29 · non-binary (they/them) · neurodiverse · spoonie · queer femme · NSO & trainee zebra · polyamorous · burned-out activist · geek.

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Mar. 31st, 2012 08:46 pm


tajasel: Katie, wearing a helmet and bike glasses. (bike bike bike)
[personal profile] tajasel
Yesterday, I bought a pair of SPD pedals and shoes to go with them - for the non-cyclists amongst my readers, that means the kind of pedal that snaps into the bottom of your shoe, instead of the old-money way of trapping your feet into a cage-like thing attached to the pedal (called a toeclip). (SPDs are a specific kind of step-in pedal designed by Shimano, where the attachment on the shoe is recessed into the sole of the shoe, so that when you're walking around, you aren't clickety-clacking and walking with your toes up in the air.) </technical-ramblings>

I've used non-SPD type clipless pedals before, when I rode on the Velodrome, so it was quite easy getting used to them, and by the time I got home from the bike shop I was quite comfortable using them. The bonuses of clipless pedals are things like:
  • not having to fiddle around too much with them when you're setting off from traffic lights - just align the pedal and shoe, and push down
  • making better use of your energy: even with a toeclip, your feet aren't bound to the pedals so some of your energy is used keeping your feet on the pedals as you pull upwards
  • less risk of crashes - your feet simply won't slip from the pedals and unbalance you when you're on a clipless pedal
One of the disadvantages, however, is that if you do crash, you do so with all the grace and elegance of an elephant with four left feet.

As noted this morning.

Not even a minute after leaving home, I'm ahead of my brother en route to where we were meeting a group of others for a short leisure ride, and slowing down for traffic at the end of the road. My brother, on the other hand, is staring down at his gears instead of looking where he's going, and crash. Right into my back wheel.

I'm stationary at this point, with one foot on the road and the other firmly attached to my pedal. I go crashing down, and my brother lands on top of me. I instinctively yell "You bloody idiot!" or possibly something less tasteful, and he jumps up and tries to remove his bike from the tangled mess that is me and my ride.

Problem is, his pedals (flat, with big unwieldy toeclips), have found their way into the spokes of my front wheel. When he vigorously pulls his bike away from mine, my bike moves as well - and because I'm still attached to one of my pedals, I slide along the road too, much to the amusement of the drivers gawking through their windows, and more blue language spouts from my mouth.

No damage to the bike, but I have quite an impressive bruise on my left thigh. Most damaged, however, is my ego: this is my first Proper Crash (i.e: one that resulted in one or more cyclists hitting the ground) in nearly a decade.

(I actually had a prong with another rider during my London to Brighton ride at the start of the month, but having learned how to 'correctly' crash on the Velodrome, we both managed to stay upright and rolling!)
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