This summer I hit the seven zero b'day.
I had been using a vigorous walking program, but in early
October I started developing plantar fasciitis and had to quit
I decided to give biking another shot, back in the early 70's
I commuted with a Schwinn Touring bike.
I bought a Specialized "Sequoia Elite".
I have been gradually increasing my distance each day for the last week.
Yesterday I decided to ride down to the Kentucky river, about 10 miles
from home. I remember to pack some water forgot to pack some food.
When I reached the river ( actually a ferry crossing ) I slowed down
preparing to stop.
I disengaged my left foot from the toe clip and was breaking to stop when
suddenly I started falling to the right and I could not get my right foot
out of the toe clip and and went down. My right shoulder took the brunt
of the fall, I had a small nick near my elbow and another near my knee
and (sob...) some scratches on my right brake/shifter mechanism.
I checked myself out and dusted off myself and the bike. I drank most
of the contents of the water bottle and walked around a bit.
I found that there was no cell service down in the valley ;(
After a bit I decided it was time to return home. I pointed the
bike in the right direction, threw my right leg over the bike and put
the right foot into the toe clip.
My intent was to stand into the pedal and take off... What happened
was that I found myself falling off to the right again. Of course my
foot could not be removed in time from the toe clip.
I hit the ground in exactly the same way and (sob, sob) the scratches
in the right brake/shifter handles developed deeper and more
numerous scratches in the same places.
After hurling a few choice invectives down the river valley I cleaned
myself and the bike off again.
After a few minutes I tried starting again *without* using toe clips.
The launch was successful and once I got going again I engaged the
toe clips and made it back home safely.
I am trying to understand what I was doing wrong and want to
prevent a re-occurrence of the disaster...
Any suggestions on safe toe-clip usage would be greatly appreciated.
Here are some of my thoughts:
1) I went too far too soon. When I arrived at the river I was fatigued and
my reaction time and situational awareness were impaired.
2) I suspect that I slowed to a stop I might have "steered" to the left causing
the bike to cant to the right and fall over.
3) I suspect that leg fatigue might have a lot to do with the second crash. In
the brief time I have been biking I have noticed that after a trip that going
up stairs immediately after a ride was difficult even though I did not feel
fatigued and was able to pedal without difficulty. If I could not lift my
body to stand on the pedal properly I could see that there could be problems.
On the other hand, perhaps I forgot to 'release' the brake ;(
I have been able to make slow u-turns using toe clips and I have been able
stop/start from traffic lights and stops signs without any problems.
The toe-clips that came with the bike a just a wee tad too short and made
of some kind of plastic...I find that pulling the pedal over and catching the
toe-clip to be difficult to do...I hope practice makes perfect. I keep the
clips fairly loose but my size 11 shoes are fairly thick.
I feel a bit gun shy at the current time...
Again any hints for survival are appreciated