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Learning to fall

Yesterday was an easy day. Just an hour on the bike as I work to get my "road" legs back. I enjoy spin classes but there is something much better about being on the road, feeling your bike go faster and hearing your gears shift to get up those rolling hills that puts me in a zen-like state.

Frankly, I needed a bit of a zen yesterday as it was my first ride with my new shoes and pedals. This system of clipping into my pedals is different than what I'm used to and I was slow off stop signs and red lights as I tried to get that secure feeling and resounding "click" to know that my bike and I were one.

I went to clipless pedals last spring. For those not familiar with the benefits of clipless pedals, they basically give you more power on each pedal stroke and help you become a more efficient cyclist. And they provide great comic relief and potential for any sort of funny home video contest. See, you will fall.  It's a given. When I first got my clipless pedals, I jaunted around my neighborhood to get used to clipping in and out at starts and stops. The first time I tried to clip out, just up the street from where I live, I freed up my left leg and from a dead stop proceeded to fall over onto my right side.

OK. Let's try this again.

Around the corner, I slowed down to a complete stop, clipped out of my left pedal and --- fell over to my right side again.

By the end of the session my right thigh was rather bruised.

It only took me about three falls to realize that my tendency on the bike is to put my right foot down first, so I need to clip out of my right pedal at stop signs and traffic lights.

I am sure some of my neighbors are still wondering about that girl who kept falling over on her bike last spring.

Luckily, I didn't fall on Sunday's ride with the new pedal system but it will take a bit of getting used to. And I'm not ruling out an embarrassing low-level spill just yet. Only this time, it likely will happen in the parking lot of a group ride.

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