(click on that image for the full ride stats, via Ethan)
I finally got a chance to give my new clipless MTB pedals a spin this weekend out at Camp Hilbert in Goochland. These trails drain really well and the recent rain and snow didn’t leave much in the way of soft ground. And really, it was too cold for soft ground and the trail ruts I did see were frozen in. I got a text from Ethan on Saturday night looking to ride in the morning. I happened to be at a party at the time so my enthusiasm for an early start was low. Very low. I got it together in the morning enough to get out to the trailhead. I was hoping to enlist a couple of the other MTB-ers in our group but it was too short notice. I was going to be suffering alone. I’m a big, slow chicken on the trails and I spent the morning huffing through the frigid woods. It was great.
Except for going over my handlebars inside the first mile. I took a bad line on an approach to a u-ditch (I call them “whoop-de-doos”) and just ate shit before I even got into it. It hurt. It took me a solid minute to get up and get back on the bike. I want to say it was mostly assessing any injuries (nothing more than some bruises and a scrape) but I’ll admit to getting spooked by the crash and then reluctant to get back on. Once I got rolling again I had another slack run at a u-ditch where I didn’t commit fully and instead spent time worrying about being able to get my foot out of the pedal to break a fall. I ended up climbing out of that ditch. If I’d just hammered the damn thing I’d have been fine. I relied on that lesson the rest of the ride and didn’t some close to missing a line or bailing unnecessarily the rest of the morning.
The only way I’m going to stop worrying about being clipped in is to spend more time riding clipped in. I’m looking forward to it.