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ME! and the Ultimate Cycling Embarassment

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ME! and the Ultimate Cycling Embarassment

Old 11-10-14, 07:06 PM
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DaveLeeNC
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ME! and the Ultimate Cycling Embarassment

I am a long way from an experienced cyclist by the standards of this board. But (despite having not that long ago purchased new Look style shoes/pedals and, for whatever reason, finding them harder to get in/out of than my ancient Time pedals/shoes) I thought surely I would never again fall on my ass at zero mph because I didn't get clipped out.

Well last Sunday I went out for a planned 50some mile ride. Idiot step #1 was about 12 miles out and I realized that I had no sweat rag in my pockets and no halo sweat band (or other) on my head. While I was only 50 degrees when I set out (high forecast of maybe 60), I am a heavy sweat type guy and have, in the past, literally been blinded by sweat when I didn't manage it properly. I just decided to carry on despite my history.

About 20 miles out I started to notice sweat near my eyes and did what I could. About 25 miles out I knew it was coming. There was a dirt side road and I pulled off on it and found that suddenly I could barely see out of either eye (sudden onset of 'sweat blindness'). I did my usual stop sign unclip on the left side and, as I was coming to a stop, 'turned right' (I think - couldn't see a damn thing). I have no idea how this happened but I fell to the right!

Crap, while I somehow still have trouble (compared to my ancient, easy to get in/out of Time pedal/shoes) with the new Look style, I just can't believe I did that!

Oh well.

dave

ps. Yes, the pedals are adjusted as 'loose' as they will adjust.
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Old 11-10-14, 07:09 PM
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They say, everyone falls with clipless at least once. Almost a year, still have avoided that.

I hope you fell to the right onto some grass or something cushioning. Also how is your right ankle?

I've found if I'm falling, if I just force the bike to the side really quick, my feet will unclip just as my ski boots do if my skis are at a too extreme position. I've avoided a lot of falls doing that.
- So if falling to the right, I would have let the bike continue to fall on the right and get some footing on the left and right would unclip on it's own.
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Old 11-10-14, 11:22 PM
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It happens. However, I wouldn't call it "ultimate cycling embarrassment" unless it was witnessed by a minimum of 10 cyclists.
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Old 11-11-14, 12:08 AM
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Just my opinion, but the true ultimate cycling embarrassment would be audibly sharting while at the front of a paceline,...not that I spend much time at the front, personally.....
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Old 11-11-14, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
They say, everyone falls with clipless at least once. Almost a year, still have avoided that.

- So if falling to the right, I would have let the bike continue to fall on the right and get some footing on the left and right would unclip on it's own.
300 miles, and only a couple of close calls.
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Old 11-11-14, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Bunyanderman View Post
300 miles, and only a couple of close calls.
wow, impressive. #lol
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Old 11-11-14, 12:59 AM
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I fell once this year.

I was riding my rain bike which is configured slightly different from my daily rider. I was going slowly as I was nearing a turn and possible stop near a stores entrance. When two kids on bikes and two pedestrians appeared and blocked my way. One of the pedestrians was an elderly lady with a walker... which distracted me from my own situation.

I was track standing when I realized my left foot wouldn't pull loose. When I realized I was going down... I naturally thought to stick my knee out and roll down to my shoulder. But since I've never practiced that maneuver I crashed on the concrete in a little mini heap instead. I wasn't injured or even embarrassed.... until the older teenaged kid on one of the bikes yelled "I think the old man just passed out".

I immediately announced I was OK. The stores entrance door must have been open... as two more people rushed out to help. The adults that had exited the building asked what happened... I think they suspected the kids of foul play. I found myself explaining that I had special shoes with metal clips that attached my feet to the bicycles pedals and that I hadn't been able to unclip my feet.

The elderly lady with the walker... looked at me like I was totally insane or a complete idiot. And... that's how I felt.
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Old 11-11-14, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
I am a long way from an experienced cyclist by the standards of this board. But (despite having not that long ago purchased new Look style shoes/pedals and, for whatever reason, finding them harder to get in/out of than my ancient Time pedals/shoes) I thought surely I would never again fall on my ass at zero mph because I didn't get clipped out.

Well last Sunday I went out for a planned 50some mile ride. Idiot step #1 was about 12 miles out and I realized that I had no sweat rag in my pockets and no halo sweat band (or other) on my head. While I was only 50 degrees when I set out (high forecast of maybe 60), I am a heavy sweat type guy and have, in the past, literally been blinded by sweat when I didn't manage it properly. I just decided to carry on despite my history.

About 20 miles out I started to notice sweat near my eyes and did what I could. About 25 miles out I knew it was coming. There was a dirt side road and I pulled off on it and found that suddenly I could barely see out of either eye (sudden onset of 'sweat blindness'). I did my usual stop sign unclip on the left side and, as I was coming to a stop, 'turned right' (I think - couldn't see a damn thing). I have no idea how this happened but I fell to the right!

Crap, while I somehow still have trouble (compared to my ancient, easy to get in/out of Time pedal/shoes) with the new Look style, I just can't believe I did that!

Oh well.

dave

ps. Yes, the pedals are adjusted as 'loose' as they will adjust.
How is the bike? You didnt scratch it, did you??
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Old 11-11-14, 05:38 AM
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BTW, bike and body survived the fall just fine. EGO - no so much.

dave
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Old 11-11-14, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
How is the bike? You didnt scratch it, did you??
Finally some concern for the victim here.

The Ultimate cycling embarrassment would be getting caught wearing underwear under your bib shorts.
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Old 11-11-14, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
Finally some concern for the victim here.

The Ultimate cycling embarrassment would be getting caught wearing underwear under your bib shorts.
Well that would seem to involve just who made this discovery and the exact process that was used :=)

dave
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Old 11-11-14, 07:36 AM
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Far from an ultimate embarrassment, but I had to laugh at myself today. My chain had dropped, and after pulling off the street, I lifted the bike, standing beside it, and kept shifting the gear, trying to get the derailleur back over the big ring. I kept shifting, up and down, but it wouldn't move! What is WRONG with this bike?! I thought to myself. Then I realized it would help if I shifted the front instead of the rear. If anyone had been around, I would have been totally embarrassed! It was after a hill-repeat workout; I think exercise makes one stupid, at least temporarily.
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Old 11-11-14, 07:57 AM
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DaveLeeNC I can relate! After two weeks of riding with my first clipless pedals I fell at a STOP sign. I figured, "well I got that out of my system". WRONG! A week later I was at the Trailhead getting ready to leave for my first group ride and for no apparent reason I flopped over in the parking lot in front of what felt like 10,000 eyes watching. All experienced cyclist.

By the way, I grew up in Bennettsville, S.C. Not too far from you.
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Old 11-11-14, 09:14 AM
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I'm considering going over to clipless next spring. So, I'm thinking this probably isnt a good thread for me to be in.
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Old 11-11-14, 09:18 AM
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Fell over on my mountain bike first time I tried to ride clipless. Went to go up onto a wood bridge, ran out of steam and in a 45º angle just stopped and fell completely to the side into a pile of bushes. Laughed it off, I still think it was funny
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Old 11-11-14, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I'm considering going over to clipless next spring. So, I'm thinking this probably isnt a good thread for me to be in.
It's not as scary as you think. It's not as hard to learn to as you think. I didn't do any standing learning to clip in and out, it's all intuitive.

Do you ski? Cycling pedals are just ski binders. Clip in the same way. And like ski binders, the binder has a safety tolerance so it unclips if you ever get into a tough situation.
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Old 11-11-14, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ILUVUK View Post
It happens. However, I wouldn't call it "ultimate cycling embarrassment" unless it was witnessed by a minimum of 10 cyclists.
Yeah to make him feel better I fell while trying to unclip in front of the 20 person bike shop group ride while we stopped at the event of a park where at least 40 other people saw too
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Old 11-11-14, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by zymphad View Post
It's not as scary as you think. It's not as hard to learn to as you think. I didn't do any standing learning to clip in and out, it's all intuitive.

Do you ski? Cycling pedals are just ski binders. Clip in the same way. And like ski binders, the binder has a safety tolerance so it unclips if you ever get into a tough situation.
I was a skier back in the 70's and an avid cyclist most of the years and having used clips since '74. I am not an easy sell because I use clips for more than being vintage/oldschool. Yet, I'm willing to try.
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Old 11-11-14, 09:57 AM
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When I was (voluntarily) taking time off from the working world and living at home, my mom got a hold of some of my clothes, including some of my cycling shorts, and washed them. Mom used to use way too much detergent. One day I got caught in a heavy downpour during a long, group ride. You cold actually see foamy bubble coming from my shorts.
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Old 11-11-14, 10:05 AM
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Crashing on my head at a cx race in front of a large group of spectators pretty much did away with any of my embarrassment issues.
I wrecked last winter turning at low speed on snow and ice in front of a pile of cars. No embarrassment on my part but I did bow to the motorists while laughing.
Laughing at yourself is usually a good thing.
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Old 11-11-14, 02:10 PM
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don't be scared of it. I jumped on clipless back in the summer. Somewhere north of 1500 miles later, I have never fallen, and only had 2 close calls. It gets to be second nature very quickly. Its not awkward or difficult to unclip. Its harder to clip in, especially on single sided pedals, but that comes with practice too.
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Old 11-11-14, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
I did my usual stop sign unclip on the left side and, as I was coming to a stop, 'turned right' (I think - couldn't see a damn thing). I have no idea how this happened but I fell to the right!
This is why you want to practice unclipping on each side until it becomes second nature to unclip with either foot.
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Old 11-11-14, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
This is why you want to practice unclipping on each side until it becomes second nature to unclip with either foot.
I'm not sure that I understand this. And I am interested because, ever since I got new pedals and shoes, clipping/unclipping has been an issue for me.

In this case the only thing that would have helped would have been unclip on both sides before stopping. Is that what you are recommending? It takes a lot of force to get out of my pedals right now. And that is the bigger issue vs. just practice getting out of one or the other. But quite frankly, given how quickly my personal incompetence set in here, I don't see a solution to that specific scenario other than always unclipping both sides (not obviously unreasonable but not my personal habit). Or maybe a stop at my LBS to see if something needs to be done (beyond what I have done) regarding clip tension.

Thanks!

dave
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Old 11-11-14, 03:10 PM
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No, I'm suggesting you alternate the foot you unclip. It sounds like from your first post that your routine is to unclip with your left foot. If that's your habit, you get comfortable unclipping your left foot, but may not be able to quickly unclip with your right.

In this case if you're equally adept unclipping your right foot, when you started going over to the right, you likely could have gotten your right foot out in time.

Former coach of the US National team used to make his riders unclip at every stop sign, and alternate which foot they unclipped, so they would become equally adept clipping in and out with either foot.
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Old 11-11-14, 03:20 PM
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Unclip left at a stop. Unclip right when I get off the bike.
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