Thursday, August 13, 2009

One toe into the water

So I've finally got myself some bike shoes - and such classy ones!

Everybody says that you've gotta try them, and you'll be so much happier with your increased pedalling power. On the flip side, they're a big step into sport-cycling and cycle-specific clothing. I've been tossing it up for years, but recently BikeSkirt raised the question and then my LBS offered me second-hand pedals and shoes for a mere $55. I decided to take the punt, and put them on my sportiest ride: the fixie.

The shoes could be passable with a change of colour - I'm thinking of taking some boot black to them - but can expect to be replaced if the experiment works. The blue wash in the photo actually helps them, toning down the green suede around the laces. Maybe I'll onsell them to another tentative neophyte with suppressed fashion sense?

First impressions are mixed, but I'm having trouble finding the right positioning. Could partly be that the shoes are not my ideal fit, but we'll keep playing. Mostly I need to put some miles on, for experience and to see how the feet cope with many hours in the same position.

So far I've fallen off once (after getting half-way up the steepest point on the NW cycleway, which my legs/knees couldn't manage after months off the fixie). More impressive getting trapped in the shoes after failing to tighten the cleats enough. My shoes were happily rotating with my feet, so I had to unlace and step out while sitting in the saddle. Luckily I realised before I fell over in front of a line of traffic, so was able to pull onto the footpath and lean against a rubbish bin. Several busloads of commuters seemed to enjoy my little pantomime.

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