As it’s a glorious Sunday morning here today I thought (in the spirit of Simon Rimmer et al on Sunday Brunch) that I’d share my latest recipe. Today its a recipe for shattered nerves. Firstly; Take one middle-aged bloke (which may be a bit ambitious unless I expect to live until I’m 110), maybe better to say one bloke in the throes of a mid-life crisis (which according to Caroline is where I’ve been since we met so it seems I’m taking middle-aged spread a bit literally).
Wrap liberally in Lycra and High Vis
Next up balance said mid-life crisis man on a bike with impossibly narrow wheels
Fourth step, secure feet firmly to pedals
Finally set off to play in the traffic.
Well that’s fun, so the background to todays scenario is that in most of the conversations I’ve had with people who know their way around a bike the topic of cleats or clips invariably comes up and they always say they are an absolute must. So time to experiment. Good old Wiggle (other cycle accessory retailers are available) very promptly despatched me some new pedals which I came to despise very quickly. To start with I made the schoolboy error of trying to clip my shoes in to the pedals before I’d put the pedals on the bike and then try as I might I couldn’t get them to separate from the pedals without taking the whole cleat mechanism apart. I now know plenty about how these mechanisms work. I also know that a Friday evening after a beer isn’t the ideal time to be fiddling with any spring based mechanism. Removing the screw that holds two taught springs in place is a cue for hide and seek of the bits that flew in different directions across the garage. Next I found that fat fingers and small intricate mechanisms (oh plus that beer) isn’t a winning combination. The situation was eventually resolved using plenty of tools and most of my vocabulary of naughty words and it only took me two hours.
So pedals on, Cleats on shoes and a gorgeous sunny morning found me itching to test them. The idea is that you clip into the pedals and then the spring holds your foot in place until you let it know that you want to put a foot down. If that doesn’t happen you have almost all of the components for a passable impression of Del boy Trotter in that classic bar fall scene and I really didn’t want that at a junction. So off I set, it didn’t take long to shred my nerves although they did release every time it wasn’t without a bit of drama and a little bit of just in time. I’m in two minds about them, I could feel some benefit when going uphill, but they don’t mix well with stop start and traffic. I guess I’ll persevere and see if I still dislike them as much after I’ve used them a few times. In the meantime and keeping the bar/beer theme going enjoy this classic clip, featuring the late great Roger Lloyd-Pack who of course we lost to Pancreatic Cancer.