Completely unscientific, but very real world.....
Met up today with Bobby C and Ms C and some other pals about 25 miles north of DC for a 46 mile, sort of hilly course that we try to do most weekends--when Bobby C isn't climbing to biker shrines in Italy. Anyway, we unload the bikes, get all kitted up to leave and I discover that I have forgotten (I can't believe I am writing this) my Shimano cycling shoes.
What to do??? Pack up and go home? Duct tape my feet to the pedals a la "Breaking Away"? Naw, I'll just ride in my Florshieim dress loafers.........so off we go down the road with me riding in my loafers on, get this, Egg Beaters. Okay, it was pretty silly (er, stupid) but I had come all the way out there and wanted to ride. I figured I could give it a try for a few miles and if it got too bad, I would just turn around and go back.
Best guess as to how far I got?
Amazingly, all 46 miles......didn't make too much of a mess of the shoes, either.
Discovered that I really admire those of you (you know who you are) who don't clip in. Going unclipped is a lot of work and it takes concentration to keep your feet on the pedals and spinning is essentially out. Climbing requires a lot of anticipation of gear selection and don't try to change chain rings in the middle of a climb.
Garmin said it took me about 15-20 minutes longer than usual (just over 13 mph), and the group was kind enough not to run off an hide--which they certainly could have, I believe.
So my hat is off to all you unclipped 50+ers. As for me, I have learned to never forget my shoes and clips again (I hope).