So I was riding my road bike for the first time and my clipless pedals for the first time. I had planned on swapping them over to my hybrid and learning to use them on that in case I fell [as I was assured by everybody I almost certainly would]. I couldn't find my pedal wrench [wife 'cleaned' the garage recently] and I was excited to get out on the new bike so I just went ahead and rode the new one.
I did spend about 15 minutes leaning against my garage wall clipping in and out and getting used to the process, how it feels, what's involved, etc. It took me a minute to get clipped in the first time but once I figured it out it was cake.
I assumed that if I were going to fall it would be due to forgetting I had clipless pedals and forgetting to unclip or not unclipping early enough/during an emergency or quick stop... I didn't fall in a way that I thought I would.
I was having some issues with my Garmin so I decided to stop and give it a better look. I unclipped as I was slowing down and was getting ready to put my foot down - I was next to a curb so I had my foot a bit high. When I was almost all the way stopped I put my foot down to put it on the curb but I just so happened to put it down over the pedal and clipped back in. At this point since I was already on my way over due to expecting to stop myself with my foot there was no time to unclip and stop myself.
Since I just picked up a Cannondale Synapse 3 Carbon and I was right next to a big nasty curb I did what I could to save the bike - I fell a little harder and my knee took the brunt of it. The bike's rear derailleur [Shimano Ultegra] did get some light scratching once I was down and I let the bike down so I could unclip and get up. When I fell I actually kept the bike in the air and off the ground/curb with my right leg since I was clipped in and my left leg was unclipped.
At any rate - I definitely learned a valuable lesson when it comes to clip-in pedals. In my case I, when coming to a stop, now unclip my foot I'm going to put down and then I put my heel or the middle of my foot on the pedal. This allows me to apply pressure if needed to get moving again and it also makes sure that when I slide my foot to reach the ground I won't be pushing it down onto the clip by mistake.
It's certainly a novice mistake to make [and I don't claim not to be a novice] but in all of the reading I've done about SPD pedals they just mentioned unclipping early and being ready to step down - I can't say I came across anything that said to use the middle or heel of your foot on the pedal which would have been exceptionally useful advice in my case. That said - I'm sure I was bound to fall over at some point in time or another.
Thankfully the only real damage is my pride. My scuffed knee will heal and the cosmetic scratches on the derailleur are barely visible - no actual damage to the mechanism at all.
Here are some pictures...
The derailleur scratches without flash - it's very hard to see them and if you didn't know they were there and you weren't working on the derailleur you likely wouldn't know:
Here it is with flash used [makes the scratches obvious]. It's anodized aluminum and I basically scratched the anodized finish:
And here's my knee [I can't post a picture of my injured pride, obviously haha]:
I actually didn't realize that I was bleeding because it was dark so I got back on after inspecting the bike to make sure there was no serious damage and I kept riding. I felt something warm on my leg so I reached down and it was wet - smelled it and it was blood. Headed home to get cleaned up, put a bandaid on it, and went back out and rode a total of 10 miles.
I averaged 17 miles per hour and did a max of 26.3. I didn't really push it as I was mostly wanting to get familiar with the bike, the shifters, the brakes, etc. I spent most of my time riding back and forth across my neighborhood so I spent a fair bit of time turning around/slowing down around corners due to unfamiliarity with the bike.
No serious damage to the bike or myself and an excellent lesson in respecting the clipless pedals. All of that said I love the pedals - it feels like I can pour a lot more power into the bike without worry about slipping off of a pedal and it's just flat-out comfortable.
All of my friends told me it was only a matter of time before I went down and I didn't take that seriously. Guess they were right!
All of that being said - hopefully another novice will happen across this and not make the same mistake I did.