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1st time clipless pedal user story---long but true(5 posts)

1st time clipless pedal user story---long but truewcfumc
Jun 27, 2002 11:51 AM
There was a thread about 1st time clipless pedal users and another about the reliability of these forums. Well that lead me to share a very true story about my life. Any other funny cycling stories out there?

True story (10 yrs ago) about my first experience with clipless pedals. I have always enjoyed biking and decided to try mtb while attending Erskine Seminary in Due West, SC (Yes, that is the name of the town). After a few "shin rakes" by jagged pedals, I knew I was ready to try some SPDs. I traveled to Greenville, SC to the LBS and purchased my first SPDs. The sales clerk was most helpful in assisting me until it came time to click in. Weighing around 120 lbs and pedal tension higher than needed, I applied all my weight and effort to click in while the clerk held the bike. As soon as I heard the click, I fell over unto the store floor. I calmly said to the clerk, "just what I was looking for, I'll take them." Noticing everyone looking, I twisted and squirmed to un-click but to no avail. The clerk had to unstrap my shoe so that I could get out from under the bike. I quickly paid for the pedals and humiliation and left the store (it gets worse).

Traveling back to my home in middle GA, I decided to try the pedals once more on my favorite trails (Parson's Mt. Motorcycle trails in Abbeville SC). There are about 80 miles of horse and motorcycle trails with many trail heads and intersections. The terrain is hilly with lots of red clay—most the time wet. It was about 3:30 on a hot June afternoon. I geared up, grabbed a water bottle, and began riding on what I thought was a 12 mile loop. Things were going fine until I hit my first muddy section. The tires spun and the bike stalled. Again, I was unable to unclick and fell over—in the clay mud. About 12 miles later and red clay packed in my pedals, I realized I was lost. To make matters worse, a thunderstorm was forming and I hate lighting. 20 miles later, I came out unto a gravel service road. By this time I had lost track of the times I fell and relinquished much time to walking. The gravel roads were wonderful compared to the wet, clay trails. However, many of the gravel roads were dead ends. A total of 30 miles later and dehydrated, I ventured unto a main highway between Greenwood and Abbeville.

The church at the intersection was a wonderful sight and I just knew the pastor would be willing to help. I knocked on the parsonage next to the church and the pastor was home. Instead of receiving warm hospitality, I received a cold shoulder. I asked if I could use the phone to call a friend. Instead of inviting me in to use the phone and have something to drink, he quickly walked me to the church to use that phone. Unfortunately, my friend was not at home. Covered from head to toe in mud, I asked if he could take me to my vehicle (about 20 miles by road). Staring at me and my mud-covered bike he pointed to his new van and said, "my wife would kill me if I got her new van dirty." I guess he hadn't yet read the passage about the Good Samaritan. Reluctantly, I mounted my bike and started the 12 mile, hilly road to Abbeville. Twice, my legs cramped so that I couldn't pedal and I fell aside the road. I arrived at my friends house around 9:00, 5 ½ hrs later. I showered, borrowed some clothes, and ate a hearty meal. Later, he drove me to my vehicle by which I had another 3 hrs drive home.

Lessons learned:
1) When trying clipless pedals for the first time, try it alone and on grass.
2) Always tell someone where you are. I could have died out there and no one would have known.
3) KNOW the trail!
4) Carry ample water supply.
5) If there is a fork in the road, take the other one.
6) Find a church where the pastor not only preaches the Word but lives it.
Great story-thanks for sharing!AllisonHayes
Jun 27, 2002 12:47 PM
Poor thing! Next time I have a bad day, I'll think of you. I got cold and hungry just reading it, not to mention the embarrassment you suffered.

I love it when people share their experiences...

Other lessons learned:
7) offer assistance when you see someone in need
8) people who are paranoid about their clean car should buy plastic seat covers.
What an Odessey....also, the pastor gets two thumbs down[nm]jagiger
Jun 27, 2002 2:57 PM
He's a Pastor, not a taxi driver...jromack
Jun 27, 2002 4:49 PM
He's not under any obligation to ruin his vehicle to drive you home.

But he still could have offered you a drink and helped you wash off.

Hypocrites are very amusing.
re: 1st time clipless pedal user story---long but truetaar44
Jun 27, 2002 5:47 PM
Had the pastor been catholic and had you had a babyface............