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Old May 29th 04, 05:26 PM
Roger Zoul
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Default A not so great biking day.....(kinda long)

Well, Thursday I had cleats put in my shoes and I switched over to clipless
pedals.

I spent an hour or more on the trainer at the LBS getting used to locking
in/out. The hot lady who works there adjusted the tension so that they were
pretty easy to lock in/out -- which seemd to be what I needed at the time.
I got home, moved the bike out of the garage, locked in the left foot, then
nearly fell to my left. I managed to catch myself. I got on the bike and
rode around my small subdivision a bit while practicing locking in / locking
out.. No real problems until once I got to a stop while a car was going
by...I felt unsure....

So yesterday I did about 6 miles around my neighborhood, hitting a few hard
hills. Practiced locking in / locking out while riding -- over and over.
Didn't really stop, though. No problems. I found that working the cleats
in / out of the pedals on a real bike ride is much easier than doing so on a
trainer. I felt good about it...

That brings the story to today, my first real day of bicycling shame, I
might add. I was planning to do 45 to 50 miles, depending on how I felt.
So, I left out at first light, got through the first red light fine -- had
to stop...locked out right foot...no problems...Got to the place where I
meet my riding buddy about 4 miles from my house -- he's there ready and
waiting....so I lock out my right foot...sort coast up to him to chat a bit.
Get my right foot to the ground. Bamn! Fell to the left (while talking to
him) while left foot is locked in (Pat suggested I lock out both feet but I
forgot)...there was a slight incline near the road edge so that my right
side was lower then my left...on the fall I twisted the saddle, and knocked
off some of the seat material -- I guess a new saddle is in my distant
future. Messed up the rear brakes enough that the rear tire didn't roll
freely. Fixed all of that...

Everything was great for the next 16 miles or so, in fact, it seemed like my
speed was up, though I was pushing it a bit since I had birthday cake last
night and wanted to burn it off....at mile 20...I was coming to a stop to
meet my riding buddy, who got there ahead of me (he weighs 60 lbs less than
I do)...so this time I lock out both feet as I only had maybe 30 yards to go
to stop....Bamn! Fell to the right. Turns out, my right foot had locked
back in and I didn't even know it! That was really embarrassing as I was
talking to him and we both knew the moment I was going down. It all happens
in slow motion it seems, even though once you start to go you can't do much
about it. Glad I had my helmet on as my head hit the pavement. Talk about
the inverted pendulum problem.

Anywho...at about 25 miles out along the route, I hear this noise....had
popped a spoke on the rear wheel. Dang -- I just had popped a spoke on
tuesday on that same wheel and had to have it trued. Well, there I was with
the wheel out of true again. I could do nothing to get the spoke back in.
Some out-of-town cyclist came by to offer a hand...he was training for an
Ironman event in Florida (we're in SC)...there was nothing he could do so he
wished my a good walk home...I was looking at about 11 miles....not too bad
but at 3 mph with a bike I was not looking forward to it. My buddy was
nowhere to be seen although he was to wait for me at a certain point on the
route since he didn't know where we were going today beyond that point...so
I released the rear brake and tried to ride with the wheel out of true...it
all seemed to be working, so I made a U-turn in the middle of the road to
head for the meet point. But, alas, the rear wheel hung and --- what do you
know --- bamn! I was on the friggin pavement again! This time I felt a bit
defeated. So I just started hoofing it home. Luckily, after about 4 miles
a kindly old fellow and his wife stopped to ask how far of I walk I had...I
told them 9 miles...I did the math wrong..it was only about 7 miles...but
anyway, the fellow was cyclist...81 years old...had a bike rack on his other
car....so he went home and came back, hitched up my bike, and drove me
home....finally (after calling my riding buddies to see if he made it back),
I hurried to the LBS where the hot lady (who sold me my bike) managed to
rush my bike back so I can get it back by 3pm (hopefully, that was nice of
her to try, huh?). I discovered that my left palm is all swollen, too. Must
be from one of those falls....

Comments on how to avoid any more spills and what to do with a popped spoke
and an untrued wheel on a ride would be much appreciated. Somehow, I feel a
bit unsure if myself now....damn!


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