Well, I've had my clipless pedals and shoes for a couple weeks now, but wasn't able to get out and ride for several reasons. I've been busy with out-of-town business meetings, it's been raining on the days I could ride, and I've been fighting a sinus issue for over a week.
Yesterday, Sunday, I decided I needed to ride. It was eating away at me having such great weather and me being stuck inside. We went to visit my parents and I decided to ride home from their house. This was a 28.5 mile ride with the route I planned, so I knew I should be able to complete it without too much problem. A couple things made it harder than it should have been. I had to get used to the clipless pedals and I was still struggling a little to breathe with the sinus issues.
I've read about and talked to quite a few people about clipless pedals and how to use them. Most people let me know that I WOULD fall at some point using the clipless pedals. I did pretty good. My first complete stop for water, I had a tough time getting clipped back in and almost laid the bike over. Then, I was good until I reached my last turn at a stop sign. I unclipped my right foot, put it out to land on, stopped, lost my balance, and started to fall to the left. My left foot came unclipped as I began to gain my balance back and I ended up just laying the bike down in the road.
So, I made it home injury free and the bike wasn't damaged when I laid it over. Within a couple hours of getting home, I started fighting a headache though. I think it was related to me not relaxing my shoulders enough when I ride. This morning, I woke up feeling pretty blah. I have sore muscles I've never noticed after a ride before. My thought is that this is probably because being clipped in to the pedal allowed me to use different muscles to push through hills and wind gusts.
I think it's going to take me a while to get completely used to clipping and unclippling with the pedals, but hopefully, I'm done with the "falling" now. I'm getting ready to send in my registration for a 4-H fundraiser that is a Covered Bridge Tour out of Eaton, Ohio. This was my first long ride on my new bike last year. I loved it, although it kicked my butt. I'm looking to push through now that I have a little experience on the bike now and complete the 64 mile route. At the very least, I want to complete the 49 mile route.
I'm still trying to decide if I prefer riding alone or with other riders. The organized rides are kind of fun because there are planned SAG food/drink stops and it is fun to talk with other riders a little bit. At the same time, I'm rather antisocial with people I don't know, so riding solo is often more enjoyable for me. There's a group in town that does organized rides. I asked to be added to their email list, but haven't gotten anything yet. This would probably be the best opportunity to make some local contacts and get out and ride with a group more often.