Sunday, July 11, 2004

Redmond Derby Days

Yesterday I headed to downtown Redmond to take part in the criterium which is part of the annual Redmond Derby Days event. This event has a long history and the city had a very nice setup going. There was a small fair, complete with live music, food stands and rides. The bike races were held on the streets right in front of the festival, so spectators got a great show.

Yesterday was a bit rainy, but things were drying out as I headed to Redmond so I was hoping for the best. Unfortunately when my race started a nice rain was coming down and the streets were soaked. Criteriums in the rain don't thrill me because they make a normally sketchy race and make it downright scary. The streets were in good shape (smooth, not many potholes), but were covered with large swathes of paint (lane markers and stuff), metal manholes and plenty of the little reflective dots used for demarking lanes. So the race was essentially navigating a minefield while being blinded from the spray off the wheel in front of you. Fun!

The gun went off and I did not get a good start. I could not get my foot locked into my pedal and it cost me dearly. The strung out into a single file formation rather than bunching up, so when I got going I had lost a good number of positions. When everyone settled down, the field was pretty well fragmented, except for a good bunch at the front. I was in (I think) the second group back and just settled in for some good racing. Everyone was taking it easy through the corners... it just wasn't worth taking chances. And, of course, since we weren't in contention we were eventually pulled from the race. Ah well..

The whole pedal thing got me thinking. This isn't the first time I've had trouble getting into my pedal quickly. I currently ride Shimano PD-7800 pedals (well, the Ultegra version). They are one sided (meaning you can only lock your foot in on one side) and hang vertically, making them a bit tricky to clip in to. For everything but criteriums, it doesn't matter... you don't need to get started quickly. Criteriums are a different matter, the start is very critical. So, I started thinking that a double sided pedal, more like mountain bike pedals, might be better for crits. The Speedplay Zero is just such a pedal, so I'm considering trading mine in. However, I'm still not sure if it is worth the money (which, after I sell my current pedals wouldn't be too much).

In other news, I decided to mix up my training and do some mountain biking today. I bought a nice mountain bike a couple years ago and feel guilty that it hasn't gotten a lot of use since I got bitten by the road riding bug. So, I took it out to Tiger Mountain and enjoyed a nice Sunday afternoon on the trails.

2 Comments:

At 8:07 AM, Blogger Jim Carson said...

I have a pair of Look Carbon pedals (very, very ancient) that tilt back to the 1-o'clock position when I'm out of them (because the tail side is heavier than the front), thus requiring me to kick in moving forward. It took me a while to get used to it, though. Every once in a while, if I hit it the wrong way, usually tapping the base first, the pedal would flip and I'd have to actually look down. Was this what happened with yours? Maybe you just had a bad day, or your pedals need some cleanin'?

(I've been ogling the more moderately priced Speedplay X/2s)

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger Doug W said...

The problem with my pedals is they hang closer to 90 degrees -- very back heavy.

They're easy to get in too, even pretty easy without looking. The problem happens when you're in a rush or if you miss the first time, then you have this unbalanced thing spinning around and have no hope of catching it without looking.

I'm probably just being lazy though... but my mountain pedals were a relief.. didn't have to look at all.

 

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