Friday, March 6, 2009

mar. 6

Today was a glorious ride, as there were many signs of spring.  Soon, the snow will be gone.  Today was yoga day so I left at 7:50 am and the temperature was 39 degrees F, with winds 5 mph from the WNW.  It was a big foggy, or hazy as the fog was dissipating. 
Here's the start of the bike path:

The birds were very noisy along the bike path, much more than last week.  The sun poked through the thin layer of lifting fog.  

It cleared up during class.   What is this Sysco truck doing parked on Willy St.?  Delivering to a restaurant I guess.  If I ever get the time and energy I would like to research where restaurant food comes from.  I think the "fresh" guacamole and salsa comes from Mexico, delivered by Sysco.  And quite a lot of other prepared foods are made by them, at facilities, where?  It all seems kind of weird to me.  

I stopped at the grocery store, as usual, and then the bike shop where I got new pedals.  This is a liberating experience for me.      Here are the new pedals:

and here is what they replaced.   One side is a regular pedal and the other has clips for specially made shoes to clip into:

I've been told for the past 28 years that toe clips are good and any biker worth their salt (whatever that means) should have them because they give you more power and speed.  So I used them.  And my feet got numb and hurt very badly--for the last 28 years of bike riding.   Did I have more power and speed?  sure.  I was still the slowest one around, but now instead of riding 11 mph, maybe I was riding 11.2 mph?  woo hoo.    It's amazing how we will follow advice and common wisdom, even when it causes us pain, when we really don't have to!   
Anyway, in addition to having my new pedals, it was a lovely ride home in the spring air and sunshine, with a light tailwind.  In fact, now that I think about it, I'm glad I ride slowly because that delays my arrival home where work begins.


  1. Wow - I just made a similar pedal switch this week too! I'm definitely happier with my un-fancy pedals. I'd been wearing regular boots all winter, but stepping on the clip side is not fun when conditions require quick stability and the need to keep pedaling. There's no time for fussing to find the "right" side of the pedal in winter. Besides, needing to have special shoes goes against my get-on-the-bike-&-go attitude.

  2. A question and a comment. First the question: tell me why you like your new pedals? I'm wondering if I would like them, too. Comment: I went the in-between route regarding clips/cleats. I don't use special shoes (well, I actually do (biking sandals!), but not the cleats), but I do use toe clips, the kind that keep your foot from sliding forward so that you can push forward, and that have a leather strap to hold you foot down so you can pull upward. So I have almost 360 degrees of power available, and I don't have to fiddle with the damned cleats. And unpleasant experience has shown that removing your foot in an emergency is not an issue. Not as free & liberating as nothing, but not as restrictive as cleats. The times I use a clipless, cleatless, normal pedal, I find I really miss them and can't pedal worth a damn.

    Oh, and thanks for the weather info!

  3. Hi LHT rider, sounds like we had a similar experience! yeah, I got tired of stepping on the wrong side and plus even the right side is slippery with my boots.

    Marc, I agree that regular clips (from the old days) would be okay (maybe) at least in the summer with regular shoes. In the winter with boots, these pedals are great. They are bigger than normal and that helps. I will see how they go in the summer with regular shoes. They are pretty good grippers so I think they will be fine. I think I just prefer the clipless, cleatless, normal pedal, with only 180 degrees of power available. :)

  4. say Marc, Do you still ride the same bike you had in grad school? How old is that now? Are you riding a lot in Flagstaff? Are we going to see a riding blog from you? heh heh.


  5. Sysco (and other broadline distributors) don't "make" anything, Sherlock. They buy things from people who make them and then store them, truck them, and sell them to people who want them. Sometimes they put these products in boxes that have "Sysco" on them, sometimes not. If you think restaurant operators should plant and pick cucumbers and slaughter their own hogs for bacon, that's fine; get a business license and go to it. Good luck with that. Great pedals, by the way. Reading about them really got my blood pumping.

  6. oh okay, I guess I had the wrong idea about Sysco. If I ate out more in restaurants, I would be curious to find out more about where the food comes from. But I don't so it's probably not an area I will explore in the near future. So I will also try not to spout about it.