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Friday, April 27, 2007

Things you learn on the road

Ok you have heard it before that my new clipless pedals rule but I have
been holding back a bit. I heard everyone falls at least once with
clipless pedals and I did not want to brag about how I never fell and then
fall the next day. Yesterday I had my first fall. I was riding behind and
next to Heather about 100 yards from the Bedrock campground entrance when
she slammed on her brakes and clutched her eye. Just an FYI, this is not a
normal thing for her to do. In my concern I stopped immediately next to
her and forgot to unclip. I slowly (I mean excruciatingly slowly, but not
slow enough to free my feet from these contraptions) fell to my left. I
landed with my head in the road and my chainwheel (the big round sharp
teeth thing near the pedals) embeded in my calf. I got up pretty quickly
to find out Heather just had a bug in her eye. After asking me if I was ok
and getting an affirmative nod she burst out laughing at me. I guess it
was pretty funny looking. Funny thing is today the same thing happened
she stopped suddenly (bug in the eye again) and I slowly fell to my right
(not into the road this time). I was able to free myself in time to step
out. Again I think I may be a slow learner in these life lessons.

So there you have it. My first two falls and I still love them. If you
are wondering why, it is because of the power increase. I heard 30% more
power I think I got more. Clipless pedals actually clip (I will explain
the irony in the naming scheme later) to special biking shoes. This way
you become one with the bike. What that translates to is you get a whole
bunch more muscles to use while pedaling. I can pull, push, slide, drag,
twist, and lift my way down the road. My vote for touring is A+ clipless
and C- toe clips.

Which brings me to my third anecdote of wisdom. If clipless pedals clip to
your shoes then why are they called clipless. My friends at Cynergy cycles

www.cynergycycles.com enlightened me. The old model that looks like
stirrups were called "toe-clips" because they sort of clipped around your
toes. So when these new fancy things came out that attach like magic to
the bottom of the shoes the clips around the toes were gone, therefore the
name "clipless pedals". Who knows, that may be totally wrong but I really
don't care... I liked their story and it is easy for me to remember.

Speaking of Cynergy, that is one of my favorite bike shops in Los Angeles.
All the guys there ride and it is a very comfortable place to go and learn.
(REI is my other favorite store). We bought a lot of gear from Cynergy and
they were very helpful (including me calling them asking how to get my
cassette off to fix my spoke) in many areas. Both Heather and myself got
our bikes professionally fit to us by Steve. He did a great job not only
fitting us but describing proper riding positions and where and how to hold
the handle bars. I still am practicing the stuff he tought me.

Now for the not so good part. Everyone says "Do not replace your saddle
(seat) right before you leave" Um folks they are right. Heather and I
both did just that. Now the seats we got were better than what we had.
Heather told me today her seat is fine and comfortable. I am a different
story. I hurt still and even though I use "butt-butter" a cream for
cyclist that goes right on the shorts I still am in pain. I am haunted by
something Steve said in passing " I believe the padding should come from
the shorts not the seat". Oops my shorts are old, thin padded, and not
very good. Hmmm, I told my dad about it and I think he is going to have my
brother go buy some shorts for me, whatever Steve recommends is fine with
me. As of right now my bum is bummed.

That's it for now folks. Tune in again for more "things you learn on the


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