December 21, 2007 at 8:56 pm
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This isn’t exactly an elated celebratory post, but it’s in the right direction.
Justin and I headed out for my first bike ride since I was 4 months pregnant with Sara (and that was a low heart rate ride in a paved neighborhood, because my OB didn’t really want me on my mountain bike and I didn’t own a road bike yet.) Not only was this my first time on a bike in over a year, it’s my first time on a ROAD BIKE since I was about 13 years old.
Anyway, the new bike is awesome and we’ll post some “glamour shots” of her soon, although she has already acquired some scrapes. How so? Because I bit the bullet when we bought her, and had “” installed (which are a misnomer, because you “clip in” and “clip out” to secure your feet to the pedals, literally becoming one with your bike.) Clipless pedals allow for more efficient energy transfer from your body to the bike, since you’re producing power on your upstroke as well as the down pedal stroke. As a newbie, though, I’m convinced that clipless pedals exist to make adults feel like they don’t know how to ride a bike!
Transitioning from a mountain bike to a road bike is a big change, itself, especially after a year out of the saddle; transitioning to a new road bike AND using clipless pedals for the first time ever? Pretty much a recipe for a fall, or at least some hair-raising moments. For me, it’s a recipe for a fall… probably a few falls, until I get the hang of things, but hopefully none as painful as today’s (except to my dignity.)
“Chances are, in that first day or two, you’ll forget that you need to twist your heel out (instead of pulling back) to unclip. By the time you recognize your mistake, it’s too late, as you’ve lost all forward speed. And, with no place to go but down…you get the picture. You will, in very slow motion, and nearly always with people around to see it happen, fall over.” —
So, yeah, I fell on a downslope with both legs still clipped in and I couldn’t get unclipped until Justin came over and got the leg I wasn’t laying on top of clipped out. My right knee, elbow, forearm, shoulder and ankle are all screaming. Thankfully, I only , and the knee’s what’s going to be hollering for awhile, but as I posted on my Flickr details for the post-wipeout knee shot, after you’ve blown out your ACL and had knee surgery, you celebrate anytime you can stand up and bear weight on your knee/leg after a fall.
I also always try to fall on my “good knee/leg”. It sounds silly, but my post-op (left) knee is my “expensive knee” and I unconsciously try to protect it in any situation where I might fall. I figure God probably made my knee stronger than even my 3-year’s-post-op other knee is, plus I know that revisions on ACL reconstructions have a slightly lower success rate than original repairs.
Anyway, I’m back on a bike and it’s a sweet ride and I will get the hang of this blasted clipping and unclipping #(!@#(~#$ soon enough, hopefully with no more blood-letting and only a few more bruises. Mostly, I’m looking forward to burning a big ol’ ton of fat calories!
Archives from One Year Ago —
December 23, 2007
We have a friend (female) that is an avid rider and transitioned this past year from a hybrid to a road bike. Her children are now off to college and in the past five years she has never had a serious accident. All has changed this past year since moving to a road bike. Earlier in the year she had a collision that put her in the hospital with a concussion, several more from scrapes to significant bruising. The most recent is a broken ankle which has left her hobbling over the holidays. (she relayed this in her Christmas letter)
So my point: This ambitious and proud move to a road bike needs to be considered with caution; you are now a mom and the tale of our friend is probably not the only one you have heard about people riding road bikes?
BTW … Merry Christmas to your family.
December 23, 2007
Merry Christmas to your family, as well, Rich!
Your sentiments are received loud and clear. However, the solution to providing safer cycling for road bikers isn’t to have fewer riders on the roads, it’s to have more of them.
, including a 150-mile two day ride en masse, with no accidents and only a couple wipeouts (two on the mountain bike, if I recall, and one on the road bike.) Most bicycle wipeouts I have direct or close association with were sheer dumb luck or due to rider inexperience (like yesterdays road bike clipped-in wipeout). A few serious actual bike+motor vehicle traffic accidents were caused by drivers who were drunk or inattentive, but for the most part they occurred to bicycle commuters and solo riders, not folks like me who plan to ride in groups only and on routes motor vehicle drivers have grown used to sharing the road with cyclists.
Solo riders and bicycle commuters are, by need, more experienced riders and are not easily intimidated by motor vehicle drivers… something that I cannot say of myself as someone whose riding has primarily been on trails shared with pedestrians and other mountain bikers, as well as those tall skinny things they call trees.
December 23, 2007
Another sobering thing to keep in mind is how many people die each year from heart disease (high blood pressure, clogged arteries, etc.) and cancer and I’m not talking “old people” either here – I’m talking about these killers taking people out in their 30’s and 40’s.
So, there’s also a real risk associated with not exercising.
Sure, there are “safer” forms of exercise than cycling, but if you get bored going to the gym or using the rowing machine at home and stop exercising…you’re back to square one.
Cycling, for me, has done so many good things for my health.
Before cycling, I was gaining weight, feeling awful and developing high blood pressure.
Like my flying and most other things in life…cycling too has it risks.
So, we do everything in our power to reduce that risk knowing there is no way to eliminate it.
December 24, 2007
Congratulations on FELT purchase!
Donâ€™t worry too much about the pedals, after a few rides around the park the action of clipping in & out will become second nature.
I look forward to riding with you two sometime soon.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
December 24, 2007
Thank you, Joel! I can’t wait to rejoin you, Justin and anyone else game for putting wheels down to get our heart rates up!
A very merry, miraculous Christmas and a wonderful and happy New Year to you, Michelle, David and, last but not least, Baby Nathan!
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