Yay! I finally forked out and bought some SPD “clipless” Pedals (Shimano M424’s) and some cycling shoes (Specialized Tahos).
I’m very happy with them now but I learned a few lessons along the way.
The man in the shop caused some confusion about which way the pedals were threaded. He suggested the intuitive method (you’d expect them to be threaded so that they tighten when you pedal) but it doesn’t work like that. For reference the RIGHT pedal has a NORMAL thread and the LEFT pedal is backwards.
I was initially a bit scared of falling off so I went for a ride up and down the alleyway at the back. Where I learned that I tend to fall off to the left. So though my brain decided that, because I’m right footed, I should unclip my right foot first, that also turns out to be counter-intuitive. Actually, it does make sense if you think about it harder: I use my right foot to “lead” when I start pedalling, PLUS, when I stop I normally have the kerb on my left. So when I stop I naturally remove my left foot and put it down, and I lean left to make that happen.
So, with pedals replaced, brain correctly programmed to unclip left-foot-first, I set out on a short ride and managed not to fall off at all!
My thighs hurt today though – the action of applying force for the full “cycle” of the crank means that you use other muscles…so more training may be required before I get fully up to speed.
We’ll watch the speeds with interest!