"What?" I hear you say.... "our intrepid hero has scrapes all over his body after losing it on a ferocious 40 mph descent at the end of an epic 100 miler?" well..... no, not exactly.
Here's the road rash on my left knee - not exactly the stuff of heros and champions is it? If you get out your magnifying glass and squint a little you may be able to see it.
Most embarrassingly I managed to get my first triathlon related injury in my own driveway moving at precisely.... wait for it..... 0 mph! The cause of this catastrophy? My new tri bike shoes and clipless pedals!
I have been riding my new road bike (Cannondale CAAD 9-5) for a month now and have been very happy zooming around northern Wake County with flat pedals and a pair of running shoes, but the time had arrived where my confidence was running high and it was time for an upgrade, so last week I headed down to our local TrySports store to see what my options were.
After spending time talking to the associate "JP" I settled on a pair of Louis Garneau Tri Lites with carbon sole:
Size 45 to accommodate my big old wide feet, but nice and comfortable both with and without socks.
For pedals I went with stainless SpeedPlays. A little bit more forgiving than some but can be clipped into from either side and, supposedly, nice and easy to get in and out of.
On the trainer in the store clipping in and out seemed to be a breeze and, as suggested, I practiced clipping in and out on the grass that evening with no problems.
Sunday morning arrived and with great excitement I put on the shoes and clumsily wheeled my bike out of the garage (have you tried walking in shoes with a big metal plate attached to the sole?) ready for my training ride. I uesd a giant trash can for balance as I carefully clipped in my left foot. Snap... no problem. I then mounted the bike and tried to clip in on the right, but couldn't find the right position and started to lose balance, so I did what my muscle memory from years of experience told me to do.... I went to take my left foot of the pedal and put it on the ground... except.... uh oh.... it was now attached firmly to the pedal! Crash! Down I went, straight into the trash can with my bike on top of me.
After a furtive look around to make sure that no neighbors were pissing their pants laughing I did finally manage to figure things out and get started. A nice 29 mile plus ride around Falls Lake in beautiful weather without any further pedal mishaps! Here's my route: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4000495