Friday, December 17, 2010

That time has come -- fell TWICE this week using clipless pedals

Before I forget, just a friendly reminder, Fatty, AKA Elden Nelson, the Fat Cyclist, is asking people who read his blog to donate to help Andreas Knickman fight bone cancer Those who donate before December 23rd will be automatically entered in a contest to win an opportunity to bike with Andy Hampsten, the winner of the 1988 Giro d’Italia, in Italy or France for 8 nights and 9 days.  Read Fatty's blog for all the details.

While riding approximately 350 miles from Tampa to Jacksonville on the Florida Challenge I didn't fall during the ride, but John Wordin, President and Founder, of the Ride 2 Recovery, told me "you'll fall at some point" and "it's a matter of time."  Grrrrr, that "time" came twice this past week:

On Sunday, I met the riders on the 2nd Sunday Slow Ride with Team Alameda, including my friends Anthony and Barbara who participated in the Golden State Challenge, at their rest stop and enjoyed conversation and hot chocolate with them.  After their short break, I started to go up the hill with them to a nice area to look out over the Bay.  I was on a very slight incline, and I pushed too hard after being on damp ground (gravel and grass) and my cleats slid down the metal pedal and my foot went out from under me as it hit the ground. I think because road shoes have slick bottoms.

And, I fell again on Wednesday. I clipped out of my right foot just fine, but wanted to play with my new mirror and I forgot that I was clipped in and tried to take my left foot off my pedal like I would normally on a platform pedal.  My legs are rather strong from all the riding I do and my R2R bike is much lighter and I knocked myself down.  Duh, struck by stupid.  I actually came really close two other times when I forgot my left foot was clipped in.  Hopefully, the memories of that fall will be a reminder when I try to take both feet off my pedals again.  For some reason, I've been lucky and I haven't forgotten when I get home at the end of my ride.

Injuries sustained from both falls:  Bruised ego; sore left elbow; skinned and bruised left knee; two big bruises on my left cheek (and not the cheek next to my nose); and a bruise on the outside of my right thigh where I think my handle bar struck my body.  Whew, my beautiful R2R Stealth is fine!  My bike was saved by my chunky thighs.  No scratches.

OK, I've got to rid myself of some guilt.  I did fall the night BEFORE the six day ride on the Florida Challenge when Wayne Stetina was teaching me how to use clipless pedals.  I stopped by a fence and grabbed it instead of unclipping and down I went.

I also tell everyone on the Golden State Challenge that I never  SAGed and that's true.  I can't tell anyone that I rode every mile.  On the first day within the first 5 - 10 miles I got off my bike and walked about 2/10ths of a mile up a little grade.  Yep, I walked.  A lot of the new riders were getting off their bikes and I was wary about going around them in the traffic so I got off and walked about 2/10ths of a mile with a young lady who had surgery on her ankles.  I'm just gonna' tell those professionals that it was my "fake out" to get them to think I wouldn't be able to make it up Big Sur on the third day.  I should have placed bets with them.  I'd have some extra spending money. ;-)

Clipping in and out hasn't quite become automatic yet, but I'm hopeful it will.  Nonetheless, I'm really proud how far I've come since I started training to participate in the Ride 2 Recovery Golden State Challenge about July of 2009.   Who'd a thunk Debi Palmer would have been climbing and descending hills and using clipless pedals!?!  :-)

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I hope you will consider a donation to help a teenager and his family fight his bone cancer.  If you can't donate, I hope you will at least spread the word about this worthy cause.  The Fat Cyclist's initial blog about the fundraising campaign for Andreas Knickman and the contest to win an opportunity to ride with Andy Hampsten is here and there is an update here.

In closing, I'd like to say that I'll be riding, but the San Francisco Bay Area is expecting at least 7 days of rain.  :-(  I'm dreading it because I can't get that endorphin high that helps me battle my depression.  The dark overcast days don't help either.

Until next time.



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