Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My fumblings and bumblings but I get it in the end or how I got unstuck from my bike

I recently was given clipless road pedals for my road bike. I bought some shoes a while back, $225 Sidi shoes on clearance at REI for $80. The only pair, women's and just my size. It was fate, it was meant to be, I could not pass up that bargain, I had to buy them.

I have been riding the 2 sided Shimano SPD "campus" style pedals, one side clips in, the other is like a reg pedal and Shimano shoes that look like normal, albeit ugly, shoes. Worked great but I am ready to move to the tinkerbell looking road shoes. So Sunday I swap the pedals. I mount the cleats on the shoes and clip in. I didn't tighten the cleats fully so I could center them. That's when the trouble began. I tried to clip out, the cleats slid because they weren't tighten enough to the shoe. I twist and twist both feet, no luck. Next I reach down to unbuckle the shoes. Nothing happens. I try the other shoe, nothing again.

These shoes have a ratchet mechanicism with a red lever on the sides of the ratchet to release it. The instructions say to "push" the red lever. I push and push, this way and that, nothing happens. I'm totally stuck to my bike and stuck in my shoes. I'm leaning against my couch and between the couch and the wall. I don't want my husband to come in and find me cuz then he will know....yeah, that's right, it doesn't make sense but that's the way it is. So I'm in a situtation. I'm comtemplating how to ride backwards as I can't go forwards, to get to my tools on the floor behind me and cut off my shoes or remove the pedals without breaking a bone or something. This goes on for a few minutes. I decided to slid off on to the back of the couch, a mistake, because my legs aren't as multi-jointed as that requires. I get back on the bike. I cuss.. I decided to work on the red lever again and this time I press DOWN and just like that, I'm released from my shoe!!!! I couldn't BELIEVE it, how could I miss that?? I get the instructions that came with the shoe, it just says to press to release. No directions on WHICH WAY to press. It didn't look like it could be pressed DOWN, but yes, that is how it works and it works great.....needless to say, it was not one of my brightest moments. I started laughing so hard at myself, it still makes me chuckle. I was ready to dismantle these shoes or take apart my bike while I was still on it...yeah, that's right, it doesn't make sense but that's the way it is.

So I'm feeling alright now. I take the bike out for a ride and it's still difficult to clip out of, the pedals are soo tight. I loosen the tension until I'm afraid they may fall apart and even grease them up where the cleats clip in. I go for a ride, I can clip out but it still requires a concentrated effort and much harder than my SPD's.

I seek out advice on the bike forums. Some people think these Look-style pedals require you to twist your foot IN towards the bike, SPD twists OUT away from the bike. I have been twisting OUT. Got the directions again, it just says to twist, no directions on which way to twist. Tried it out and yes, it comes right out easily. Yeah, that's right! Now EVERYTHING is right.

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