Did I do something wrong? Did I cut someone off or make a parent feel unloved, or was it because I stepped on that snail? Because I researched online, shopped around, and found road cycling shoes, cleats (the thing that lets you pop your shoe in and out of connection with the bike's pedal), and those special pedals of course (specialty sports usually do call for purchases in triplicate) for a nice deal at a shop that came well recommended and didn't seem to disappoint upon arrival. Bro-in-law's and my road trip through traffic to this cycling store was all fun choices and joking games about our lack of knowledge and a painfully bright yellow windbreaker, leaving us feeling rather fine on our return to the inner valley.
So with tires as pumped as our young egos, we wake up early this morning to take to the road and take our first shot at joining the rank of insane-o cyclists who like to be locked to their mount. This is serious stuff to me. I'm a little nervous. I don't want drivers to hate me as I struggle to push off, turning left at an intersection and clip in, and then the other foot--ouch! I miss and ram my crotch into the seat. Wait, flip the pedal over, got it. Oh my Lord, keep me safe, I am locked in. Ah shit (oops, sorry, God) another intersection. Red. Eff! I slow--focus, focus, focus; wrench your ankle right (oh praise be, that foot is free)--slow, slow, slow; lean right, right, right!. Can't lean left, that foot's still locked in--slow, stop, lean right, you crazy bitch! Foot down. Ahh. Pop out the left foot still clamped in midair. Both feet down. Breath. Green! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
But does this fun get to happen? No. My discount gear provides discounted in quality, and Cody and I spend an hour sprawled out on the pavement struggling with a pedal piece as small as a safety pin in an area as small as a safety pin. This is after I try using these suicidal pieces of equipment regardless of quality and get my left foot stuck in the pedal and then stupidly lean left. It takes me an awful long time to actually meet the asphalt. But it happens inevitably. And my arm now has a silver dollar size scrape that swelled to icky enough proportions. Okay, it's not that bad, but it hurt and hurts, and Cary's not here for me to whine to.
I'm sorry, snail!
Chops to the Redlands Cyclery USA staff though who not only helped me come to terms with my unusable pedals, cleats, and shoes but gave me new gear at a very kind rate. And kudos for treating the walk-in unlike the beginner she so obviously is. Shameless plug, you get. And as I'm hanging out in the bike shop, getting more rookie grease marks on my legs as we try out different gear, talking shop, and I'm happy to be out of a dress from a delicious bridal shower and into shorts with belly room and hair tied back, I see there's more to sports that the actual sport. There's camaraderie and AC and getting things just right.