Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Friday Lameness

The horror/joy of Saturday’s ride completely overshadowed the disappointment of Friday night:

I made plans to meet with my friend Chris to work on the cookbook and begin experimenting with vegan lemon bars right after work. Later I would meet up with Isaac for a drink or two.

At 4:30 in the afternoon my office received a dreaded DCFS call – and I was next in line. Ugh. Before I left for the Evanston Police Station, I alerted Chris and Isaac that I had to bail from our plans.

While I didn’t appreciate having my plans ruined, I was sort of happy about getting in a nice ride to Evanston – luckily I brought the Julep that day, so I could ride fast enough to make the timing work. Unfortunately, I only brought my small messenger bag, was wearing tight jeans and my newest pair of clipless shoes.

On the way up to the station the shoes were the biggest problem. I don’t know what is wrong with these shoes (Lake), but they slip off the pedal as I try to position them to clip in. The cleats are recessed like all of my other shoes, but somehow these shoes are very awkward to position correctly. It feels like two inexperienced teenagers with braces trying to kiss – with just as much pleasure and threat of danger, too. The sole under my arch is super slick and if I miss engaging the cleat, my foot often flies of sideways – thereby aggravating the already unpleasant feeling of riding in the drops in tight jeans. Blech. Weirdly, once the cleat is basically in the correct place, they are very easy to clip in.

Basically, I didn’t feel very safe for a large part of this ride, which rode smack through traffic dense neighborhoods during Friday afternoon rush hour. Lots of clipping in and out, stopping and dodging the clueless drivers. Not all that fun – except of course for passing the cars like crazy as they were gridlocked on the congested streets.

I got to the police station, changed into my suit and met with my ward. Unlike most experiences, these cops were very cool and friendly. While waiting, I took out my shoes and multi-tool to fiddle with my cleats. I pulled them back towards the heel, hoping it would help the situation.

Then I got to observe the line-up – my ward was not identified! Yippee!

Another clothing change, and I was back on the road again. The cleats worked better in this position – but they still aren’t great. The slippery part of the shoe is getting scuffed from scraping on the pedal, so there were fewer times that my foot slipped off the pedal.

The main problem on the way home was my messenger bag – it was stuffed tight with clothes and my file. It rubbed hard against my spine and I could feel my back bruising. (I bruise ridiculously easily). Between the tight jeans and my tender back, I wasn’t enjoying the ride very much. Plus, at one point a group of young thugs on bikes decided to ‘escort’ me while providing running commentary on the shape of my ass and what they’d like to do with it. I lost them as soon as I hit a nice string of green lights, but damn, I wasn’t in the mood for that bullshit.

By the time I got home I wasn’t in the mood for trying to meet up with friends. I ate some food, played with Blackie and went to bed.

Thrilling, isn’t it?

4 Comments:

At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Randy said...

They were young thugs, and you smoked them. Be happy!

Smile, riding season is upon us.

Randy

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger jojo said...

Young thugs don't ride road bikes.

It doesn't take much to smoke a BMX.

But, Yes -- lots of riding in the next few months!!

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Sean said...

The position of your cleat won't help you clip in any better. That will just take time. Moving the cleats around a lot to see what works will probably make things worse as you won't gain any muscle memory from clipping in at the same place over and over.

Your cleats should be positioned directly below the ball of your foot. The positioning will be different in each shoe because no one is perfectly symmetrical.

I recommend calling Turin bike shop in Evanston and asking their fitting girl to help. She is super nice and will get your feet placed correctly on the pedals. You'll probably have to schedule an appointment.

Don't worry about scuffing up the bottom of your shoes. It happens.

Oh, and take your time when clipping in. Take a deep breath and don't be scared to look down, get your foot in, and then go. Much safer.

I sometimes have trouble getting into my LOOK pedals because they're one sided. I use crank bros on my street bike (4 sided entry) and never have to think about it.

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who do you volunteer with? I used to volunteer with first defense legal aid, but I'm at a job for a couple more months that doesn't allow me to practice, and am thinking about who I'm going to volunteer with next. Thanks.

 

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