OK, I know I’m going to catch sh*t for this, but I recently switched from clipless to platform pedals. I’m going to get in trouble because a couple of years ago, on a popular message board, I mouthed off big time about the dangers of riding unrestrained, and there are still a couple of people out there that love to remind me about my one-and-only public message board temper tantrum… LOL.
I have good reason to fear riding without toe clips or clipless pedals; I broke my leg and ankle in multiple places in a leg suck accident many years ago. The sight of my foot pointing exactly 180 degrees from normal when I got up from the crash is still clearly burned in my memory. I’ll admit it was a bit of a fluke, but it put me through multiple surgeries and in-and-out of casts for over a year, so I’m still a wee bit skittish around platforms, even after all this time.
Coincidentally (or not, as these things often go), our household is on a serious jag to revamp our on-bike time to include more utilitarian cycling in the form of commuting, library trips, grocery shopping, dental/doctor appointments, coffee/breakfast/lunch/dinner runs, bill paying, etc. We’re trying to make hopping on the bikes as convenient as hopping in the car (imagine how much automobile use would decline if we all changed into padded shorts, helmet, gloves, goggles, and special shoes every time we hopped in the car to make a grocery run for soy milk or toilet tissue). We added platform pedals and panniers to our main rides and revamped our bike storage situation to make for quick and easy entry and exit. The platforms accomodate whatever shoes happen to be on our feet, the panniers accomodate the stuff we need to haul to or from wherever we’re headed, and the convenient entry/exit just makes the whole process that much more pleasant.
So there you have it: I’ve officially rescinded my dogmatic stance on the benefits of restrained pedaling. Let the barbs fly! Leg suck still looms a little larger-than-life in my amygdala, but the freedom to come and go on a whim is finally putting that old fear to rest.