I don't know how many of you have done this, but I don't think I'll ever do it again. I pulled into the Barrier Lake parking lot this morning with my lovely wife. I had packed the car the night before so we wouldn't forget anything in the morning. Anyway, I've got my bike together, helmet on, bug spray, water, gel, sunglasses... Wait, I'm missing something. WTF?!?! No shoes! I tore the car apart. My cycling shoes were at home. I had a choice at that point. I could ride in my lovely Chet Thomas IV skate shoes, or I could sit this one out. If I went home to retrieve my biking shoes, I wouldn't be back for almost 2 hours. I rode.
My pedals are the 959 SPD's, and have pretty much no gripping surface. Paired with my zero-tread-having skate shoes, it was going to be a challenge. The Jewell Pass ride is an up, over and down affair. Normally, I just spin my way to the top of the 5 km climb, but I couldn't do that today. I grunted my way through the umpteen switchbacks to the top, the pedals poking into the balls of my feet through my trashed footwear. Of our group, I made it up first, which was unusual to say the least. My wife totally schooled Ryan [ha - you've been named! ], but the best was yet to come. What goes up, must come down. The descent is a dream on a trail bike - lots of twisting singletrack, loose babyheads, steps, trees and rain ruts. I found out quickly that having both feet slip off the pedals resulted in a hard groin-seat interaction that was not pleasant. I totally cut my speed and rode the brakes the entire time. Still, I kept sliding off the pedals and doing unintentional groin slams. Sigh.
I vow to never again forget my shoes. I think that I will keep them in a special box in the back of the car, or maybe clip them into my pedals at the end of every ride.