It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

May 23, 2011

First Outdoor Ride with Clipless Pedals and Weekly Training Recap

My first triathlon of the season is only four short weeks away, and until Sunday, I had not ridden outdoors since September of last year.  The weather has been pretty nice recently and I could have/should have been riding outdoors already, but I had clipless pedals put on my bike last fall, and I hadn’t tried them out yet.  The thought of getting on the road just petrified me, so I just kept riding my bike on my trainer.  Knowing the triathlon was coming quickly, I decided I was going out for a 24-25 mile ride on Sunday no matter what.  My friend Michelle had agreed to join me. 

On Saturday night, I decided I better at least try them out before I just went out on the road in traffic.  I had luckily been in out and out of them on the trainer all winter, so that helped somewhat, but it’s still NOT THE SAME!  We have a small trail close to my house so I headed over there.  I got clipped in with no problem – wahoo!  I decided that I really just needed to clip out with one foot and once I had that foot planted on the ground, I could clip out with the other (ROOKIE mistake).  This actually worked the first two times I stopped, but the third time, I lost my balance and started falling toward the side that was still clipped in.  In my head all I thought was oh crap – I’m going to fall……and I did.  I fell with my shoe still in the clip and landed solidly on my left side with my bike still attached.  Nice job!  I was a bit shaken up, but decided I couldn’t stop here.  I got back on the bike and started and stopped about 4 or 5 more times….clipping BOTH feet out.  I went home to check out my injuries.  Luckily there was nothing injured.  I have bruises on the inside of both of my knees and down my calf, and I have a large dark purple/black bruise about the size of a silver dollar on my left hip (I must have landed on a rock), but other than that and my bruised ego, I was fine.
Remember this says Tri not to Crash!! I bought that shirt.  Great motto!

I headed out Sunday morning for the ride – nervously optimistic.  We got to the lake, and oops – there was a triathlon going on.  It was basically over, but we had to fight all the traffic trying to leave.  There were people and bikes everywhere, so we decided to walk our bikes about a ¼ of a mile to the road instead of trying to weave through the people.  You have to cross 4 lanes of traffic to get on the bike route we were planning….my heart was beating fast – I didn’t want to have to start and stop in the median, but we made it all the way across.  Once we were going I felt great.  It was good to be on the road again.  The weather was hot (about 86 degrees with about 85% humidity) and there were about 20 mph winds.  The route is very hilly, with some very steep inclines and the wind was blowing directly against us…..I almost felt like I was  moving backwards at times.  We finished the first 12 mile loop and it started to rain.  After fighting the heat, and wind, and now rain, we decided to just call it a day.  12 miles still wasn’t bad for our fist time out.  I managed to start and stop about 3 times during the ride, and stayed upright the whole time.  Everyone told me falling is a rite of passage when learning to use clipless pedals so I really hope that was my one and only time…but who knows….I lost my balance a couple of times last year and fell without clipless pedals.  I’m pretty clumsy – not a good thing when it comes to biking.  But I am so glad to have this first ride behind me.  I feel more confident on the bike already.  I have a group BRICK workout on Thursday night so I am now looking forward to that.

I did get to ride in my new cute bike jersey!! Love it - sorry didn't get an actual pic of me in it.  That dog is wearing a helmet :)  Too bad they didn't have a chocolate lab, but he'll do.

Overall I had another solid week of training and was very happy with what I accomplished.  My recap is below. 
Monday: 3 mile easy run
Tuesday: BRICK – 45 min bike and 15 min run in am; Master Swim (1500 Meters) in pm
Wednesday: 4 mile Tempo run
Thursday: 1 hour bike
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 6 mile long run
Sunday: Reverse BRICK - 12 mile bike and 1200 Meter Swim

Swim: 2700 Meters
Bike:  Approx 40 miles (most on trainer)
Run:  14.28 miles
Total Training Time:  8 hours

Don't forget to enter my giveaway if you haven't already.  It ends this Saturday!


  1. You will get the hang of the clipless pedals! I took many a tumble when I first got mine...mainly when I would forget that I was clipped in, and I would come to a complete stop, and just fall over! :)

    I love, love, love the jersey! Lab lovers unite!

  2. you will get used to them! I have falled a few times. Once in my own driveway even! I flipped out another time when a bug flew into my shoe and was thankful no driver saw my freak out and slam onto the ground! HAHA!!

  3. I don't know anyone who hasn't done that with the clipless pedals. I know I did my first time out! You have that weird slow motion feeling knowing you are going to fall over but there isn't a thing you can do about it. :) It gets easier!

  4. Everyone falls in clipless pedals. At least you got it out of the way. I find the thought of falling is much worse then the reality. Nice job on the ride!

  5. Sorry to say it, but you will fall again. And again. :) It's no big deal. I look at bloody legs as a sign of toughness.

  6. Congrats on getting the first fall out of the way! Seriously. You'll adapt very quickly. The weather did NOT sound very cooperative with your riding plans. Oh well, that's how it is sometimes.

  7. Falling is a rite passage and one that I do once a year! I am a clutz! Congrats on your first ride in clipless pedals. And good luck with your training!

  8. Yep it happens...I've follen more then once I must say and almost fell this weekend. Sounds like a pretty crazy ride with all the weather. I love the t-shirt and the jersey!

  9. Well you got that virgin ride overwith, so now it will all get easier, right? Love that jersey.

  10. I been riding with clipless pedals for 4 years now, to make you feel better, this last Saturday, I could not unclipped and fell at a stop light, in the middle of 75 riders. Only my ego was bruised

  11. Oh boy, I have sooo been there with the clipless pedals! I was so nervous when I first started using them. But, once you get used to them, they are awesome and you will love them, and clipping in/out will be automatic!

  12. Good job on getting out there and using the clipless pedals. I've fallen over more when I've been stopped than when I've been moving :-)

    I always just unclip one pedal and hope I don't tip the wrong direction. I've become quite good and being one of those dorks you see at stop signs and stop lights that doesn't unclip at all. It will come to bite me in the butt one of these days, I am sure.

    You will come to love them! I'm sure of it!

  13. I was climbing a hill a few weeks ago in Gran Fondo NY and got caught in "traffic", couldn't clip out fast enough, and toppled over into a rock garden. Hey, it happens. Solid training week there.

  14. It can be difficult to get back into the swing of riding outside but I think it's way fun once it gets going!

    I have no biking jersey but I'm loving yours! That dog rocks! I've been thinking of getting one :)

  15. I have never used clipless pedals and have no desire to try yet. Good for you for doing it.

  16. Thanks for all the comments you've left on my blog! My mind has been sort of off recently with all the doctor visits that I've been going to.

    That is hilarious on the clipless pedal falls, glad you weren't hurt! When I first started using clipless pedals I did exactly the same thing as you, haha

    Sounds like you had a great week of workouts!

    And your bike jersey is awesome!

    And this is going back to your last post, but I think you should always wear your helmet at all times when you're on a bike. You may have to buy a cooler helmet or something different than you have right now, but you never know when you are going to fall on a bike.

  17. Well done! I am too terrified & too much of a spaz to try those pedals..... I'd be on my own trauma unit in a flash ;)

  18. welcome to the club. i cant tell you how many times ive fallen while clipped in. ive kind of come to expect it every ride and if it doesnt happen, im happily surprised!!! my knees are all scarred up now!

    love the jersey!!!

  19. i am still terrified to try clips, but hey at least I'm getting on the bike outdoors that's a step in the right direction :) why do I need to share the road with cars?

  20. I had the EXACT same experience the first time I rode with clipless pedals. I'm glad you survived!

  21. You are braver than me! I am terrified to ride outside with clipless pedals. I know I will fall straight over. We are getting new pedals put on, one side you can clip in, the other side you can wear normal shoes on. I am clumsy enough just riding it on the trainer!

  22. Awesome training!!! And I have done the exact same thing with my clip-in pedals. but I still usually unclip my right foot first then my left. Stopping always gets me super nervous, it is like I am tempting fate, inviting the Grim Reaper to take me every single stop!! =)

    I wish I could tell you it gets better and more comfortable but uh...yeah, still waiting on that!! He he!!!

  23. I don't even have clip-in pedals and I still do that! haha

    I had my first actual fall the other day. A lady stopped me to chat and when I tried going, I leaned too far to the side that I still had in my pedal cages and just kept going until I hit the pavement. I just laughed. It was ridiculous, but I got up, hopped back on, and went on my way.

    It happens!