Ken's Voyages Around the Sun


Bondage with Becky
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Like the Japanese girls of old, I've decided to have my feet bound. Bound to Becky the bike, that is.

For some time other people in the biking club have asked me why I don't ride with so-called clipless pedals -- the kind where the shoe sticks right to the pedal rather than being held in with toe clips, which are plastic stirrup-like devices. [Toe clips don't clip to anything, and since the name was already taken, you have the new things called "clipless."]

My lame excuses were wearing thin (and I already have the special biking shoes), so I bought a pair of new pedals and cleats on Friday and today they got their first workout.

"Clipless" pedals actually clip in to cleats on the bottom of special biking shoes, much like ski bindings work for downhill skiers. They keep the shoe attached to the pedal, until and unless you want to disengage, which is done by turning one's heel outward a bit.

The people at the bike shop and on-line suggested different ways to learn to clip in and clip out because if you don't remember to clip out, say, at a stop light, and you try to pull your foot backward as from a toe clip then you'll fall over.

I chose to use one clipless pedal and one old toe-clip pedal yesterday on the commute, and had no problem, so today the other clipless one went on. To me they seem as natural as using Google to search the 'net, and I quite like them.

The new pedals direct more leg energy into the bike, especially on the up-pull, which is good: more speed, less effort, and they look better.

Now I'm a Real Bikerô I reckon!




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