Getting owned by my clipless pedal

I have not taken my road bike out for more than 8 months. It sits at the corner, forlornly, with flat tires waiting for its turn to hit the road (or get back at me).

These days I much prefer my  mountain bike for a quick spin around the neighbourhood. The truth is maybe I’m getting lazy and enjoying the gear system of an MTB too much (especially the bail out “granny gear”) that makes climbing tough gradients easy while self-denying that my fitness level and muscle strengths had deteriorated after such a long period of riding hiatus.

On my MTB i have flat pedals which gives me much more control and flexibility during riding. On my road bike I have clipless pedals (yes the term “clipless” is a misnomer and confusing since you are actually “clipped” in) and it does takes some practice and a bit of time for your muscles to remember the required movement to click out smoothly, and more importantly, IN TIME, from the clipless pedals.

I’m sure everyone that is using or have tried and gave up (you are not alone) using clipless pedals already know what I’m talking about and the dangers I’m about to share.

This morning I finally took my road bike out for a spin at my regular route which consists of some steep climbs in very short intervals; sort of like a mini “dragon back”.

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I like this route since it quickly gets your heart pumping and your forehead sweating due to the short hard climbs and fast descents ; so fast that you are not able to catch your breath to recover fully.

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From the picture above you can see the multiple climbs behind me. To cut a long story short, after one of the descents i found myself losing speed fast on the way up on another climb; i tried to change gear but I made a mistake and caused it even tougher to pedal (at this point I’m really missing the “granny gear” badly).

10, 8, 6km/hr… arghhh..

I knew then that a fall was imminent; I managed to click out my left shoe but unfortunately lost balance and fell ungracefully sideways to the right side where I have not managed to click out yet. As I fell, I kept both my hands tight on my handlebar and braced myself tight in a riding position i.e. my thighs and knees tucked in.

Since it was like a slow motion fall, I didn’t get hurt, just some graze on my right elbow and ankle from the asphalt. I think my pride was bruised the most. Thank God I ride alone; if not my buddies will have a good laugh and will keep reminding me of this stupid mistake over and over and over again….

You may think you owned the bike but once in a while you gets owned by the bike 😂.

Ride safe everyone!

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