(Image of classic Campagnolo Super Leggerri pedals from Bicycle Specialties. Be still my heart!)
Long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and clipless pedals had not yet been invented, I returned to Pittsburgh after a long, hot training ride. In those days, we all rode with toe clips and straps holding our feet to the pedals. We wore incredibly stylish black leather cycling shoes seemingly designed through a joint effort of some emaciated Italians and the Marquis de Sade. The idea was to ride furiously in order to distract yourself from the pain. Eventually, your feet went numb. The cheap leather saddles of the day did the same thing, except they made your....well....never mind.
But as I was saying, it was the end of a long ride on a hot day. I'd climbed away from the river up through the zoo. It was always a pleasure to reach the top of the hill because I could almost coast to my apartment. I'd reached the last red light and was slowing down when a convertible full of young ladies pulled up along side. They were admiring my lean, muscular physique quite vocally and I was returning the admiration when we stopped. My feet were still firmly attached to the pedals because I'd forgotten to release the straps!
On rare occasions, time slows down. I had ample opportunity to realize my mistake, anticipate the results, and even prepare myself mentally for ensuing events. The road and the horizon slowly tilted. My jaw clenched. My hands were vise-like on the brake hoods and my shoulder tensed for the coming impact. I don't remember hitting the pavement, but I do remember the pain inflicted by all that high pitched laughter coming from the convertible. They jetted off as I struggled to get out of those infernal toe straps.
It's a good thing I don't have a delicate psyche, or I may have been psychologically damaged for the rest of my life.
Labels: bicycling humor