.  I bought myself special cycling shoes and "clipless" pedals this week, which are named badly, because you actually do clip into them.  And they present a nice stability for steady riding - but as a newbie, they make stopping and starting (and anticipation of stopping and starting) terrifying.  You have to think ahead, unclip your cleat from the pedal in advance (by jerking it sideways, which I'm still stumbling over), and then lean in the correction direction when you stop.  Starting back up, you have to clip into one pedal, give yourself a push, and then fumble into the other clip, quickly.

I'm going to try to believe everyone, that very soon I won't even have to think about it, but my rides these last two days have been white-knuckled.  I haven't actually fallen over, but I've come very close, with a couple of last-minute saves halfway down.  I am not convinced that I am going to fall in love with these gizmos.

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