Me, terror and the clip-on cycling shoes thing…
Everyone tells me that I cannot possibly, ever, ever, ever attempt to ride the 56-mile biking portion of my Half-Ironman without those clip-on bike shoes.
I’m told things about efficiency and blood flow and muscles and feet and time. I get all of this knowledge and technology; I really do… but you are stuck on a bicycle with your feet stuck on the pedals.
People acknowledge that learning to “clip-out”, as I’ve heard one too many times, is not easy.
But I tried.
And tried and tried and tried.
Here is what happened when I tried to master the clip-on shoes thing 4 years ago when I challenged myself with finishing a Half Ironman – 70.3 miles – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run…
Note that Barry keeps filming. Commenting. And I dare say, joking as he narrates the scene even as a good samaritan, carrying a baby no less, comes to my rescue. Good times.
Oh, and also note how Jane casually saunters to the site of the crash. Yep, good times.
I tired the clip-ons several more times, suffered several more crashes (no cameras, please) – attached to my pedals. Down. Boom. Ouch.
To the disdain of my former bike shop personnel, I detached my clip pedals and replaced them with my regular pedals.
And I did finish that Half Ironman with those regular pedals and a sound mind…
The greatest physical challenge of my life – on the same route as my daughter Jane, daughter-in-law Nicole and son Keith!
I am currently training for my second 70.3 (I came up with the idea of doing one in my 50’s, this one in my 60’s and, well, we’ll see!) and gave a moment of thought to trying my clip-ons again. I even consulted my new bike shop peeps with some alternatives – shoe straps, cages, etc., but there is something about confidence and fun on a bike that supersedes terror – and these bike guys didn’t try to slap me senseless into doing something that terrorizes me.
I love my bike.
I love riding my bike.
I know 56 miles in a race is more efficient in clip-on shoes than not.
But I’m doing it with a smile, and that’s good enough for this Grandma!