Fear: continued

So, I carried on with the cleats, and cycled in to Uni this morning (about 3 miles).  A few observations:

– I’m still riding more slowly and way more hesitantly than before.  This is disappointing, and not as safe (especially in London traffic, where assertiveness will keep you safer).  I’m mostly reacting like a startled cat every time a pedestrian nears the edge of the pavement (think Hyacinth Bucket, “mind the pedestrian, dear”…).  It’s also not good for my fitness – I’ve been pushing my average speeds to improve my fitness, but that’s dropped way back since I put the new pedals on

– I’m unclipping quite a way before junctions.  This also isn’t brilliant, but it makes me feel safer (or, more appropriately, less likely to wobble into an IMMINENT DEATH scenario)

– my cleats aren’t quite in the right place – this is normal.  Will tinker with them when I get home

– my legs appear to be aching in different places.  This is a Good Thing, because it means I’m using different muscles to cycle (given that I can now ‘pull’ as well as ‘push’ the pedals round) which means a better work out for one’s bum and thighs…

Overall, my current verdict is that, at this moment, the cleats feel like a retrograde step for me.  I feel like I have less control and less push.  Will review in a few days.

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4 Responses to Fear: continued

  1. lil bro says:

    riding with cleats changes your riding style (as your muscles can tell you) but it also does make you less able to react to things around you – getting over this will only come with time, keep at it – you are essentially learning to ride a bike again because cleats make it feel so different

  2. worksrider says:

    A few things as an experienced cyclist
    1. Clipless pedals take a bit of getting used to. Practice makes perfect though. Also, remember you can balance by using the things around you when you draw to a stop if you need to (I often use road furniture such as signs, fences, etc to avoid clipping out.

    2. Cleat position – Try getting an Ergon Cleat Tool to get the position exact. Yes, I work for them, but I wish I had been able to use one of these when I was 14 and started riding Clipless pedals.

    3. Don’t concentrate on speed. Concentrate on time spent riding and technique. Speed comes with time on the bike. (of course, when you have more experience and a ‘base’ then intervals, etc can build speed).

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