Click in. Click out. Click in. Click out. Repeat at least 100 times during a long ride.
This is referring to bicycle shoes that clip into pedals designed to fit the shoe. The cyclist needs to move his foot quickly away from the bike to free himself from the bike before dismounting or stopping.
I have owned a pair of bicycle shoes for one year, and am still learning to use them. Like most newbies, I fell five times on the first day, fortunately while practicing on a lawn. For a long while, I would only wear them with one shoe clipped in and the other free of the clip.
Why wear them anyway? On long rides, cyclists will use a lot less energy on rides as the shoes do some of the work. This is particularly true with rides that have many hills.
I have a love/hate relationship with my bicycle shoes. Last year, once I became a little more confident with them, I would ride with both feet clipped in. On more than one occasion, after stopping, I would forget to clip out and fall right on the hard pavement. On a few sudden stops there was little to no chance of clipping out on time. More than one friend riding with me has declared they will never, ever, get a pair of these shoes after witnessing one of my falls.
The love part comes with the afore-mentioned long rides. While training for a charity ride, I was very, very happy wearing these shoes. On the weekend of the 150-mile ride, they were great, even though I did fall once.
Fast forward to this spring: my commute to work requires cycling through a city. On the first day of commuting to work, I rode my bike with the bike shoes. Not once did I clip in with both at the same time. Too much traffic, too many people, too many cars parked on the side of the road. My confidence plummeted and since that time, I have ridden to work on my other bike with sneakers. The cycling shoes only see the light of day on weekends, where the city is avoided and most miles are on bike paths.
Readers, do you have any advice on gaining confidence with these shoes? Comments or questions from those who has never worn them are more than welcome.
In the mean time, click in, click out. Click in, click out …