flickr foto
Road 1 Skin 0
Road 1 Skin 0
available on my flickr

This is trivial as far as road rash– just my mental record of what it means when you are learning to bicycle with cleated shoes….

I keep meaning to write some relative posts about my recent work, but keep getting distracted by every day antics. And there are metaphors everywhere you look, I cannot spit without hitting a metaphor.

Okay this one is about change.

I advocate strongly the need to be open to change, to re-invent one self, to drop a technology when something better rolls along… yet there are places in my life I am ironically, inexplicably resistant to change.

For the last 25 years I have been mildly to moderately actively riding bicycles, not a racer, not a cross country endurance mania, but just enjoying getting out on an open road, and being moving only on my own human supplied power ( There is something Emerson-like at world there. Maybe.). A few long distance charity rides, a near century, and lots of miles gone under the wheels.

Anyhow, although they have been out a while, and I accept on a rational level that the cleated shoes that lock into pedals must be superior, yet I have clung to my tennis shoes in toe straps for, well, 25 years.

At the back of my mind is that nagging voice that leaps out, “What happens if you cannot get your feet out in time?” I stayed in the comfort, familiar zone and avoided finding out the answer.

This changed over the weekend as I spent some gift money at REI. I planned to get shoes and pedals, but luckly my step-son was interested in trading me his Shimano SPD pedals for my cheapo black metal nameless ones with toe straps (he rides infrequently and does not want to bother with clipping in). Once swapped, I just needed the fancy shoes with the metal cleat attached to the bottom.

So I got ’em. The bike geek shoes that go “clink clink clink” down the hallway.

And riding them the last twp days has been a gas- more power from more lift, better foot position, it was like a new bike. And getting the feet in and out was no big deal at all– I can almost get them in barely looking about 80% of the time now, and dis-engaging is a matter of just quickly twisting one foot outward.. you just need to anticipate your stoppages.

So at a stop light today, I coasted in slowly to the red, but somehow distacted myself as momentum approached nil. I suddenly realized I was almost dead stopped and not balancing well, and before I could employ the foot tiwst- it hit me… I am going down, and flopped sideways. Thud.

It was no big deal. I hit the ground. Lightly skinned a knee. No one dies from that at slow speeds and no altitude.

So it is reassuring when you find what was once a big deal (the fear of falling without being able to escape) is really not (it is easy to manipulate) and even if you do fall, its just trivial.

You laugh, get up, and go.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. When I saw that picture after reading all that previous mumbling about how great it’s to listen to podcasts while riding a bike, I was sure that was a testimonial of not being able to listen and ride at the same time ;)

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