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A day of firsts

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

A day of firsts

Old 04-07-16, 03:45 PM
  #1  
Ruda53
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A day of firsts

Well, I've done a lot of reading here over the last few months. Now it seems to be the day where I need to write about a lesson learned today. So today I have the honor of doing 3 firsts:
1. First post
2. First group ride
3. First fall

After riding around the neighborhood for 6 months on my old mountain bike, decided to purchase a road bike. Of course, also had to get the clipless pedals because my toes on the front clip pedals on the mountain bike were getting smashed as I became more and more aggressive. So today I was able to join a group ride of 15 after a month of riding by myself with the new bike. The group was spread out a little and I was hanging out in the back just trying to watch and learn from the more experienced riders. The front of the group was stopped at a red light so I let up a little hoping the light would turn green before I caught up with them. It eventually turned green and I was just a few feet from the main group so I didn't unclip. Big mistake! The group just didn't go quite as fast as I expected once the light turned, so all of a sudden I'm almost at a dead stop and I've got nowhere to go but down as I couldn't get my foot out in time.
The good thing that came out of this is I learned a valuable lesson, I didn't get hurt, my new bike didn't get a scratch, and I got up quickly and still made the light!
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Old 04-07-16, 03:48 PM
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Good to have you.
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Old 04-07-16, 03:59 PM
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Welcome and welcome to the clipless initiation.
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Old 04-07-16, 04:04 PM
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Been there, done that. You'll learn to unclip when you are getting close to something just out of habit.
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Old 04-07-16, 05:07 PM
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If you were in the back then hopefully no one saw you! Happens to everyone
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Old 04-07-16, 06:48 PM
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OP,
I have never met anybody who didn't go down clipped in at some point. You have now joined this unfortunate yet ubiquitous group.
Since you are new to group riding, I will share a common newbie mistake that can really ruin the day behind you when you are pulling in front of the group. When you are done with your pull, never let up on the pedals and then pull off to the left and rotate back. Instead, ride under power to the left. When you let off on your pedal stroke unannounced when pulling and the guy behind you is pushing hard only 3 feet off your back wheel, this can have dire consequences. Keep power up as you pull over and rotate to the back of the line. Some even seasoned riders make this mistake which is harder to forgive.

Good luck with your group riding. Keep in mind 30% of the guys in an average group ride shouldn't be there as they ride too dangerously to ride with safety in a tight pack. No different than percentage of poor drivers on highways.
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Old 04-07-16, 08:12 PM
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Riders who use clipless pedals have either suffered the slow-mo fall of shame or lie about it.

Also, good of you to hang out at the back when you're new to a group or new to group riding in general. Not because you're not strong, but because hey nobody knows if you're a reckless rider nor do you know that about anyone else present. Too often I see close calls because riders new to a group are too eager to prove themselves.
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Old 04-07-16, 09:11 PM
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Ruda53
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Thank you for all of your wisdom that comes from experience. My pride was briefly hurt as I took the tumble as there were a couple of riders behind me who witnessed it but were very gracious as you have all been. Looking forward to many more rides!
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Old 04-08-16, 08:21 AM
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Happens to all of us. Unfortunately my first cliptastrophe was in front of an impatient F-150 instead of in a group.
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Old 04-08-16, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by k_kibbler View Post
Riders who use clipless pedals have either suffered the slow-mo fall of shame or lie about it.
This made me chuckle because that was precisely what my first fall was like. My first ride with clipless was on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. I rode down to the corner and tried to release my foot by pulling up and back like I was used to doing with toe clips. I couldn't figure out why my foot wouldn't release. Before I knew it, I was slowly falling over. I reached out and grabbed a stop sign pole and slid down to the ground, uttering the eff word pretty loudly. A father and his young son were watching me the entire time like there was something wrong with me. To my credit, I did apologize for my language.
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Old 04-08-16, 11:28 AM
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@Ruda53 Great attitude and it sounds like a decent group of folks you rode with.
@indyfabz That is hilarious and made me laugh. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-08-16, 12:11 PM
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I switched over to clipless a couple of weeks ago... remembered all the stories on this site...practiced clipping in and out in my garage... so far so good.... I live in fear of the day I screw it up....
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Old 04-08-16, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
I switched over to clipless a couple of weeks ago... remembered all the stories on this site...practiced clipping in and out in my garage... so far so good.... I live in fear of the day I screw it up....
It happened to me Sunday haha.

I was in the easiest gearing on a 4% hill and then i missed clipping in with my right foot. Since it was such easy gearing, my clipped in left leg spun the crank too fast and I tumbled. Thankfully there werent many cars going up because I landed very close to the car lane!

What are club member benefits?
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Old 04-08-16, 03:22 PM
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thin_concrete
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Originally Posted by soom View Post
What are club member benefits?
Free bandaids and moral support!
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Old 04-08-16, 04:15 PM
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I've fallen more than once one time even in front of cute grills
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Old 04-08-16, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Owlex View Post
I've fallen more than once one time even in front of cute grills
Well, at least they weren't attractive women...
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Old 04-08-16, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ruda53 View Post
Well, I've done a lot of reading here over the last few months. Now it seems to be the day where I need to write about a lesson learned today. So today I have the honor of doing 3 firsts:
1. First post
2. First group ride
3. First fall

After riding around the neighborhood for 6 months on my old mountain bike, decided to purchase a road bike. Of course, also had to get the clipless pedals because my toes on the front clip pedals on the mountain bike were getting smashed as I became more and more aggressive. So today I was able to join a group ride of 15 after a month of riding by myself with the new bike. The group was spread out a little and I was hanging out in the back just trying to watch and learn from the more experienced riders. The front of the group was stopped at a red light so I let up a little hoping the light would turn green before I caught up with them. It eventually turned green and I was just a few feet from the main group so I didn't unclip. Big mistake! The group just didn't go quite as fast as I expected once the light turned, so all of a sudden I'm almost at a dead stop and I've got nowhere to go but down as I couldn't get my foot out in time.
The good thing that came out of this is I learned a valuable lesson, I didn't get hurt, my new bike didn't get a scratch, and I got up quickly and still made the light!
Welcome to the forum and to group riding. I remember my first group ride like it was yesterday. I was awed by the effectiveness of the draft. Everyone has had that same helpless tumble that you took. Last week I was showing my bud a place at Audubon Park where a bunch of college women gather to soak up the sun. He fell in front of 50-60 college girls. I laughed so hard I cried.
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Old 04-08-16, 04:44 PM
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It's sooo awesomely humbling.
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Old 04-08-16, 06:40 PM
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Happens to everyone, it's good for you
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Old 04-08-16, 07:34 PM
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I love watching how slow it takes for the group I ride in to clip in. I can do it in a 1/3rd of the time, then again I'm using toe clips & straps.
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Old 04-08-16, 07:36 PM
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I did the whole practice clipping in and out while on the trainer, got good at it and went two months without problems. Was riding in the Schaumburg area while on business on the last morning I was there, went to pull a u turn on a spur of the trail and toppled over because I didn't unclip. Worst part was it was right in front of a hospital that was just changing shifts. Needless to say I picked my bruised body and ego up and went home.
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Old 04-09-16, 03:41 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by SteelIsRealHevy View Post
I love watching how slow it takes for the group I ride in to clip in. I can do it in a 1/3rd of the time, then again I'm using toe clips & straps.
I grew up with clips and straps and I can click in to my Speedplays faster. But yeah it is funny watching the group clipping in to their one sided pedals.

The learning curve for clipless is faster on a mountain bike simply because you're doing it much more often. I had them on my MTB for about 6 months before I bought road pedals. They were old Onza HO's I got in '93 or so, then I bought some Ritchey's for my road bike later. The Onza's were such horrible pedals that if you could master them then anything else was super easy and I've never fallen on the road.
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Old 04-09-16, 10:49 AM
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I totally get the "fall of shame" and effects on your ego especially since the general non cycling public does not realize that you are actually clipped in and thinks you just loss your balance or not a good rider to fall so easily, Lol.
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Old 04-10-16, 05:55 PM
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While on a ride recently a buddy and I were stopped at a stoplight. All of a sudden I hear this clang and swear words on my right side. Turns out my bud who's been riding for years just fell over due to being clipped in on one foot, but was unstable while reaching for a water bottle
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Old 04-16-16, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
I switched over to clipless a couple of weeks ago... remembered all the stories on this site...practiced clipping in and out in my garage... so far so good.... I live in fear of the day I screw it up....
And... got that over with... twice

First group ride ever and two different times I couldn't get the left foot out for some reason... will have to double check the adjustments...but I really think it was operator error....
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