Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Am A Clip-ocrite

Oh, the shame of it.

See, I converted my whole darn fleet to platform pedals last year,
smugly snugged my regular old no-cleat Keen sandals, invoked the Luddite spirit of Grant Petersen (by girding my loins in wool and chanting, "beeswax! beeswax! shellac and twine!") and pretended to cast out the clipless devil from my parts boxes.

But it was a lie. Those SPDs were still in there, taunting me.

So, in a moment of weakness, I ignored the Voice of the Inner Retrogrouch and put them back on a bike this weekend.

And (heretic! sinner! witch!) I liked 'em. Felt faster. Racier. More "connected", to use the requisite Bicycling magazine ad-review buzzword and/or enraptured fixed-gear convert cliche. Less Fred-like. My bum leg actually made circles for a change, even when it didn't want to. Inexplicably, my wonky knee got less wonky. And, despite a temperature and humidity combination that made it feel like riding through a moist hairdryer (thank you, Iowa corn-growing climate), I snapped off a quicker-than-usual 35 miles last night and felt good enough to do more. Sure, that's 99.8% placebo effect, but when you're as fat and slow as I am, you take what you can get.

Sigh. I guess I'm doomed to be a pedal polygamist, forever following my whims from platform to toeclip to clipless and back again. Be it decreed that no matter what miracle pedal I claim to discover today or at any point in the future, I am hereby forbidden to ever sell a pair of pedals, because I'm just going to want them back again in a few months.

(The next sound you hear will be my wife's voice as she finishes reading this post: "Great, how much is this week's divine revelation from the cycling gods going to cost us?")

I love you, honey. But did I mention that my old clipless shoes are pretty much shot? [grin]


Joe said...

Hey Jason! I know exactly how you feel. I have a real love/hate relationship with clipless. Luckily, I've been able to avoid the temptation for almost 2 years now. Probably because I've only got 1 pair hiding in the parts box and they're in rough shape. I had sold all of mine a couple years ago on eBay... except for the crappy pair I still have.

Joe in Northern Iowa

Anonymous said...

Didn't I give you grief a year or two ago about your pedal bi-curiosity?? Are any closer to deciding if pedal preference is a personal choice or you are born with a preference for SPD or for low-tech?

Now that you are back out of the closet with your forbidden SPD love, will you be keeping the old pedals? No sense selling them at a loss and just buying them back 2 years from now.

You might also consider keeping one bike SPD'ified, and one retro. Ride them both regularly, and see if you develop a strong preference... or see if you can't remember how to get out of the pedals du jour, and end up sprawled on the road. :-)

Steve K.
(currently using SPD's and clips 'n straps)