Learning To Ride A Bike

In my family, I run and my husband bikes (cycles?).

Mom runs, Dad rides

My husband can’t run with me because it bothers his knees, but when my son went off to college last August, he got me a bike to help distract us from our empty nest.

Bike 2
I had never had a bike with gears (!) but I learned quickly and was surprised at how much I enjoyed cycling–and how nice it is to do something active outdoors with my husband.

Now that I’ve had my bike for a few months, my husband has been encouraging me to take my cycling to the next level and learn to use clip-in shoes. It is something that I want to learn, but I am hesitant because I’ve heard that learning to clip in (or clip out!) can be hard.  As soon as I hinted that I was willing to give it a try, he started showing me bike shoes on-line. I really liked these–probably because they look like running shoes!

Bike Shoes

My husband put my bike on the trainer so I could learn the mechanics of clipping in and clipping out, but I knew it would be much harder when my bike was moving. We live at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, so it’s a pretty safe place to practice. Good thing, because my first try was an utter failure. I stopped, failed to clip out, and fell over–hard!

Clip In Fail

I was stunned and didn’t know whether to laugh at my stupidity or cry at my wounds. My husband was horrified, but after a bandage break I was ready to keep trying. I kept reminding myself that I need to clip out if I feel like I am falling over. After a few more successful tries on my street, I was ready to venture out into my neighborhood. We rode around for about 20 minutes, and I only fell over one more time. 🙂

This weekend I was eager to practice again. My legs were still bruised and my knee wasn’t completely healed, so I put on some capri pants.

Cycling Capri Pants

Once again, I practiced in my cul-de-sac before I braved the rest of the neighborhood. I decided that I would ride up and down every cul-de-sac and make myself clip out and stop at every corner. Altogether I was practicing for about an hour and I didn’t fall once. 🙂

Clip In Shoes

Now I need to practice in real conditions on the bike path. I know I will be nervous but the only way to get over it is to get through it.

When is the last time you did something that scared you? 

Do you ride with clip-in shoes?


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13 Responses to Learning To Ride A Bike

  1. Miz says:

    it's funny.
    I did something which scared me last weekend—and yet I see yer BLOOD and think: IM STILL TOO SCARED TO TRY THAT ONE 😉


  2. I remember the first time I clipped on my bike…I fell over almost every single time for a month lol

  3. It might have been getting on a bike, lol! Clips are hard core!

  4. I have never mastered the clip-in and out thing – I just stick to plain pedals cause I'm a wimp now!
    Great job getting back in the "saddle" you are going to be a pro soon!!

  5. Steena says:

    I never practiced on the trainer first, just got out there & did it. I fell once, trying to clip IN. Ha. It just takes time & practice, you'll be a pro soon enough!

  6. yumyucky says:

    future triathlete. Yes??? YESSSSS!!!!

  7. Lisa says:

    There is nothing more panic-inducing than realizing you have to unclip ASAP and not being able to!!!!!

    Congrats on the bike and learning to clip in and out. You'll get the hang of it! 🙂

  8. Amber @ Exsoycise says:

    Wahoo congrats, keep working at it!!

  9. christineyu69776410 says:

    Riding with clip-in shoes scares me like crazy!! My husband had me ride in Central Park clipping in and out, in and out for a long time so that I could get the hang of it. Still doesn't account for the panic that happens when I need to clip out right away! Good for you though! If I lived in DC and had access to all those great bike paths, I would definitely be biking more 🙂

    • Let me know what you think of the NYC bike share program. Here I say putting people who don\’t know where they are going on bikes they don\’t know how to ride can be a recipe for disaster! Still, I love the option for a healthy way to get around town.

  10. RunFastMama says:

    Thanks for the scare, lol Pondering getting a bike and going to the store again tonight to ride it outside. I checked it out on the trainer last night.
    Thinking I should probably get used to the bike first then try the clip on shoes 🙂
    Great job praticing and getting it down!

  11. Simon says:

    Wow clip-in shoes that is real serious riding.
    It's great never to give up and always try new things.

  12. Pingback: I Am Not Fearless (What's Beautiful) - Running With Perseverance

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