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Old 09-03-07, 03:38 PM   #1
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What are the odds?

I just returned from the Midwest Tandem Rally in Appleton, Wisconsin (Had a really wonderful time by the way.) My wife and I were preparing for our first ride on Saturday morning. As I looked through the tub in which I normally keep my helmet, gloves and shoes I noticed a serious shortage of shoes. Oh poo poo! What do I do now?

Before we could even consider waiting for the local bike shop to open, a fellow in the very next car, whom I had never met before asks: "What size?" He's riding with SPD equipped sandals but has a pair of Shimano shoes, perfectly sized (10 1/2), that I can borrow. They even had the less common silver SPD multi release cleat that I'm used to.

For the believers: Do you think that God sometimes performs little miracles in our lives?
For the agnostics: Would such an incident sway your thinking?
For the athiests: What do you suppose the odds must be?
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Old 09-03-07, 03:45 PM   #2
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Please see my thread on "Amazing Bicycling Coincidences."

Amazing Bicycling Coincidences

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Old 09-03-07, 03:55 PM   #3
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As a believer, I don't think God cared whether or not you had a pair of bicycle shoes.

I'd say the odds were about 1 in 22 that the guy next to you would have a pair of shoes to fit. (He probably wore something between a size 8 and a 13, and there was a one in two chance that he had two pair of shoes in his kit).

Actually, the odds were probably a little better than that, but you would need to account for the random distribution of shoe sizes and the most probable size occurrence.

Then the odds get a little worse when you figure in the clear configuration, and who wears SPD versus other types.

Overall, I'd estiamte a 1 in 15 chance of this occurring. Much better than the odds on the lottery.
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Old 09-03-07, 03:56 PM   #4
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Before anyone else says it: Didn't you have a pair of Florsheim loafers with you?
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Old 09-03-07, 03:59 PM   #5
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As a believer, I don't think God much cared whether or not you had a pair of bicycle shoes.

I'd say the odds were about 1 in 22 that the guy next to you would have a pair of shoes to fit. (He probably wore a size eight through 13, and a one in two chance that he had two pair of shoes in his kit).
Actually, the odds were probably a little better than that, but you would need to account for the random distribution of shoe sizes and the most probable size occurrence.
So do you generally pack an extra pair of cycling shoes with you? What percentage of cyclists even own more than 1 pair?
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Old 09-03-07, 04:01 PM   #6
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I own three pair, and wear them all at various times.

And yes, when traveling I take my Shimano sandals and another pair of cycling shoes.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:10 PM   #7
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I own three pair, and wear them all at various times.

And yes, when traveling I take my Shimano sandals and another pair of cycling shoes.
Well then, you're the first. I told this story to a bunch of folks at the tandem rally, all pretty serious cyclists, and none of them pack spare shoes.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:19 PM   #8
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Then maybe the odds are not as good as I thought.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:21 PM   #9
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Then maybe the odds are not as good as I thought.
Who knows? Your post got me thinking that maybe they were a little better than I thought. I wonder what percentage of cyclists do have an extra pair of shoes stuffed somewhere in their car.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:28 PM   #10
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I think that the odds of someone using Shimano sandals also bringing normal cycling shoes are probably better than otherwise, since sandals might not be appropriate for every situation. But even if there is a God who performs little miracles like that, you might want to avoid wasting yours and save them up for bigger things which you will inevitably need at some point. After all, while you were putting on those borrowed shoes, I guarantee there was someone not too far away dying of cancer or whatever. If I were a religious person, I would pray that God ignore my little problems and help others with their major ones.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:40 PM   #11
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IBut even if there is a God who performs little miracles like that, you might want to avoid wasting yours and save them up for bigger things which you will inevitably need at some point. After all, while you were putting on those borrowed shoes, I guarantee there was someone not too far away dying of cancer or whatever. If I were a religious person, I would pray that God ignore my little problems and help others with their major ones.
Well, I'm thinking that we don't get to pick and choose the miracles in our lives and, if it were up to me, I'd probably screw it up anyway. When good stuff happens, however, I'm going to celebrate it.
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Old 09-03-07, 04:59 PM   #12
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So, what was the ride like? Where did you go?
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Old 09-03-07, 05:07 PM   #13
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Not swayed, but a nice bit of luck for sure.
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Old 09-03-07, 05:16 PM   #14
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So do you generally pack an extra pair of cycling shoes with you? What percentage of cyclists even own more than 1 pair?
I took two pair to the same rally as RetroGrouch. It wouldn't have done him any good, though, as they were a size 8.
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Old 09-03-07, 07:27 PM   #15
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For the believers: Do you think that God sometimes performs little miracles in our lives?
For the agnostics: Would such an incident sway your thinking?
For the athiests: What do you suppose the odds must be?
But what about the rest of us?

Buddha would say that everything is connected.
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Old 09-04-07, 09:13 AM   #16
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So do you generally pack an extra pair of cycling shoes with you? What percentage of cyclists even own more than 1 pair?
I don't carry an extra pair of cycling shoes - I also usually ride from home. That said, I have the following cycling shoes: 2 pair of MTB/SPD shoes, a sandal/SPD, one MTB/SPD winter boot, a road/Look, a road/SPD, a road/Look winter boot, and a road/slotted cleat pair.

I also believe that God is interested in every detail of our lives and is more gracious and generous than we can comprehend.
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Old 09-04-07, 09:16 AM   #17
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I also believe that God is interested in every detail of our lives and is more gracious and generous than we can comprehend.
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Old 09-04-07, 09:36 AM   #18
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I've always found it interesting that our species -can I say that?- has such a propensity to explain the unexplainable with something even more fantastic and unexplainable: an omniscient, all-powerful being who -gosh!- looks just like us. I forgot my shoes, someone just then showed up with a spare pair.... must be god! I don't know what it take to sway me but it's more than that... Read up on Taoism.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:02 AM   #19
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I actually carry two pairs with me when I travel. One, my Sidis are normally worn unless it is wet. If it is going to be wet I wear an older pair of Shimano shoes I bring along.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:08 AM   #20
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So do you generally pack an extra pair of cycling shoes with you? What percentage of cyclists even own more than 1 pair?
I own three pair of cycling shoes. I usually have the sandals and one pair of the regular type in my van so I can make that last minute decision on what pair to wear

The main reason for leaving the sandals in the van is I often forget to bring my socks for the regular pair I also like wearing the sandals if there is any chance of rain.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:24 AM   #21
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I've always found it interesting that our species -can I say that?- has such a propensity to explain the unexplainable with something even more fantastic and unexplainable: an omniscient, all-powerful being who -gosh!- looks just like us. I forgot my shoes, someone just then showed up with a spare pair.... must be god! I don't know what it take to sway me but it's more than that... Read up on Taoism.
Wasn't Nike the God of Shoes?
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Old 09-04-07, 10:55 AM   #22
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Calm down there SKT, or this will blow up into a thread that needs a moderator. While I'm all for discussing a broad set of topics, debating the merits of religion here will make people uncomfortable and drive them off of the forum. Would hate to see that.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:58 AM   #23
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I think you should buy a lottery ticket.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:07 AM   #24
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Calm down there SKT, or this will blow up into a thread that needs a moderator. While I'm all for discussing a broad set of topics, debating the merits of religion here will make people uncomfortable and drive them off of the forum. Would hate to see that.
Oh, I'm calm. No problem there. Just expressing my personal bafflement.
I don't know any more about it than anyone else, I'm just not willing to take a guess at something without more to go on. If it works for people, it works for them. I'm just representing equal time. Carry on.

I do like the basic tenet of Taoism: we are all where we chose to be at any given moment in time. Our individual decisions have led us there. In the course of things, paths intersect. How those paths intersect and the value they have for a given individual depends upon who "in tune" someone is with their "nature"

Oh, and I don't not carry spare shoes. Or laces, either. Hmmmm...
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Old 09-04-07, 11:39 AM   #25
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I'd say the odds were about 1 in 22 that the guy next to you would have a pair of shoes to fit.
I grew up in Arkansas, where the odds were about 1 in 5 that the guy next to you would have a pair of shoes ... period.

Smiling an apology to Artkansas.
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