I wrote recently about visiting cycling coach Jessica at CycleU, trying to learn how to stop falling over still stuck to my bike. She said, You've got to commit to getting your foot out of the clip. And I did so commit.
However, last Thursday, I came around the corner on my bike, turning right from Dayton Av onto 80th. I knew there'd be a short uphill climb ahead, so I downshifted.
But good grief! How down can you shift? I was spinning madly and getting nowhere. Until, of course, I fell down. Turned out my chain came off the doodahs.
Fortunately, I didn't really get hurt. And in an odd way, I didn't feel like a complete failure. Because it wasn't that I couldn't unclip: I didn't even think of trying.
I was doing one thing Jessica suggested: trying to find a way out, trying to pedal through. I never even thought of unclipping.
I was too embarrassed to tell anyone but Mom, but I did send Jessica an email. She kindly responded, saying it sounds like I need to practice unclipping from a dead stop.
Oh! You'd think with all my supposed insights about the importance of paying attention to exactly what is going wrong that I would have thought of that, but I didn't. Of course it's scary to "practice" by stopping dead in the street and then trying to unclip, but I worked on it in my mind, and, with caution, on my bike.
One of the difficulties of learning how to react smart in an emergency is that emergencies are, by definition, rare, and we certainly don't want to make them less so. Nevertheless, I'm grateful that I had another emergency on Saturday.
Once again, I was turning up a hill. Once again, my chain came off. (Right, got to get that looked at.) But this time, I just stopped pedaling and unclipped and got off and put the chain back on, and pedaled off feeling good.
Ah, life. It just keeps coming at you.
Elders: Don't Let Trump Fatigue Stop You
1 day ago