How I know it was a good ride

I went out for the first ride with my new shoes and pedals yesterday. They were awesome, and I was amazed at the difference in efficiency. I had been using SPD shoes with dual use pedals: you can clip in to one side, but the other side is flat, in case you ride with street shoes. I discovered that I never ride without my bike shoes, so that was what prompted the purchase of my Sidis. Dedicated road shoes meant new pedals, too, of course. After a bit of research and consultation with my bike expert (Andy), I decided to buy Speedplay pedals. These have a small lollipop-shaped pedal, with a larger cleat on the shoe. When clipping in, the motion is straight down, instead of the slide and clip motion I had used before.

I actually had the wherewithal to try clipping in and out a few times before I went out, which turned out to be a very smart choice. The Speedplays have a different feel, for one, and I had to learn the new motion of clipping in. A few tries did it, so that was no biggie. Clipping out was interesting… the same motion as I had used before, but the Speedplays require a stronger movement. I banged my left ankle a few times over the course of clipping in and out, but otherwise it was an easy adjustment. I did feel a little ridiculous a few times, when my left foot slipped when trying to clip back in after stopping. I have come to the conclusion that you’re not a real cyclist if you don’t regularly feel a little ridiculous!

All this to preface the ways I know I have had a good ride:

At the end of the ride:

  • my legs alternate between feeling like jello and feeling unnaturally stiff
  • I am sweaty and gritty from road dust
  • I feel like I couldn’t ride any further, even if I wanted to
  • I look like something the cat dragged in

I managed all of these yesterday, even though the ride wasn’t very long. It was awesome!

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