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Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 20th 03, 01:30 PM
One Step Beyond
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Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???

Hello,

I am newish to cycling shoes and the cleats engaging with the pedals. On my
ride this morning I kept running into road works - I am still a bit scared
about engaging and disengaging the shoes and pedals - especially with a
queue of traffic behind me and trying to pull off uphill. Any others have
this "fear" or is it to be expected when getting used to them? When I am on
my own I always seem to engage them immediatly - but with traffic at a
junction I always have to fiddle around !!!!

Is my method outlined below correct????
I have found that the best method is when coming up to a junction, start to
slow down then disengage the left foot about five yards from where I'll
stop. Then, when I am about to stop, lean my weight slightly to the left,
put my foot on the floor then get out of the saddle at the same time -
leaving the right foot still engaged with the pedal. I then turn the right
crank so that the pedal is at the top and then push off with the right leg,
I then have to fiddle for about five seconds getting the left foot engaged
with the pedal. I have had the thought that since the right pedal is still
engaged then when I push off I can keep my momentum going my cycling with
just the right leg and pulling up as well as pressing down to keep going so
that I am moving whilst engaging the left pedal.

I had an accuident nearly when starting out with cycling shoes when I pushed
off as above but couldn't engage the left pedal and my momentum went - I
fell on my side and a car nearly hit me. That scared me a lot and I am
still a bit weary about pulling off again

On a similar note, do most cyclists plan there cycling runs to avoid certain
junctons becuase of this very issue? Do you plan your rides so that most of
your turns are left, merging into the traffic as opposed to having to turn
right?

Thanks for reading

OSB


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  #2  
Old September 20th 03, 03:36 PM
Pete Biggs
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Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???

One Step Beyond wrote:
Is my method outlined below correct????
I have found that the best method is when coming up to a junction,
start to slow down then disengage the left foot about five yards from
where I'll stop. Then, when I am about to stop, lean my weight
slightly to the left, put my foot on the floor then get out of the
saddle at the same time - leaving the right foot still engaged with
the pedal. I then turn the right crank so that the pedal is at the
top and then push off with the right leg, I then have to fiddle for
about five seconds getting the left foot engaged with the pedal. I
have had the thought that since the right pedal is still engaged then
when I push off I can keep my momentum going my cycling with just the
right leg and pulling up as well as pressing down to keep going so
that I am moving whilst engaging the left pedal.


That's a good method. I often do exactly that except I often find I still
stay sitting on the saddle if I can rest left foot on kerb or even just put
tiptoe down if stop is just a very brief one.

To build up confidence, though, (don't do this normally but as an excerise)
practice leaving it later and later before unclipping. Eventually, if you
can, stop and balance for a second or two THEN unclip! You'll certainly be
alright in an emergency stop once you've mastered that.

I had an accuident nearly when starting out with cycling shoes when I
pushed off as above but couldn't engage the left pedal and my
momentum went - I fell on my side and a car nearly hit me. That
scared me a lot and I am still a bit weary about pulling off again


That will be forgotten once you've fully got the hang of the things.

What type, make & model pedals? Some are easier to manage than others.

On a similar note, do most cyclists plan there cycling runs to avoid
certain junctons becuase of this very issue? Do you plan your rides
so that most of your turns are left, merging into the traffic as
opposed to having to turn right?


I don't think so. I certainly don't.

~PB


  #3  
Old September 20th 03, 04:05 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???

"One Step Beyond" writes:

Hello,

I am newish to cycling shoes and the cleats engaging with the pedals. On my
ride this morning I kept running into road works - I am still a bit scared
about engaging and disengaging the shoes and pedals - especially with a
queue of traffic behind me and trying to pull off uphill. Any others have
this "fear" or is it to be expected when getting used to them? When I am on
my own I always seem to engage them immediatly - but with traffic at a
junction I always have to fiddle around !!!!


Young people these days don't know they're born, do they? When I was
first using cleated shoes there was none of this quick release
stuff. If you got stopped at traffic lights there were three options:

1) balance (diffidult);
2) put a hand on the roof or gutter of the nearest stopped car (easy,
but got you dirty looks);
3) put a hand on the upright of the traffic light itself, or a
convenient lamp-post or road-sign (easy, but not always possible
especially when turning right).

When you actually did want to get off the technique was to lean down
and release the strap on the pedal while still in motion, then pull
your foot out. If you waited until you'd stopped it was too late and
falling off was the only option.

Is my method outlined below correct????
I have found that the best method is when coming up to a junction, start to
slow down then disengage the left foot about five yards from where I'll
stop. Then, when I am about to stop, lean my weight slightly to the left,
put my foot on the floor then get out of the saddle at the same time -
leaving the right foot still engaged with the pedal. I then turn the right
crank so that the pedal is at the top and then push off with the right leg,
I then have to fiddle for about five seconds getting the left foot engaged
with the pedal.


With cleated shoes you can pedal the bike with just one leg. So you
can uncleat early, secure in the knowledge that if you don't have
enough momentum to get to where you wanted to stop you can put a bit
more energy in. Also, with pedals which only have cleat fittings on
one side (most road pedals, some hill bike pedals) you can just flip
the pedal upside down and pedal on with the uncleated foot secure in
the knowledge that it won't recleat itself. So if you're nervous,
uncleat early.

It's also worth getting into a low gear before you stop, but I'm sure
you've already worked that out.

You shouldn't need to get out of the saddle at all, unless your bottom
bracket is very high. You should be able to get a tippy-toe on the
road, and that's all you need.

I have had the thought that since the right pedal is still
engaged then when I push off I can keep my momentum going my cycling with
just the right leg and pulling up as well as pressing down to keep going so
that I am moving whilst engaging the left pedal.


You can do this, but also you can pedal perfectly safely with one of
the pedals upside down until you have the momentum and time to flip it
over and cleat in properly. I don't bother to get cleated until I'm up
to cruising speed.

On a similar note, do most cyclists plan there cycling runs to avoid certain
junctons becuase of this very issue? Do you plan your rides so that most of
your turns are left, merging into the traffic as opposed to having to turn
right?


No, I don't. I didn't even in the old fashioned firmly-strapped-on
days. You will get used to cleats very quickly and will no longer
worry about them.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars. Lusers are from Uranus.
  #4  
Old September 20th 03, 07:34 PM
Zog The Undeniable
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Posts: n/a
Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???

One Step Beyond wrote:
Hello,

I am newish to cycling shoes and the cleats engaging with the pedals. On my
ride this morning I kept running into road works - I am still a bit scared
about engaging and disengaging the shoes and pedals - especially with a
queue of traffic behind me and trying to pull off uphill. Any others have
this "fear" or is it to be expected when getting used to them? When I am on
my own I always seem to engage them immediatly - but with traffic at a
junction I always have to fiddle around !!!!

Is my method outlined below correct????
I have found that the best method is when coming up to a junction, start to
slow down then disengage the left foot about five yards from where I'll
stop. Then, when I am about to stop, lean my weight slightly to the left,
put my foot on the floor then get out of the saddle at the same time -
leaving the right foot still engaged with the pedal. I then turn the right
crank so that the pedal is at the top and then push off with the right leg,
I then have to fiddle for about five seconds getting the left foot engaged
with the pedal. I have had the thought that since the right pedal is still
engaged then when I push off I can keep my momentum going my cycling with
just the right leg and pulling up as well as pressing down to keep going so
that I am moving whilst engaging the left pedal.

I had an accuident nearly when starting out with cycling shoes when I pushed
off as above but couldn't engage the left pedal and my momentum went - I
fell on my side and a car nearly hit me. That scared me a lot and I am
still a bit weary about pulling off again

On a similar note, do most cyclists plan there cycling runs to avoid certain
junctons becuase of this very issue? Do you plan your rides so that most of
your turns are left, merging into the traffic as opposed to having to turn
right?


Have you tried disengaging your *dominant* foot instead? I'm right
footed so this is the one that comes out - it's easier to get it back in.

  #5  
Old September 20th 03, 09:31 PM
Thomas
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Posts: n/a
Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???


"One Step Beyond" wrote in message
...
Hello,


Hello!

snip

I only started with SPD pedals about a couple of months ago, and did the
same as you - *really* think the whole time I was cycling, looking for when
I was about to stop and then getting my foot out in plenty of time. Never
really concentrated on what side I was leaning - I stay in the saddle with a
very pointed leg

(as an aside, nearly fouled that up after a week of hard cycling, on the way
to Tesco's, middle of busy road waiting for a chance to turn right, got a
nasty cramp in the leg on the floor. Nearly went for a nasty tumble or two)

Anyways, suddenly I found myself unclipping without thinking about it. It
certainly wasn't a concious effort to try and see how long I could wait
until clipping out - suddenly it just came to me. However, this is for my
right foot - the left one's a bit more clumsy. Oh and, strangely enough, I
always find myself standing out of the saddle when the left foot's
unclipped. Strange.

Give it time, you'll be fine :-)

Thomas.


  #6  
Old September 20th 03, 09:35 PM
Thomas
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Default addendum

Oh, and don't be afraid to fall off a couple of times - you'll probably be
expecting it when it happens, and it won't hurt :-)

(says he, still shuddering at falling over from stationary after having
stood at the traffic lights for a good few minutes. Opposite several London
buses waiting to unload passengers.)

Thomas.


  #7  
Old September 20th 03, 09:45 PM
Ian
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Default addendum

Thomas must be edykated coz e writed:

Oh, and don't be afraid to fall off a couple of times - you'll probably be
expecting it when it happens, and it won't hurt :-)

(says he, still shuddering at falling over from stationary after having
stood at the traffic lights for a good few minutes. Opposite several London
buses waiting to unload passengers.)

Thomas.


Yet another good reason to buy a trike.

--
Ian

http://www.catrike.co.uk

  #8  
Old September 20th 03, 10:38 PM
Thomas
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Default addendum


"Ian" wrote in message
...
Thomas must be edykated coz e writed:

Oh, and don't be afraid to fall off a couple of times - you'll probably

be
expecting it when it happens, and it won't hurt :-)

(says he, still shuddering at falling over from stationary after having
stood at the traffic lights for a good few minutes. Opposite several

London
buses waiting to unload passengers.)

Thomas.


Yet another good reason to buy a trike.


Disagree - I'd never realised how friendly a place London was until that
moment. The amount of passengers who, after "that" fall, responded to my
wave...

Thomas.


  #9  
Old September 21st 03, 12:17 AM
Marc
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Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???

One Step Beyond wrote:
The cleats ? You get used to them and this is from someone that hurt his
knee ( 6 weeks of riding)on his first "round the block " ride .

On a similar note, do most cyclists plan there cycling runs to avoid certain
junctons becuase of this very issue?

No, I plan my cycling runs to avoid certain junctions because I get fed
up of being held up by cars!

Concentrate on the 99% of your ride ( Hrs ?) that you enjoy , not the
seconds that give you a problem You hold a car up for 3 seconds, who
cares , it's only 3 seconds less he has to wait at the next
junction/lights/pinch point/traffic turning right, it's less time than
the traffic flow would lose behind a lorry or bus, and they probably
notice it less than you do.
  #10  
Old September 21st 03, 11:58 AM
One Step Beyond
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Bike shoes,cleats and traffic - advise please???

Thanks for all the advise guys. It seems from all your remarks that I am
doing nothing untoward and that plenty of practise is what builds
confidence.

Thanks again for taking the time.

OSB


"One Step Beyond" wrote in message
...
Hello,

I am newish to cycling shoes and the cleats engaging with the pedals. On

my
ride this morning I kept running into road works - I am still a bit scared
about engaging and disengaging the shoes and pedals - especially with a
queue of traffic behind me and trying to pull off uphill. Any others have
this "fear" or is it to be expected when getting used to them? When I am

on
my own I always seem to engage them immediatly - but with traffic at a
junction I always have to fiddle around !!!!

Is my method outlined below correct????
I have found that the best method is when coming up to a junction, start

to
slow down then disengage the left foot about five yards from where I'll
stop. Then, when I am about to stop, lean my weight slightly to the left,
put my foot on the floor then get out of the saddle at the same time -
leaving the right foot still engaged with the pedal. I then turn the

right
crank so that the pedal is at the top and then push off with the right

leg,
I then have to fiddle for about five seconds getting the left foot engaged
with the pedal. I have had the thought that since the right pedal is

still
engaged then when I push off I can keep my momentum going my cycling with
just the right leg and pulling up as well as pressing down to keep going

so
that I am moving whilst engaging the left pedal.

I had an accuident nearly when starting out with cycling shoes when I

pushed
off as above but couldn't engage the left pedal and my momentum went - I
fell on my side and a car nearly hit me. That scared me a lot and I am
still a bit weary about pulling off again

On a similar note, do most cyclists plan there cycling runs to avoid

certain
junctons becuase of this very issue? Do you plan your rides so that most

of
your turns are left, merging into the traffic as opposed to having to turn
right?

Thanks for reading

OSB




 




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