I had originally planned on selling my ’90 Cannondale SR400 but that’s changed. It’s a twisted web, but Tammy, the woman who did my massage the other day, called my wife and they decided to start riding together once a week. This all got started when she got to my legs in the massage. We began talking about cycling because my love for it has really gotten around the grapevine in our running club (of which Tammy is a member). She asked if Jess (Mrs. BgddyJim) was getting into it yet… I explained that it was a little shaky (my wife does harbor a bit of a resentment about my love of all things cycling, though it’s loosening) but I’m trying to inspire her to ride as best I can in a very unobtrusive way… So Tammy decided to call her to see if they could set up a ride together. So with that we’ll be getting the Cannondale set up this weekend for my wife. Fortunately while it was a touch too short for me, it should be just the right size for her. Drop down the saddle, raise the bar a bit, and it should be good.
Of course, the hope behind her riding the Cannondale is to get her hooked on road biking (my riding style of choice), then upgrade her to a new, more up-to-date ride in the future. It’s certainly a nice ride, but the down tube shifters suck (even if they are flawless), and to upgrade the bike isn’t quite worth the cost. To do it right, she’d need a carbon fork, new wheels, a new cassette, shifter/brake levers, etc. Also, for now I think we’ll keep the saddle that I’ve got on there as it should be right for the kind of riding she’ll be doing now, but if she likes it and road riding catches, we’ll have to upgrade that as mileage increases to something more like my Specialized Romin.
That notwithstanding, my wife has agreed to make the jump the right way… To get her going, we’re heading to Assenmacher’s this weekend to pick up some new clipless pedals and shoes (we will be opting for the mountain bike style so we can switch them between her mountain bike and the road bike).
Now here’s where she gets lucky – she gets to learn how to use her pedals with my experience. In other words, I’ll be moving my mountain bike pedals to her mountain bike so she can practice clipping in and out in the back yard – on the grass. I picked this little tip up after I’d almost fallen for failing to clip out of my pedals at a stop. For the ultra-noobs out there, this is how you do it – learn to use the pedals on the grass where you can’t hurt you or the bike. I’m the only regular rider that I know personally who hasn’t fallen of his/her bike in the first couple of days of switching to clipless pedals – the only one.
The concept isn’t rocket science but one must become accustomed to clicking out of the pedals – when to do so, and when not to, and how soon to do so before stopping, and then there’s getting used to the mechanics of the process… Doing this in the grass, on a mountain bike is the best way to get used to the pedals.
If you’re wondering, are they really worth it? Are they worth all the trouble?
Any day of the week and twice on Saturday. They’re worth every penny and all of the potential danger associated with the first couple of day’s getting used to them.