I had been dreading the moment for a long time and put it off for as long as I could but I had given in and purchased some cleats for cycling otherwise known as clippy shoes. As I have said before my husband is part of a cycle club, all of whom have helped me massively, but all of whom use cleats and had told me endlessly it was the way forward if I wanted to carry on cycling on the road.
The concept baffled me – you have different pedals and you wear special shoes that clip into the pedals? Is that not hugely dangerous or just a stupid thing to do? I was told it would give more power and all cyclists wear them and I needed them. So the hubby changed the pedals – I get his hand me downs so it works out great for me as cycling is not a cheap sport and as a new cyclist I couldn’t justify the cost of some of the expensive items so I get his pedals etc and he gets to buy new ones. I think I missed a trick here somewhere! Or am just a great wife – I will go with that one 😉
So beginning of April we head off for our first ride with my new shiny white clippy shoes. At the first road we had to stop at there was no traffic so we paused, signalled and continued without unclipping and then got to some traffic lights with my husband on his bike to the right of me. Apparently you should always unclip with your left foot so that if you do fall you fall into the pavement rather than the road and potentially a car (short bike ride that would be)! Up until now I had been wearing trainers and so I stopped at junctions and must admit this was my biggest fear – stopping on the bike. I couldn’t get the simple concept of getting out of my seat when stopping so would break and lean and hope for the best! Like I said sporty I am not! Also in the trainers I always put my right foot down. So we stop at the lights and I unclip with my left foot and lean to the right. With the foot that is still clipped in. Luckily my husband was there and sort of pushed me over to the other side and all was ok, lights changed and off we went.
Shortly after we reached a second set of lights and I did the same thing. Idiot. Thank god I fell on my husband both times otherwise I think I would have just curled up in the foetal position until the world just passed me by out of sheer embarrassment!
Anyway we finished our 20 mile ride testing out the new shoes and although I was really really nervous I got home in one piece although i very quickly put the clippy shoes back in their box! Out of sight out of mind!