SOl 2016, D6 – Old Dogs

Yea, don’t try to teach old dogs new tricks?  My hip and ankle can feel the truth of that old adage.  It’s a beautiful day today and half the city was out on their bikes, me included.  There haven’t been many good biking days so this was only the third time I had tried out the new clipless pedals that were a Christmas gift this year.  (Note here:  I have no idea who came up with the name clipless because everything about them is clippy.  You have to clip the bottom of your shoe to the pedal in a very permanent feeling way.  It sounds like a clip and certainly feels like a clip.)  The first two times out with my new shoes and pedals, I had ridden my mountain bike around town.  I could predetermine when I would need to clip out of my pedals – a red light, a sharp turn coming up.  I was feeling pretty confident.

But today was my first attempt at trail riding with the new system.  I rode a familiar trail, one that I really love letting loose on, one that makes me feel not nearly as old as I am.  I feel like I can keep up with the 30 somethings on Betasso.  Not today.  I managed to take a small tip over spill in the first 15 seconds when my biking partner’s dog came out to greet me as I rode up to her mountain house.  I didn’t think I was clipped in but when I was ready to stop, lo and behold those clipless pedals were firmly clipped in.  I managed to wrench my foot out just in the knick of time.  Full disaster averted.

And then we hit the trail.  I was pretty tentative and nervous but also feeling like I could do this.  The rest of my family can do, all of the women I bike with can do this, surely I can do this.   I rode the first 10 minutes clipped in and feeling pretty good.  And then we pulled over to let some bikers through.  We got ready to go again and as I clipped in to my right foot and pedaled down to take off, the biker in front me didn’t.  I had to stop and did the perfect slow motion tip over – solidly attached to my bike by that lovely little ‘clipless’.  After a good ankle gouge and what will be some wonderfully large and purple bruises later, I did not clip back in for the rest of the 2 hour ride.

I am too old for this.  After 30 years of mountain biking with old fashioned pedals, I was pretty darn good at it.  In fact, I can’t even think of a spill taken because I couldn’t get my foot out in time.  It was a great idea but I think those fancy new patent leather biking shoes are only going to the party in spin class from now on.  I want my old pedals back.


6 thoughts on “SOl 2016, D6 – Old Dogs

  1. I have a few friends who have at the same experience. I won’t even try it, but I am not an expert cyclist. Glad you were not injured badly. I think it would scare me to trysts unclip the clip pleas contraptions. I know it takes practice and soon would come naturally…but how many falls would it take!


  2. I had to google “Clipless” pedals. I’m not a recreational biker- I only bike a prehistoric old 10 speed in our subdivision with my 8 year old. Kudos for trying something new- but I agree with you that staying with the “old” isn’t always a bad thing. Hope your ankle heals quickly!


  3. I love that you found something new not so great. It is so true about a lot of newfangled inventions. I love new computers though. The old ones are too slow to write with.


  4. I have done that perfect slow motion tip over myself. No fun! I have to say, though, that I am pretty good at getting out of them nowadays. It only takes one (okay, actually three!) times til you get the hang of it.


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