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Unclipping In Time

Excuse the swear word in the video and the strange connection proclaimed at the end of the video (Enjoy cycling, Go vegan!) but I have to tell you that I can definitely relate to the uncomfortable, often painful and always embarrassing situation of not unclipping from my bike successfully.

Two falls on (or should I say, “off”) my bike in the past six days.

One fall really hurt my leg. The other just hurt my pride.

Both falls were the result of not getting unclipped from my pedal quick enough.

I’ve been “attached” to my bike for about 15 years of cycling – I love the feeling of power when I am able to pull up on the pedal as well as push down  –  and I know better than to stop suddenly, without first unclipping my cleats. But lately, I’ve found myself in some unpredictable situations and I just haven’t been able to (pardon the pun) “think on my toes.”

So, down I went…twice. The first fall landed me in a mud pile (thankfully, no one was around to watch!) and the second fall landed me on a road and was witnessed by far too many people. Many ran up to me and asked if I was OK – meanwhile, the more tense I got trying to unclip from a horizontal position, the less successful I became at doing so! There I lay, attached to my bike, feeling so ridiculous.

Reminds me of the time a few years ago when Chris and I had just moved to this home and I went cycling one morning. I saw a neighbour in front of his house so I decided to ride up to him and introduce myself.  I rode up his driveway, onto the grass, forgot to unclip from my bike and fell right in front of him.

VERY humbling.

That neighbour still remembers the situation. Creative introduction, for sure!

I’m not sure what to think about my absent-mindedness these days.

Am I too old to clip into a bike? I don’t think so – I’ve ridden with 70-year-old, clipped in cyclists who have no trouble staying on their bikes. I mean, I suppose there will be a time when I resign myself to riding with baskets, instead of clipping in but that time has not arrived yet.

I think I have to pay more attention and make less spontaneous decisions on my bike.

Meanwhile, keep your distance from me when I’m on a bike – the domino affect can be devastating. On one of my first group rides years ago, I failed to unclip fast enough at a stop sign and I singlehandedly knocked down about 25 bikes behind me. It looked funny but no one was laughing…and no one rode near me for the rest of the trip.

Ah…such humbling memories.





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