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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dessert's Avatar
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    Clipless pedals got to me today!

    Well everyone said it would happen so I'm not surprised. I certainly was embarrassed thought falling over at a stop sign with witnesses.
    It happened so fast and I remember falling over while trying to unclip. I've only been riding clipped in since August of 2014 so I'm still learning I guess. Foot just wouldn't come off the pedal. Looking back, there were two cars coming from my left at a tee and I just braked first instead of unclipping and then braking. Once I stopped, it was all "uh-oh......". So I fell on my left knee which is sore and put a tiny scratch on my shifter but that's about it. Man, I hope I never do that again.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I still remember the first time I fell over because I forgot to loosen my toe clips and straps (this was B.C. . . . . before clipless). Welcome to the club! I don't know where in Louisiana you're located but mine happened in New Orleans oddly enough.

  3. #3
    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    The secret? Realize you just made a fool of yourself. Rotate your elbow and knee out so they hit first but keep your arm and leg relaxed. If you stay relaxed and hit in 4 or 5 places, none will hit hard and you will be fine. Unclip, get up, dust yourself off and act like that was all planned.

    45 years of riding toeclips, straps and cleat; pulling the straps tight teaches you a few tricks!

    Edit: I did this in 1975 on the U of M campus, Ann Arbor at class change in front of 50(?) students.

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    I did it at a stop sign last summer with a car behind me. Picked myself up, waited for the light to turn and started on my way. Never even looked back at them.

  5. #5
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Regardless of HOW experienced you are, the "foot just wouldn't come off the pedal" situation WILL happen (repeatedly). If you're lucky enough not to fall into traffic, and most are, then the few-bumps-and-bruises result is most likely. OTOH, if you fall into the traffic lane, you're possibly dead. So for me, it's a risk/benefit analysis - If I use clips, I have a credible likelihood of being killed. If not, I lose a non-measurable amount of efficiency. For me, this is a clear, clear choice. Show me a clipped cyclist who hasn't fallen and I'll show you a liar. Or, perhaps more accurately, "there are two types of clipped cyclists - those who have fallen and those who will."
    Last edited by FarHorizon; 01-07-15 at 06:01 AM.

  6. #6
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    Being well over 50, falling over on hard surface is something best avoided, therefore I've the spring in the cleats set weak, (I'm not worried about them coming off on a sprint, as I don't) & when I think there is a traffic light situation, or small town etc, the left foot is out then just riding on the top, so it can go down very quick if needed. Yes I've fell over as well only twice: once in the drive when I 1st tried them out, then another time when I changed down too quick on a hill & threw the chain off, it happens very quickly, as mentioned above do it in traffic & you might be dead, I learnt very quickly. Some friends of mine use them on their mountain bikes ??? to me that's a really bad idea.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
    Regardless of HOW experienced you are, the "foot just wouldn't come off the pedal" situation WILL happen (repeatedly). ............... Or, perhaps more accurately, "there are two types of clipped cyclists - those who have fallen and those who will."
    +1

    I've fallen a few times both with clips and clipless. Only once did the ouchie take any real healing time. Another time in front of a group of (non-cyclists) people.... all of whom wanted to help the old guy that someone suggested had pasted-out (from the heat). I think... I prefer the ouchies.

    Quote Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
    ...... Rotate your elbow and knee out so they hit first but keep your arm and leg relaxed. If you stay relaxed and hit in 4 or 5 places, none will hit hard and you will be fine.......
    I need to practice that maneuver... maybe in the backyard on a warm day.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 01-07-15 at 06:48 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bicyclelove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike tinker man View Post
    Being well over 50, falling over on hard surface is something best avoided, therefore I've the spring in the cleats set weak, (I'm not worried about them coming off on a sprint, as I don't) & when I think there is a traffic light situation, or small town etc, the left foot is out then just riding on the top, so it can go down very quick if needed. Yes I've fell over as well only twice: once in the drive when I 1st tried them out, then another time when I changed down too quick on a hill & threw the chain off, it happens very quickly, as mentioned above do it in traffic & you might be dead, I learnt very quickly. Some friends of mine use them on their mountain bikes ??? to me that's a really bad idea.
    I have clip less on my MTB I haven't fallen yet but have had MANY close calls. I used to use straps but had them set loose enough to just pull out my foot if necessary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bicyclelove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    +1





    I need to practice that maneuver... maybe in the backyard on a warm day.
    i can imagine the neighbors watching you practice falling and thinking "what the heck is wrong with that bike guy across the street?"
    LOL

  10. #10
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Welcome to the newest member of Club Tombay.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

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    Good to hear you are fine with just minor scrapes

    Like most situations when panic sets in the worst often happens

    Once a I saw a new clipless user trying to clip in when crossing a busy intersection, he paniced as there were many cars waiting to make a right turn and took a really bad spill into coming traffic, he wasn't as lucky and needed several stitches. Unfortunately he gave up on clipless after that.

    After I fell the first time, I blamed the pedals, either the spring was too tight or too much float. It look a while before I felt comfortable again but now I tend to keep my pedals and cleats well tuned, cause in the back of my head it was the equipment and not me.

    As for mt biking, if I don't fall at least once, I didn't ride hard enough. Came close to riding off a narrow bridge with clips last year and now my balance is shot to the point where I need to unclip and tip toe across. Even with platforms its tough, need to constantly remind myself not to look down...

  12. #12
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    It happens. I usually happens to me when I'm talking with someone. Which guarantees a witness.
    I use clipless on all of my bikes, it feels strange to ride and not be clipped in.
    Practice unclipping both feet. That way when you have a problem and your dominant foot gets stuck, it's not so strange to unclip your off-side foot. Just remember to lean the right way.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  13. #13
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicyclelove View Post
    I have clip less on my MTB I haven't fallen yet but have had MANY close calls. I used to use straps but had them set loose enough to just pull out my foot if necessary.
    That is what I do. And will continue to do.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  14. #14
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    I have had more spills with platform pedals because I hit a bump and it knocked my feet off the pedals! I had a couple when I started clipless but not in the last two years. I have riding for about 5 years now. I love clipless. I hate to ride anything else now.

  15. #15
    A Roadie Forever 79pmooney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike tinker man View Post
    Being well over 50 ...
    I am not quite sure where I fit in here. At 61, am I well over 50 or badly over 50? Last spill was last summer when I came to a stop sign I didn't know was there in the wrong gear on a steep hill. No witness, no bruises, so all was well. I did adhere to my advice above.

    As far as traffic goes: Every time I have fallen in traffic it is because the traffic was stopped. And I have yet to fall without attracting lots of attention! I suppose there is a situation that could turn out badly, but it is pretty far down on my list of bike accident worries.

    Ben

  16. #16
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    As Garrison Keillor would say, 'It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars.'
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Dessert's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the comments. At least I'm in good company who can sympathize with this situation. My clipless pedals are Mavic Elites. LBS said they were set at the lowest setting for ease of operation. I'm going to verify that. Even though this happened, I still made my ride that day but boy my knee felt bad about 5 minutes after I got home.
    I like the feel of being clipped in when riding. I don't ride in the city but always on back roads. I would think that riding in the city clipped in would be altogether a different scenario for me. I don't know if I would want to do that.
    This will make me much more aware of being clipped in and hopefully a "good learning experience". I'm 63 but not a klutz so I should be able to continue on.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Don't ya just hate when that happens?

    I too keep mine pretty loose so that in an "emergency" I can usually get out of them simply by yanking my foot up, but once you get tilted over more than a few degrees, yer goin' down! Never had any problem with them coming unclipped unintentionally. I too unclip and flip the pedals over to the platform side in heavy traffic, pedestrians or any other dodgy situation - especially when passing that group on the multi-use path with the two little kids on big wheels, a dog on a leash and a couple of strollers!!

    All that said, I agree with FarHorizon - there are two kinds of riders riding clipped in...

  19. #19
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dessert View Post
    Well everyone said it would happen so I'm not surprised. I certainly was embarrassed thought falling over at a stop sign with witnesses.
    It happened so fast and I remember falling over while trying to unclip. I've only been riding clipped in since August of 2014 so I'm still learning I guess. Foot just wouldn't come off the pedal. Looking back, there were two cars coming from my left at a tee and I just braked first instead of unclipping and then braking. Once I stopped, it was all "uh-oh......". So I fell on my left knee which is sore and put a tiny scratch on my shifter but that's about it. Man, I hope I never do that again.
    Strange as it may be to normal people falling over with clipless really does show how unsafe they can be off the race track.

    Do stupid stuff get hurt bad.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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  20. #20
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    Le Club "Arte Johnson"

    mid 1970s, Some shipmates and I are on liberty and lost in San Francisco, standing on a corner trying to figure out how to get to Fisherman's Wharf. I spot a guy 'Really Movin' on a "Ten Speed" and decide to wave him down, (who better to know the streets than a 'Serious Biker', and back in the Day an adult on a "Ten Speed" pretty much had to be one) I guess I surprised him, as he came to a somewhat 'Hurried' stop. Then he surprised the hell out of Us by Just Falling Over on his side. Being 'ELITE' and 'HIGHLY TRAINED' Warrior's, we IMMEDIATELY LEAP into totally Stunned, Silent IMMOBILITY, while he is laying in the middle of the Street trying to catch his breath! Turns out he was 'Strapped In' to the pedals, which caused the improv'd impersonation of Arte Johnson's 'Yellow Raincoat' character.
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  21. #21
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
    Regardless of HOW experienced you are, the "foot just wouldn't come off the pedal" situation WILL happen (repeatedly). If you're lucky enough not to fall into traffic, and most are, then the few-bumps-and-bruises result is most likely. OTOH, if you fall into the traffic lane, you're possibly dead. So for me, it's a risk/benefit analysis - If I use clips, I have a credible likelihood of being killed. If not, I lose a non-measurable amount of efficiency. For me, this is a clear, clear choice. Show me a clipped cyclist who hasn't fallen and I'll show you a liar. Or, perhaps more accurately, "there are two types of clipped cyclists - those who have fallen and those who will."
    Going back to around 1974, can't remember ever having a fall caused by toe clips, power grips or clipless pedals. And I know I'm not the only one.

    This from Wiki: A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.
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  22. #22
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Someone needs to take over for Stapfam and Digital Gee to award each new Club Tombay member their certificate and be the arbiter of questionable falls that come across. Points for coming forward voluntarily to let everyone know about their admittance into the lofty environs of "The Club".

    Jan, same here, the self fulfilling prophecy part seems apropos for these. I am sure my time will come, but even last Friday's spectacular over the bar face plane wasn't related to the clipless pedals. just one extremely fast and unpredictable dog. Mine goes back to 1971 in the toe clip and strap days, like yours. I can't blame an inanimate object for things I did myself.

    Bill
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 01-07-15 at 08:00 PM.
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

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  23. #23
    Senior Member h2oxtc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon View Post
    Or, perhaps more accurately, "there are two types of clipped cyclists - those who have fallen and those who will."
    ++1

    I encouraged two friends last summer to try clipped pedals. The first fell the first day using them and promptly removed them and sold the pedals and shoes.

    The second had his Tombay after about a month of riding with them. I was riding with him at the time of his first tombay - it was hillarious. He stopped beside a steep embankment and rolled over in slow motion sliding down the embankment on his back with the bike on top of him.

    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Welcome to the newest member of Club Tombay.

    Bill
    Really, Bill, today? I hope that you're talking about the dog incident and not since then! Edit: Just read your most recent post. Phew. The dog incident was enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Going back to around 1974, can't remember ever having a fall caused by toe clips, power grips or clipless pedals. And I know I'm not the only one.
    I remember having my feet in toe clips (1970's) and rolling over into the ditch beside the road on more than one occasion. I was younger then, it was easier.

    My most recent Tombay was a couple years ago turning left at a traffic light - the vehicle in front of me didn't move when I thought it would and before you know it ... thankfully the driver behind me was attentive. I agree, just get up and keep going like it happens all the time.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dessert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HvPnyrs View Post
    mid 1970s, Some shipmates and I are on liberty and lost in San Francisco, standing on a corner trying to figure out how to get to Fisherman's Wharf. I spot a guy 'Really Movin' on a "Ten Speed" and decide to wave him down, (who better to know the streets than a 'Serious Biker', and back in the Day an adult on a "Ten Speed" pretty much had to be one) I guess I surprised him, as he came to a somewhat 'Hurried' stop. Then he surprised the hell out of Us by Just Falling Over on his side. Being 'ELITE' and 'HIGHLY TRAINED' Warrior's, we IMMEDIATELY LEAP into totally Stunned, Silent IMMOBILITY, while he is laying in the middle of the Street trying to catch his breath! Turns out he was 'Strapped In' to the pedals, which caused the improv'd impersonation of Arte Johnson's 'Yellow Raincoat' character.
    Thanks for this post! I loved it.

  25. #25
    Member Gordy. 1888's Avatar
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    One of my first outings clipless I stopped at my house at the end of my run and as I turned Strava off on my phone I fell over. After a delay still lying on the kerb I started to laugh as no one had seen me , only for a white van driver across the road to roll down his window and say " at least you can laugh about it"

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