The Peddler: Clipping in to a road bike

You know how when you fall, you sometimes come out of it really shaky? This was me, either from the fall, the embarrassment or just sheer frustration.

I thought I had it.

But I didn't. I started to clip in again, then was told I was doing it wrong.

"I'm doing it wrong? Who cares? I'm doing it," was all I thought.

The other women were encouraging. I looked at them with a face that felt like desperation but probably came off as resentment.

"I want to quit. I don't need to clip in," I thought.

I really am a bad sport—give me something that makes me feel like I'm failing, and I'm out.

I can't even remember how many times I thought to myself, "this is stupid."

But I had to realize that everyone around me was clipped in, and they all had to learn at some point. After all, they do it because clipping in allows a more efficient and smoother pedal stroke.

Is this another thing that could keep women—or anyone, really—from getting more into cycling?

It's definitely something that would make me quit if this weren't an assignment for work.

Falling is tiring; or at the very least, it's emotionally draining. Either way, I felt pretty tired the rest of the ride. I wasn't having fun.

Not to mention, I wasn't expecting my feet to hurt. My toes became so numb, they were all I could think about. And when I got off the bike, they began to burn.

This was yet another aspect of cycling to digest. My coach explained that the toe pain could be the toe box of my shoe, or it could be a poor seat position.

Of course, at the time, I thought that if I had expected this pain (like I had expected falling) maybe it wouldn't be hurting so badly.

More: Solutions for Numb Toes While Cycling

"Why do people do this?" I thought to myself for what felt like the thousandth time.

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