Short story - I had been off the bike for about 3 weeks (procrastination, work, fatigue, weather, excuses excuses). Yesterday I rode the bike up to a friend's house to help him work on his motorcycle rebuild, then over to a local Fox & Hound to meet more sportbike buddies before riding back home. Left the house about 5pm, returned home about 1115pm. Probably 10 miles all told.
Okay, its nice that I didn't have to burn any gas (well, almost) and it was also kinda cool to ride the bicycle to F&H when everyone else took their car or motorcycle (actually a lot of us don't even have a bike for various reasons).
But the downside is, I've discovered, riding a bicycle in this town is fantastically dangerous...or at least where I was going. Riding in the roadway would simply have been suicidal, I took the sidewalks (and hang the possible tickets). Even getting started at intersections was bad enough with speeding zombies and teenybopping kids whizzing right thru turn lanes. In short I found it very intimidating - I think MUP's are much better for now (but gotta find a darned rack!).
The biggest frustration was I fell not once but TWICE at stops due to my not clipping out. Hadn't happened on the previous 2 rides with clipless, so maybe I was just unlucky. First time I was pulling out to walk up a short steep hill near the house. Tried to put my right foot down, bike went left, and plunk. Scuffed the saddle, tweaked the stem. 2 trucks pulled over and asked me if I was OK - nice of them, but a little embarrassing too.
Second time was much worse - had stopped at one LBS to ask about the seemingly useless brakes, they blew me off and told me to go back to the LBS I had got the bike from (which had blown me off already). On the way, at a gas station on the corner, I pulled up to the corner, clipped out BOTH feet, yet somehow my right foot inadvertently clipped back in, and....you guessed it, went down on that side. Nearly brained myself on the traffic signal post, skinned my right knee and shin badly, skinned my right forearm as well, and gashed my left calf. Being diabetic this isn't very cool - it'll take a long, long time to heal and it's VERY painful Moreover I was shook up and frustrated. Made it to the LBS where this time they did agree that a) I should be able to stop going down a hill and b) shouldn't be able to squeeze my front brake lever all the way to the grips, so they tightened it a little bit - at least it's not entirely useless now.
From there I made it up to my friend's house, worked on his bike, then went over to F&H, generally had a good time (I didnt drink btw), then rode home. By this time it was about 11pm and there was only a little traffic. Only got nervous a couple times, one when I was rounding the infamous blind curve near the entry to my subdivision, but otherwise no problems.....well, there was one - I had forgotten to put my gloves on and dropped them on the ground. Oops So I hopped in the Tracker and ran back up to F&H and luckily they were still lying on the ground.
Other minor nitpicks - I couldn't bring the bike inside, and haven' got a lock yet. Simply set it against the window where I could at least see it. Next time I'll hopefully have a basic cable lock and can lock it to the trash basket. The pedal deal - just gotta practice. Conditioning.....well, despite not having ridden in a few weeks I felt all right. Knog Frog lights seemed like little dots but they're fairly bright little dots at least. I might see about getting a bona fide headlight though. I dunno - riding at night in town proper isn't too dark though - it's mainly near my house where there's some dark sections.
Anyone else have their ups and downs when they started getting back in the saddle?