Last week I went out a bought some cycling shoes. I'm really getting into my cycling now, going for four rides a week, and also eyeing up a couple of mountain bike races in March and April. I figured I need to get serious and get some shoes and clip in pedals.
After looking around on Trademe for shoes and pedals I started to get an idea of what I needed. In the end I decided I would be better off visiting my local bike shop for some expert advice, and to try on some shoes. I purchased a pair of Diadora mountain bike shoes. They were the cheapest the store had, but they were comfortable so I was happy with the purchase. I also wasn't wanting to spend a lot of money as after all this cycling gig is only supposed to be temporary until I start running again right! And anyway aren't we all supposed to have stopped spending?
I managed to score an old (well not that old but I can see they are well used) set of pedals and cleats through a work colleague, whose husband is a mad keen cyclist. Once home I was eager to fix the pedals to my bike, the cleats to my shoes and to get started with some serious cycling.
Pedals on bike, no problem. Cleats on shoes, no problem. Shoes on pedals, we have a problem!
No matter what I did I couldn't get the stupid shoe on to the pedal. Tried frontwards, backwards. Did I have the pedals on the wrong side? Tried loosening the clips, nothing worked.
I asked my friend at work the next day who checked with her husband and apparently it should just clip in easy as. I have another try that night but still no luck. I'm going to have to take the bike into the shop to get it checked out I decide.
I took the bike into the shop today. I end up having the shop assistant and another shopper all over the bike trying to get the shoes clipped in. Still no luck. Maybe this pedal is not designed for a beginner we all wondered. If a bike shop cant fix this what am I to do I thought? I'll have to buy new pedals I think to myself and quickly find a pair on Trademe when I get home going for around $50. I'll keep an eye on those.
I decide I'll have a final go at getting these shoes on. This time I'll try putting the other shoe on as up to now I been trying with just the right shoe. I take a look at the other cleat as I'm about to screw it into the left shoe. Huh I think, looking at the cleat closely, I wonder what happens if I turn it over this way? I put the cleat up to the pedal and it logically appears to fit the clip. How stupid could I have been? I screwed the cleat on to my shoe, put the shoe on my foot and literally clipped my shoe straight into the pedal. I could not believe how easy it was and how much time and effort I had wasted all due to me having the cleat upside down.
With a quick change over of the other cleat I was ready to start learning this clip in system. I picked it up relatively quickly just riding around my driveway and street. Of course the first time I tried stopping I fell off onto the grass even though I had told myself to flick out my heel rather than lifting my foot. Somehow it just didn't work that first time. Ten or fifteen minutes of practice though and I was getting more comfortable with the whole idea.
Tomorrow is the first proper ride, so I think I'll pick a quiet section of road with few intersections and I'll see how we go. Wish me luck.