So as you probably know by now, I am a triathlete-minus-one. I tell runners that I am a swimmer. I tell swimmers that I am a runner. But to neither group would I ever deign to classify myself as a cyclist.
Thus, winning the lottery to enter the NYC Triathlon is pretty much the only reason I now own a Cannondale racing bike, complete with speedometer, tire repair kit, and—as of yesterday—clipless pedals. And to think, I really only wanted to buy a lighter-weight bike so I could carry it up and down from my apartment. . . .
“This,” I told myself, “is a sign.” I had been meaning to get more advanced pedals, anyway, since my racing bike almost seemed to require them. Plus, if I wanted to get good at this sport before the race, I had better start practicing with the gear sooner rather than later.
With all of these factors in mind, I grit my teeth, took my Visa out of its vault (okay, make that out of my wallet), and sallied on down to the Grove Street Bike shop. Of course, I had to return to my apartment soon afterward, because they needed the bike in order to install the pedals . . . but as I said, I never claimed to be a bike pro.
Which leads me to today: my first ride with the new pedals.
Sound pretty straightforward? I didn’t think so, either.
Here is the sum total of my first clipless pedal ride:
- 5 falls while dismounting
- 2 falls while mounting
- 1 chain dislodgement (for which I had to ask for help from a man passing by on his bike)
- 1 seat bent sideways
- 1 skinned elbow
- 1 pair of lost sunglasses
- almost hit by bus
- collision with pedestrian
- boken _______ (tibula/fibia/ulna/scapula/cranium/etc.)
- broken bike!
So all in all, I guess I got away lightly with just a scraped elbow and sore shoulder. I am definitely going to have to take one of those bike repair classes, though. Because try as I might, I cannot get the seat back into alignment!