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Quick Poll: Which foot do you unclip at stop lights?(38 posts)

Quick Poll: Which foot do you unclip at stop lights?boy nigel
Jun 12, 2001 10:54 AM
Hey all,

This stems from another post here (about Look cleats wearing out quickly). I've always thrown my right leg over the bike first, and always clip in with that foot first. So, when stopping, I always put my LEFT foot down first (with my right foot clipped in).

What do you do? Simply curious, that's all.

Cheers,
Nigel
Left foot out first (& in last) 99.9% of the time. (NM)RhodyRider
Jun 12, 2001 11:12 AM
right handed, right footed, right eyedBreck
Jun 12, 2001 11:14 AM
Would suggest one always starts up the pedal stroke with the dominant foot whether road or mountain biking. Mounting the bike on the left goes back maybe to the Old West days of mounting horses.

LOOK cleats are very easily cracked by walking on them and it does not take very much pressure applied on a hard surface, etc. Suggest KOOL covers covers for LOOK cleats when walking at all times if one is having this problem.

cheers
re: Quick Poll: Which foot do you unclip at stop lights?Velocipedio
Jun 12, 2001 11:16 AM
Left
either or neither (nm)Hank
Jun 12, 2001 11:17 AM
nm
Left..........Len J
Jun 12, 2001 11:21 AM
Only because if I don't weight correctly & fall (which I have DUH) I fall away from traffic.
I unclip my right foot and keep the left clipped in.Delia
Jun 12, 2001 11:23 AM
I unclip my right foot and keep the left clipped in.
Is there an echo in here?(nm)Len J
Jun 12, 2001 11:25 AM
Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Delia
Jun 12, 2001 11:36 AM
Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....Echo?....
right out first, left in first. other bizarre facts...Haiku d'état
Jun 12, 2001 11:35 AM
right foot unclips first. works well 'cause curbs are on that side, and my left foot is my "power" foot. did this before i used clipless, also. hmmm...

* write with right hand
* eat (using fork) with right hand
* left hand = mouse hand
* left-eye dominant (look it up, yep, there is a dominant eye)
* left-eye sees a blue tint, right eye sees a brown tint (try it)
* can move one or both ears independently or simultaneously
* left shoe on first, right shoe off first
* right glove on first, left glove off first
* drive on right side of road (except on sundays)(JK)

it just worked out that way.
theory and practiceBreck
Jun 12, 2001 1:50 PM
mix and match huh Jeff ...i'm jealous!

People who were made to write right handed though left eyed sometimes stutter. Using the left hand for nominal chores has been shown to "correct this". For eye dominance cut a small circular hole in a card. Hold it up with either hand at arm's length and site on a small fixed object some distance away. Bring the card slowly towards the face never leaving site of the object. Generally it will come to your dominant eye. Typically this should be your dominant writing hand but Nun's, etc. did not like this "left" or Devilish world :)

cheers
yes, but is it a sign of true madness? or...GENIUS...yesssss!Haiku d'état
Jun 12, 2001 2:01 PM
gotta tell ye, B, though our musical tastes converge here and there, and i suspect you may not dig "tool", ya gotta check out the new release, lateralus. the lines keep coming back to me when i'm hurting (and on two wheels).

"this body holding me reminds me of my own mortality.
embrace this moment. remember. we are eternal.
all this pain is an illusion."
yes, but is it a sign of true madness? or...GENIUS...yesssss!Breck
Jun 12, 2001 2:32 PM
Thanks, will do. Music taste may be akin to food tastes and taste can vary over a wide range and even over a weeks worth of chow selections, from soft candle light French Cuisine to Sloppy Joe's at the local Bar. I do believe since energy and mass are transmutable we are always looking for a new form. How else could it be; the One Question being what form of energy (if any) does the Spirit take. Also believe no one can explain to you how you may think; only how they perceive you to think. Wise Men don't know but then again that's a Wise Man's thought. The anomalies abound in a Rational World, etc. Trail running gives me the most insight, but then again it's no insight atall. I do ask the Old Oak in the mountains what It knows but only get my own answers. The bike is some what different for me as there am reminded of the important stuff to know and completely(?) understand your pain! :)

cheers
Right first...but that's all changing now.Kristin
Jun 12, 2001 12:02 PM
I've been suffering from an ailment since I began riding. Had a pretty bad case of it too. Finally, someone diagnosed it on Saturday. Its called "rooky marks." Thats right--grease that takes hours to scrub from my legs. Part of the reason is because I learned to clip out with my right foot first. (The other reason is lazy leaning habits while stopped.) I'm going thru a painful process now, of learning to unclip my left foot first. It feels amazingly unnatural to do this, but seems to be the better choice.
aka "rookie tattoos" (nm)simstress
Jun 12, 2001 12:08 PM
Or "Cat 5 tattoos" (nm)MeMyselfandI
Jun 12, 2001 12:13 PM
Re: dont do that!cyclopathic
Jun 12, 2001 6:26 PM
just switch to white lightening or Pedro IceWax. No chain tattoos, guaranteed!
Right first...but that's all changing now.Kristin
Jun 13, 2001 10:20 AM
LOL - Cyclopath has a point. Too bad I read his post THIS MORNING! After the thread yesterday, I decided to make the big switcheroo. Three times I psyched myself up as I approached an intersection. Three times I chickened out. Like any good, creative problem-solver, I changed strategies. At one long intersection, I decided to clip-in backwards. As soon as I clipped my right foot in, I fell over. Several cars and two other riders saw me--one was quite alarmed. I just laid there, stuck to my bike...laughing my but off. Hmmmm...how much does white lightening cost?? :-)

Just kidding. I plan to keep trying--quitting is unthinkable--but I'll try on grass, wearing full body armer! (that ones for you Nige! Just keeping you on your toes...)
re: Quick Poll: Which foot do you unclip at stop lights?nass
Jun 12, 2001 12:03 PM
Unclip lefty, start pedaling with right. If done otherwise, there are people laughing!
southpaw (nm)simstress
Jun 12, 2001 12:07 PM
Why unclip at all? (nm)Biking Viking
Jun 12, 2001 12:27 PM
.
this may get you a ticket at a stop sign or lightBreck
Jun 12, 2001 1:29 PM
weird huh. in the car/truck/etc., one does not have to open the door and put the foot down. on the bike you typically do to prove you actually stopped i suppose. maybe Dino knows the law here, though the highway patrol doesn't normally go this slow i would suspect :)

cheers
never heard of getting a ticket for doing a track stand (nm)Hank
Jun 12, 2001 2:40 PM
nm
stuff happensBreck
Jun 12, 2001 6:33 PM
My riding bud Campy Man who is now near 70 years old did one a few years back at the stop where the local back road feeds onto the main highway where the tourists zip by. The Sheriff was parked across the way looking for speeders cause the sign sez 50 mph, the back country norm being 55 mph. The Sheriff called Campy Man over and told him he did not put his foot down at the stop sign and so could get the ticket for not stopping, etc. He had no ear for so called track stands and probably could not connect it any ways to a public road. Next time am by the Sheriff's office will stop in and inquire the wording as it may apply to bicycles as they are very helpful.

There are just a few stop signs in the back country here and the nearest red light is 22 miles west of here(which can be avoided). Nice place to ride, the very middle of San Diego County, California.

cheers
Jeez Nige.9WorCP
Jun 12, 2001 1:26 PM
You really tapped into something here.
Sure did, didn't I? With some help from Lazy.boy nigel
Jun 12, 2001 3:16 PM
I figured this would get many varied answers and reasons out of the group. I still would imagine that, since the heart is slightly to the left of center in our bodies, leaning and turning left feels more natural to humans, regardless of their handedness (left or right). Studies have been done on this, and this is apparently the reason why bike/car/track (running)/ and, for that matter, ALL races I can think of, travel in counter-clockwise directions.

Try running quickly in smallish circles left. Then, try it going right. I, personally, feel much more in-control going to the left, and the same holds true on the bike. Try it; interesting.

Truthfully, I often trackstand at lights (or, if too risky, do those menacing, slow circles that cabbies LOVE). When stopping, however, I've noticed that people do this simple and subconscious task differently. I NEVER unclip my right foot first; it feels totally freaky, actually. I mean, I could if I had to, but left-in-last-and-start-pedalling-with-right-foot feels so perfectly natural to me.

Interesting answers from all, though. Glad I asked.

Nige
Maybe...Len J
Jun 12, 2001 3:23 PM
its a right brain/left brainb kind of thing. I had to train myself to unclip left, but still do circles more comfortably to the left. Weird.
I'm still curious.....Lazy
Jun 12, 2001 3:39 PM
About the south of the equator thing.

Another question: Don't horse races in the UK travel clockwise? Seems to me I heard that somewhere.
!! This is more interesting than I would have thought! LOL.9WorCP
Jun 12, 2001 4:06 PM
By the way, "menacing, slow circles" that cracked me up. Yep, that about sums it up.
Could someone please explain why it matters.Delia
Jun 12, 2001 1:47 PM
Like I said, I unclip the right foot. What's wrong with that? It feels right...it works (i.e. I do indeed stop)...so what's with people supposedly laughing if you don't unclip the left first.
It doesn't. Trust me. (nm)Greg Taylor
Jun 12, 2001 2:00 PM
Have you ever.......Len J
Jun 12, 2001 2:35 PM
unclipped your right foot in preperation for a stop & (not paying attention) improperly weighted your bike to the left (away from your unclipped foot) and fallen left? Don't be embarrassed, we all have done it, it falls under the catagory of Brain F**t. I usually don't do it unless at least 10 people who know me are watching. Anyway, imagine doing this at a light with traffic on your left. OOps, I really didn't mean to fall in front of your right tire!!! Seriously, the only reason I learned to unclip left first is that this was usually the side that was most dangerous to fall towards. Simple really. & it does happen (at least to me).
Have you ever.......Len J
Jun 12, 2001 2:42 PM
unclipped your right foot in preperation for a stop & (not paying attention) improperly weighted your bike to the left (away from your unclipped foot) and fallen left? Don't be embarrassed, we all have done it, it falls under the catagory of Brain F**t. I usually don't do it unless at least 10 people who know me are watching. Anyway, imagine doing this at a light with traffic on your left. OOps, I really didn't mean to fall in front of your right tire!!! Seriously, the only reason I learned to unclip left first is that this was usually the side that was most dangerous to fall towards. Simple really. & it does happen (at least to me).
They're just being snobslonefrontranger
Jun 12, 2001 3:54 PM
It doesn't matter which side you naturally decleat on. There are good points made re: grease factor, safety factor at stop lights, etc... for being a "lefty", but IMO most riders shouldn't worry much about this.

The one thing you should look out for is the tendency to get so dependent on decleating one side that you cannot possibly switch in an emergency. I've worked with a couple clinic students who were so "handed" they couldn't even make a tight turn towards their weak leg, much less decleat on that side if their life depended on it. This is not good if you are working on skills drills, riding technical singletrack, etc.

If you MTB on anything halfway technical you get used to using both sides pretty quick - one good patch of stickers or narrow off-camber dropoff on your "natural" side will teach you to release the other foot, fast. I learned to be adaptable the quick and dirty way years ago when I stoked a tandem for a "righty" (I'm a "lefty"). He only dropped me once.
Unclip your best foot...Gregx
Jun 13, 2001 10:44 AM
If you are right handed, generally you are right footed also. It is then easier to get clipped back in with your "best foot" no matter what that is. So if you are unclipping only one foot, make it your best foot.

This pertains to flat surfaces. If you are on the side of a hill, you unclip the high side (naturally). Although roads have a curvature to them, generally it is not much and does not amount to anything.
re: Quick Poll: Which foot do you unclip at stop lights?lrobertg1
Jun 12, 2001 2:11 PM
Niether - I fall over on my side. The right side usually. Isn't that how its done?
I go either waylonefrontranger
Jun 12, 2001 2:24 PM
...cause I'm a mountain biker too, & you learn quickly to dismount on the anti-cactus side, whichever one that is.

I favor left foot out on the road, right foot out for 'cross (flying dismount). Couple reasons for this - I rode horses prior to bikes (you get used to getting on & off the left side) plus you don't get as many chainring tattoos on your drive-side leg if you decleat the left side when you're standing around gabbing. It also makes things easier for 'cross, since I'm a natural "non-driveside" dismounter. This means I don't have to re-learn an awkward side, or worry about big drivetrain prints on my skinsuit.

I think I read somewhere that they originally put the drivetrain on safety bikes on the right (horsemen call it the "off") side because it would make it "natural" seeming for riders to get on & off the bike from the left, without tangling their clothing, etc...
I just ride in itty bitty circles. Motorists love it.WadeOmatic
Jun 12, 2001 8:01 PM
but if i happen to ride where stoplights exist, and I happen to be with other riders (who don't know about the itty bitty circle trick), I suppose, although I've never thought about it before, that I pop out the left foot because the right is what I'll power away with. Then I just keep crankin' and stabbin' until the left clicks back in.