Day 183: Clipless pedals – the first day

5 07 2010

Throwing caution (and a little nervousness) to the wind yesterday, Carrick and I took our bikes to the bike shop to buy clipless pedals. I’ve spent the better part of a year telling myself I need to buy them, but being nervous enough to talk myself out of it each time. I finally decided I was sick of using toe clips. I was increasingly annoyed with foot pain associated with the flimsy tennis shoes I wore while cycling. And I was really irritated with trying to keep my shoelaces tucked into my shoes to keep them from wrapping around my pedal or crank. So off to the bike shop we went. 

The awesome people at Clarksville Schwinn (Sue, in particular) helped us choose what would be best for newbies like us. The people at Clarksville are always helpful, always friendly. Which is why we keep going back. I took some photos of the pedals and shoes (mainly as an excuse to also test out the new studio lights I bought a couple weeks ago). Carrick and I both went with the Shimano M520 pedals. 

Shimano M520 pedals


The shoes I bought are Mavic Razor. They seem very comfortable and I’m happy with the fit. 

Mavic Razor shoes


In terms of pedals, I wanted something easy to clip in and out of, and I wanted two-sided entry. While Sue helped us pick out the appropriate shoes, they put the pedals on our bikes and we were ready to roll. She explained how to clip in; how to clip out. We each practiced in the shop by straddling our bike, clipping and unclipping one foot, then changing sides and practicing with the other foot. After a couple minutes, we made a few practice runs through their parking lot. My immediate thought was, “What the heck was I so nervous about? This is much easier than I expected!” 

This morning Carrick and I made our maiden voyage to give the pedals and shoes a good workout. We rode across the new bridge on Eastern Parkway to check out the new bike path. (Very nice!) Then we headed downtown toward the library. We pulled up slowly onto the sidewalk to rest in a shady spot and drink some water. I had already stopped and clipped out. Carrick rolled in front of me, didn’t clip out in time, briefly panicked and tipped over — a concrete retaining wall and some shrubbery breaking her fall. (Yes, I’m posting this with her full permission. No, I did not get any video of the event.) She hit the side of the wall with her hip, but luckily didn’t break any bones. After a mixture of giggles and moans of “ouch”, she said, “I feel like I’m in the Tour! I’ve crashed and have a bloody elbow and a bruised butt to prove it.” 

Aside from the first accident today, overall we’re both very pleased with the clipless pedals. I’m also very happy our crash was nothing as brutal as today’s Stage 3 of the Tour. Wow! Tomorrow’s stage on the cobblestones should be interesting. Glad it’s them and not me. 

Today’s food journal: 

— Chocolate mint Builder Bar = 270 cal. 

— Baked potato = 163
— Small glass chocolate milk (LF organic) = 180 

Dinner: (at our favorite Ethopian restaurant)
— Alicha Doro Wot = 278
— Kik Wot lentils = 60
— Iced tea = 0 

— Skinny Cow cookies & cream ice cream cup (2) = 240 

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride! 

…( ) / ( )  

Thanks for visiting.




7 responses

6 07 2010

Yes, it was a brutal day which has taken out Vande Velde, and possibly others. Hopefully today will be dry – the weather forecast apparently is optimistic.

I’m going to try live-blogging the stage today from about 2pm UK time. You’ll find me here if interested:

10 07 2010
Day 188: Lance vs. Contador « Cyclingproject365

[…] warm though. I’m happy to report neither of us tipped over while clipped into our new pedals (like last weekend). Tomorrow I think we’re going practice some hills in the […]

15 07 2010

Well done on avoiding the first-ride-forgetting-to-unclip-in-time-incident; mine was a gentle sideways tumble into a hedge. Once you’ve ridden clipless, though, you never go back. You’re well on your way to coming over the Dark Side now. Another great post – thanks!

15 07 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

Thanks Nick, for your comments and for visiting! I’m happy to have (so far) avoided the tipping-over-before-unclipping thing, but I’m sure my time will come eventually. I just hope it’s not in front of a car. I do really love the clipless pedals though. I’ve only had them a week or so, but already I wonder why I waited so long. No more foot fatigue with the good shoes either. Thanks again for your comment! Be safe out there.

11 09 2010
Day 251: Can float be adjusted on clipless pedals? « Cyclingproject365

[…] comfortable (and don’t cause foot pain on long rides like regular tennis shoes used to do). As I mentioned a while ago, I bought Shimano M520 pedals and Mavic shoes. When I ride up a hill, there’s a noticeable […]

2 11 2010
shimano m520 pedals

I live in south florida and mountain bike frequently. The only trail I have ever been too is Markham park, which is a very high skill park down here. When I first got my m520’s, I went straight to the park the first time ever riding with them. I fell 9 times, but luckily only left with a few scrapes and bumps.

I couldnt be happier with the pedals, and the efficiency you gain is well worth the hardship getting used to them. Honestly, I’m not sure how I rode without them before!

Thanks for sharing and happy cycling!

2 11 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

Thanks for your comment and your visit! I’ve been really happy with my pedals and wonder why I went so long without them. Hills are easier (though still tough) and they’ve helped my pedal stroke also. I’ve not fallen yet, but I’m sure it’s coming at some point. Good to know it’s possible to fall over while clipped in and not suffer a serious injury (depending on the situation, of course). Thanks again for visiting. Ride safe!

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