Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Clipping in... and Falling Over! Tips for Using Clipless Pedals

David and I are active members in a couple of cycling groups. I enjoy being on the email lists and participating  in some of the discussions on topics that many of us would find interesting.

Today a topic came through on the message board from a cyclist looking for advice on becoming more skilled at getting out of pedal clips.

Ha! That reminded me of my own beginnings when David first convinced me that I should be 'attached' to my pedals. (I've since learned that it does make pedaling more efficient.)

We practiced a few times in the driveway, and then we took off for an easy ride on the bike path. Dave had my daughter attached to his bicycle with the tag-a-long, and I was on my own single bike. She may have thought I was being entertaining, but I fell over three times in a row! I simply was not conditioned to thinking about preparing to stop in advance, so I can certainly relate to the woman seeking advice!

I've learned from my own personal experience that it's best to wiggle your heel outwards to unclip -- away from the bicycle. Previously, I wiggled my foot both ways, and in doing that the back of my shoe had actually caught up in the spokes of my rear wheel, which threw me to the ground!

Another thing I've figured out is that the tightness of the cleat in the pedal can be adjusted. Not having worn such things before, at first I wasn't sure of how easily my foot 'should' be able to clip in and out, and sometimes it was really too tight of a fit, so I was unable to clip out quick enough.

It was helpful for me to establish a habit in how I unclip -- always 'left out' first. Being that I often ride on a tandem, it also works to assure that we are coordinated when we come to a stop, so that we always dismount on the same side.

An interesting thing we've noticed that seems to be unique to each couple on a tandem bicycle, is that many stokers choose to remain clipped in during a ride when it's necessary to stop at an intersection. I suppose it's easier, but I think I'd be a little bit nervous. When Dave and I start off, we clip-in in unison. When we need to stop, he will often let me know to unclip by saying, "Left out."  But, everyone has their own way of doing things!

 For more information, check out...
Do I need clipless pedals? Will I fall over when I stop?

No comments:

Post a Comment