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I was about to post a self congratulatory story .....now reading about maniac drivers I'm not so sure.

As I've boasted in the past, I'm a late bloomer in the bike scene with sub-optimal cycling skills. Truth be told, that hasn't been too obvious until this last year .... as long as the bike's going, I'm good. I've had too many episodes of falling off because I couldn't unclip in a timely fashion of late (checking my clips multiple times.....the failure is all mine)

Dh was able to make an instant diagnosis when he watched me ..... I can't balance at low speed. I rrealised that my dismount is more of a lurch and leap than a smooth step down so the last few weeks I've been doing some remedial stuff. Got some inserts to convert one side of my pedals to platforms, lowered my saddle a bit to give me confidence that I could put a toe to the ground easily (makes for an uncomfortable ride.....but I'm not doing much of that anyway) and set about learning to ride slow.

One of the benefits of being really useless at something is that it doesn't take much input to get a big improvement. I can now o-FISH-awlly ride around our neighbourhood in the "tram-lines" that the shadows the power lines cast on the road at a round 3 m.p.h. and less. For folk who dropped the training wheels decades ago, this might not seem much of an accomplishment but, boy, do I wish dh had taken a few videos of me when I first started.

It's nice to master something (relatively) tough. Next stop a track "stand"

Vivienne
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By the way, these are the converters I used http://www.bikedabs.com/

They're a handy way to make a bike easier to ride in regular shoes/sneakers etc, should the urge arise. Of course, more than one bike would fix that nicely ..... but pending the extra $$bucks falling into my lap, these have been a blessing
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I have some version of these on the road and cross bike :
http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/us/fw/products/pedal/00...

and something similar on the others.

While I understand the physics of clipless pedals, I bike for fun and fitness. With the pedals I have, I have the option. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I am less likely to clip in on a new route. With these pedals, no one else knows what I'm doing(and yes, some other people seem to care).

If the clip issue keeps you from riding, I would forget about it for now and go for the fun. A couple of years ago I was kvetching before a charity ride about what route I would do and if I could do it. My older son gave me advice that I still reflect back to - Mom, just get on the bike and ride.
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VeeEnn, I would question why you are using clip less pedals to begin with. Platform pedals should be all you need at this point in your biking. Even some of the most experienced riders I know have gone down at some time or another because they couldn't unclip fast enough. Usually when you have to stop with out enough warning.
The president of our bike club ran into the back of his wife's bike when just starting off and unfortunately broke his elbow. It is further to the ground than you expect and the first instinct is to catch yourself by putting your arm out.
I took my wife's off after she fell. She still has road rash scars on her shoulder.
The advantage of clip less pedals is when you pull as well as push on the pedals. If you haven't reached that point yet you don't need them.
Please don't take my discussion as anything other than wanting to see a fellow biker stay safe.
BGM
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I like those A530s, I have a pair; the best thing is you can ride barefoot on the platform side. That was my biggest disappointment when I got my 1st 10 speed as a kid, the rat trap pedals where basically just saws to destroy your bare feet as opposed to the rubber blocks I had been used to.
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With the disclaimer that I often had/have access to good pricing due to kids working in bike shops -

I have Keen clipless sandals & when the temp hits high 80s or higher, I wear them. I'm not sure of the longest distance I have ridden in them but I know it's at least 40 miles. I'm pretty sure Teva makes them, too.

I am pretty sure the Keens came from REI, though. (Have to use that 20% off coupon on something ;)
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I have Keen clipless sandals & when the temp hits high 80s or higher, I wear them. I'm not sure of the longest distance I have ridden in them but I know it's at least 40 miles. I'm pretty sure Teva makes them, too.

Keens are too narrow for me. I have ridden 100+ at a time in Shimano sandals. They change them from year to year and some years don't have them at all so I have no idea what model I have or if anything like them is still available. But I mostly use Shimano's middle of the pack mtn bike shoes (velcro straps but no crank-tightened thingy).

For folks having trouble unclipping, is it possible the pedal clips are just set too tight? I leave mine pretty loose, just the 1st or 2nd out of 6 levels of tightness.
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The advantage of clip less pedals is when you pull as well as push on the pedals. If you haven't reached that point yet you don't need them.

Well, in general, that's the reason I use the clipless. When the bike's going, I'm a regular Honey Badger and the husband can't keep up with me ....hills or flats, I drop him. I guess I should've realized when he kept asking if I could slow down a bit on the hills and the answer was ....no. I had no choice but to go fast.

I don't know why I first started using clipless. I guess I thought that's what you did. As strange as it seems, I never had an inkling that there was a problem. Even my husband didn't realise until our trip to Colorado last year. Neither did I come to that .... here's an admission of my first encounter with The Topple Over ..

http://boards.fool.com/and-too-many-of-us-avoid-exposing-our...

...the first of many.

See, if you're something of an newbie to the bike culture, this is stuff you find out the hard way. Happy to find it out, mind, so don't be apologetic about pointing out my stooped.
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For folks having trouble unclipping, is it possible the pedal clips are just set too tight?

For some folk maybe. Me, I think not. The main issue is/was that I wasn't controlling the bike at low speed. When I first started with these low speed drills, I wasn't much safer without the clips and I can't even fathom why now I've sort-of got the hang of it.
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Please don't take my discussion as anything other than wanting to see a fellow biker stay safe.

No false pride here, BGM..

http://boards.fool.com/my-intro-to-mountain-biking-30852837....
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Here's progress..

I can now ride around the neighbourhood, on my own, stay within the "tram lines" cast by overhead power cables and not fall over at speeds that hover around 3 mph, give or take.

This might not seem like much of an achievement but for my man at http://stevethebikeguy.com/ whose missus organizes GRRRLZ bike rides from here, he's almost impressed.
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A Heads-Up! .... this is a long read.

http://www.bikejames.com/strength/the-flat-pedal-revolution-...

However, in the context of my issues and rad's son's JFR advice, I can see me sticking with these flat pedals for a fair bit longer than I first thought.

In the context of always trying to make lemonade out of lemons, this recent revelation has increased my smartness rating with my class members.... (ooooh, Viv, a new set of bruises .......have you fallen of the bike again?)

I have no false pride with informing the crew that I'm a late bloomer to real biking (and if I can do it so can they) Now I have even more info to help their transition from a bike that doesn't fall over if you DO IT 'RONG to one that does. Clipless SPIN shoes on what's basically a fixie with a circumferentially weighted fly wheel makes perfick sense. Not such perfick sense on your first real bike in decades.
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