Saturday, 2 April 2011

Daily Commute 2

Well with all the pothole related posts at the tail end of last week I didn’t even get to do my Daily Commute update which is a shame because a few things happened both good and bad and quite a few my error!

So let’s deal with the humiliation of last week first and get it all over and done with – I was not cool on a number of occasions last week. To expand let me give a little background, I have as a few keen eyed readers will have spotted had “issues” with pedals (you can read about it here if you care) so I took the plunge and went for some clipless pedals (basically I started using cleats). I read all the reviews, determined that this would be the last pair of pedals I would buy in a long time – I will go through all of it in a later post – anyway the reviews were full of glowing recommendations about the pedals and listed how they had not had a comedy dismount with their new pedals, righty ho I think to myself these are the ones for me.

My first comedy dismount happened on the second day of using them – I had explained to dopey doorman as I went down to collect my bike that  I would be coming up in 5 minutes and could he keep an eye out for me and open the gates (I don’t have a swipe card). I went up the ramp and waited for the gates to open keeping my feet in the pedals – I then was in two minds, stop and wait and hope he wakes up or cycle down again and take the lift up to give him a wake up kick. This was lesson number one – when clipped in don’t be undecided on anything, whilst half doing both things I ended up stopping the bike – I wasn’t concentrating and horror! I had forgotten to unclip – it was too late and besides the action of unclipping was not natural. I then fell sideway, feet still in the pedals and gave the oily ramp a pope like kiss. Cleats are odd things during that slow motion hours that I was falling I could not get my feet out of the pedals as soon as I hit the floor they were both out, even with reflection I don’t know what happened to loosen them.

Whilst lying on the ground I had a horrifying revelation – the doorman was keeping an eye out for me – therefore there is a security camera – security cameras have videos attached to them! For the next 5 years I am never going to be able to watch “You’ve Been Framed” and I am going to have to ban my family from watching it – I woke up in a cold sweat last night with visions of seeing myself doing a comedy dismount on telly (thank god I had a helmet on to cover my face a bit).

Now really annoyed, I mounted my bike went back down the ramp and up in the lift to wake the doorman up, but there was no kicking involved, I realised I needed to keep Dozy Doorman sweet – just in case he saw the screen and my having a shout at him would make him more likely to post it to whoever has taken over from Jeremy Beadle. The way I figure it though – if it does end up on telly I am going to take him to court and go for damages – if he was watching it then that means he was aware I was waiting for the door to open and he ignored me which resulted in grievous bodily harm to myself, come to think of it I believe I may also be mentally scared for life!

The second comedy dismount happened the next morning , I won’t bore you with the details but it basically involved a bus blocking me (who would have guess that) and me being stuck in two minds again. End result was comedy dismount in rush hour traffic and with a very large number of onlookers – the shame! Why am I not going to go into major detail, two reasons I may want to use it another day and secondly I reckon you may be getting bored of this post by now (so much so that I think I may do my daily commute in two bite sized chunks this week.

The new lesson from this second incident is something worth mentioning though. I have my pedals cleats set to a very weak level so I can get my foot out easily (or so I thought) on the first day or two I found them no problem but in the second comedy dismount I was aware enough that I had time to get my foot out of the pedal – I had been to this point been using the system of twisting my heel outwards (away from the bike) and coming unclipped easily. But all of a sudden this stopped working, this I am sure of because in the evening whilst coming back home I tried to take my left foot out of the pedal to stop at a red light – it just would come out – fortunately there was a railing there which I grabbed onto – whilst sitting there I found the only guaranteed way for the pedal unlock to work was for me to twist my foot inwards towards the bike. So now every time I need to get a foot out I have to do an impersonation of Dorothy in Wizard of Oz and click my heels together if I want to make it home alive. It does work again when I twist my heel outwards but it is just not as guaranteed.

The rest of the weeks commuting embarrassments I will post tomorrow.

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