Friday, February 24, 2006

Finally Did the Downhill... but not Clipped In.

Okay, so here is the deal, I finally got some clipless pedals for the first time a few months ago and everybody says, "You'll fall off a few times, but after you get used to it you'll be okay." So when I first went riding I was real proud of myself when I properly unclipped before every stop. Then I decided to take my daughters riding around the block, so I'm riding as slow as possible with them and they're pretty cute with their pink and purple bicycles so everybody glances when we go by, and around a corner my youngest has to go out in the street so I slow down even more to let her go in front of me and the bike starts to go over. So I put my foot down. Or at least that is what I meant to do, but what ended up happening was I went completely over with the bike up in the air because I was clipped in and I couldn't unclip to save my life and to make it all even better there is a group of teens lounging across the street and they just bust out laughing (which is understandable because it must have looked really funny).

So after that ride (and I actually fell over twice in one trip around the block, which made my older daughter really laugh because she had just learned to ride her bike and she didn't fall over once) I was a little more cautious and worried because I realized that your mind doesn't behave properly if you need to automatically put your feet down (until you've re-learned that way). And besides it hurts to fall down in the street and it is embarrassing to have people laugh at you. So I had avoided taking my favorite riding route since getting the new pedals because it goes over this hill and has some downhill singletrack on the other side with a pretty good drop on one side and I wanted to be sure of myself before taking it.

So what ends up happening was that I would feel angry at myself for being a coward and not taking the downhill on and I actually started dreading riding because I thought I might never feel up to going over the hill again. (Weird, huh?) Well, today I went rode up to the trailhead and I made myself do it and although the downhill was tougher than it was with the old pedals (because there is a lot less platform and I wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally clip in), I managed not to injure myself and I feel pretty good for breaking through that barrier. That said, I don't know how much I'll continue to do that because for me downhills are all about concentration and when I'm concentrating on not clipping in I feel like I'm a lot more likely to make a mistake.

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