Week 11 – March 14, 2016
Weather: Periods of drizzle. Fog patches dissipating this afternoon. Wind becoming southeast 20 km/h gusting to 40 this afternoon. High 10°C.
Attire: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) rain resistant, breathable knee length jacket, cycling gloves, 180s ear muffs, waterproof rain pants pulled over my skirt, and Shimano SPD cycling shoes.
Variable Attire based on the temperature: long-sleeve sweat wicking top, skirt, tights.
There is a very fresh feeling that exists when you cycle in the rain. The rain scrubs the air of pollutants and makes it just feel very clean. With the proper rain gear, I really only feel the odd rain drop on my face and I arrive dry and ready for work.
Today was the first time I have rode using the clipless side of my pedals since January 4, 2016. I love my Shimano SPD cycling shoes. The SPD shoes have recessed cleats that connect into my clipless pedal so when I arrive at my destination it is easy to walk. The other type of clipless shoe is very difficult to walk in, some refer to is as a “duck walk”. This system allows for a substantial increased use of the legs because you are now pulling up on the pedals as well as pushing down. They take a bit to get used to because when you are connected to you pedals (known as “clipped in”) you have to remember to disconnect (known as “clip out”) when you stop. When you are first learning how to use this system it is easy to forget and you simply fall over and take your bike with you. How do I know?….done it (embarrassed to say more than once and in a dress). My Norco A1 Forma road bike and my Trek Cacao commuter are both equipped with duel pedals so I can either ride with a regular shoe or with my SPD Shimano’s. My Norco Big Foot, winter bike will only ever have regular pedals because I want to ensure my feet are free to move in the event of a slip or slide. I met a fellow winter cyclist last month who was riding “clipped in” and he had just taken a bad fall on black ice. If he had had his feet free perhaps the fall may have been less painful and maybe even avoidable.