Locked in!

1 07 2008

I’ve done it.  I finally road my bike using cleats, and I have to say, I much prefer them to normal pedals.

Firstly, yes, they were a little scary.  Having your feet locked to the pedals is a totally new experience.

Secondly, before I went out on the road, I practiced in the hallway at home.  Having a close wall on either side ensuring you can’t fall makes the whole “getting used to it” process a lot easier.

Once I got the hang of unclipping my feet I decided to head out on the road (yesterday).  My only real issue was working out how to clip in, as I’m not quite accustomed to the foot placement.  Once I had that worked out, I was off and pedaling.

It wasn’t until I was half way around the block that it occurred to me that I’d left the house without my helmet.  DUH!  Of all the days I need to be wearing it, it’s the time that I’ve clipped my feet to the pedals.

Needless to say, I made it safely home where I unclipped, put on my helmet and went out again for another exhilarating and accident free lap of the block.

In the past the idea of pedaling up the large hills near our home has been a bit of a turn off, but I faced them yesterday, and let me just say, when you’re pedaling normally, it’s a lot of effort, but when you’re clipped in, you get double momentum.  Once as you push down with your foot, and secondly as you pull up.  It’s fantastic.  It’s still a hill, but it’s easier than it would be with a normal pedal.

All in all it was a lot of fun.

This morning I hit the road early to have another ride.  Primarily because I woke up to the sound of sirens and what appeared to be the sound of a helicopter landing in the nearby park.

Turns out I was right.  A helicopter was in the area, I’m not sure if it landed though.  Unfortunately, the sirens were for an accident.  The sort of accident I’ve been dreading lately for myself.

You see, the roads near my home are always busy, busy with what I’ll call “Microsoft New Hires”, which is a diplomatic way of saying, “people who have no idea of driving that are from a country where road rules may be, or are treated as optional”.  So needless to say, each time I’ve ridden along a road, I’ve been pretty vigilant of what drivers may be doing.   Which saved me last week, when one “IDIOT” came flying out of a road, a road with a Stop sign on it, and had I not seen him coming, would have knocked me off my bike.

It seems that this morning someone was knocked off their bike.  Sadly, from what I saw as I went past, it may have been a child.  What I did see were several adults sitting on the ground being comforted by others, and what appeared to be a child’s bike with a bent tyre…  Very sad. 😦

The road was blocked for several hours afterwards, and the Police state there was an investigation, I only know this, as I asked if I was still able to ride past as the road was half blocked.  I didn’t go out of my way to ride past, just in case you think I’m a ghoul.  The road block was at the end of our street.

Hopefully, it wasn’t too serious.  But I just don’t know. 

For me, it just means I’m going to be even more vigilant than I have been in the past.  It’s scary enough on the roads in a car, let alone unprotected on a bike.

Moving on…

In sunnier news…  The sun is out, again!  It’s a little cooler than it has been recently, which is nice as it means I can cool down the upstairs portion of the house today, and overall it’s been a pretty great day.

But, it’s almost over.  It’s flown by.

Hope you’re all well wherever you are.