Friday, May 29, 2009

Back on the trail

Only sort of.

I busted out the door last Sunday for my first trail ride in an eon-and-a-half. I live a little over a mile from an excellent trail head, so you can imagine what sort of incursions have been made on my free time to prevent me from off-roading more or less since my first son was born four years ago.

So, here's the funny thing. Leaving the house, I noticed that my MTB shoes had two different cleats in them. Ha! That's funny! Why would that be?

Oh yeah, it's because I gave some SPD pedals to a friend a year or two back, and I wasn't sure which cleats went with which pedals, so I set her shoes up with one of each of the cleats I had and told her to figure it out. Well, apparently, afterward, I was too f'ing lazy to put my shoes back the way they were.

So I left the house with mismatched cleats, though there were both SPD, so I thought, "How big a deal could it be?"

And on the road on the way over, the smooth road, there was very little problem. The right clip was tight, and the left was less sturdy, but rideable. I hadn't been on the trail in a long time, so I wasn't really expecting peak performance anyway, so I kept rolling.

As it turned out, as soon as I hit the first rocky patch, roughly ten yards up from the trail head, my left foot went flying out of its clip. Problem. I couldn't keep the fucker clipped in. It was completely debilitating. Couldn't climb. Couldn't descend.

I grunted and sweated on for about a mile, before I decided to cut bait. Then I just pulled out of the woods and rolled home, disappointed but not homicidally enraged, which I would have been had I tried to make it all the way around the six-mile loop I was on.

So, an ignominious return to mountain biking, but a return nonetheless.

I am pleased to report that, even in my hobbled state, I was able to get a tiny peek back into the joy of trail riding, and after this minor set back, I foresee a summer of bruised palms and bloody knees, so that's cool.

GIRO Comment:

I've been pulling for Carlos Sastre, and he has taken two exciting uphill stage wins, but it looks like he'll finish just off the podium now, unless he pulls off the TT of his life on Sunday. Good race this year. Excellent race. And great coverage from Universal Sports.

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