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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
The Ride Didn't Go As Planned-#2

OK-Time for another episode of misadventure.
I'm a sucker for gadgets and toys. I admit it. Some new trinket can pull me in like a magnet in a keg of nails. So it happened that one time while resting at the Matson trailhead, I got into a conversation with a lovely lass about the pedal cleats she was using. She avered to me that they were the greatest thing in cycling since the inflatable tire and they really helped power her along and helped her use extra muscles. ...I couldn't argue with her. Shortly thereafter, I found that a friend of mine had a pair of the strap types, but I would have to find the pedal attachments. He said I could have them for free. A wiser man would have read this as a warning, but I was determined to try this. After a lot of scouting around, I found some Shimano's that were close, but required some modification. They were tight to release, but I was impatient to test this out and see if I could get bulging leg muscles with my new gadgets.
I chose a fine looking day to go to the KATY and lock myself into my bike pedals and launch into a new adventure. To my delight I quickly found myself crusing along at a goodly 15+ mph pace and was feeling pretty proud. After a time, I decided to rest a bit and have a snack. Seeing a likely looking spot near the Lewis and Clark trail I slowed to a crawl and found that the difficulty I mentioned earlier about unclipping was about to pay a visit. I got my foot out, but not before sliding down a short hill into a nice patch of weeds. To those of you who have never heard of "Urtica Dioica" you've probably heard of stinging nettle. Well, they are one in the same and I'd just found a jim-dandy patch of it!. I quickly uprighted myself, and my bike and proceded to launch into a string of verbage that undoubtedly frightened the wildlife in a two mile radius to go to another part of the state for a while! My left side was unhappy with me and complained loudly!
However, I was undaunted at this setback and shortly headed down the trail again.
Before long, I came to the paved spur that goes up to Klondike Park. To the uninitiated and unfamiliar, this path is approximately 89.5 degrees uphill and is akin to pedaling up the Matterhorn! Still filled with stubborn confidence, ...and foolish pride, I decided to try tackling this beast with my extra horsepower and launched up the hill. I made it about 30 feet and my steam blew right out as my bicycle quickly ground to a near halt. I felt my right leg bones begin to bend into unnatural arcs and muscles begin to quiver violently as I came to a complete halt. Now with my shoes hopelessly locked into the pedals, all I could do is watch my world go horizontal as I crashed over into the pavement. My left side, which was still peeved at me about the nettle encounter, was now being use to smooth out the rough spots in the pavement as I slid back down the hill. My left arm and leg were now even more disillusioned with their owner and barked that they'd had enough. I sullenly made my way back to my truck and went home. My distraught wife looked at me and asked if I had been riding on the KATY, or was just dragged down it for a few miles for the hell of it. I removed my new cleats and decided that the old fashioned one pedal at a time was good enough for me.
....Hmmmm I do seem to remember he had some plain old shoe straps too. Wonder if he still wants them??!!
posted Jun 19 2016 4:15PM - Rick Sievers, St Peters

Rick, I can identify with you. I do ride with cleats and purchased a new pair of shoes with new cleats. I went out on one of my usual routes and started to go up a hill and could not cleat out and just feel over on my left side. My pride was hurt more than anything else! I feel your pain!!
posted Jun 19 2016 6:05PM - Mimi and Papa, Springfield,Mo.

Typical uncorrodinated blown up nerd story. You test the clips on a flat softer ground area several times before you go on an unstable surface or incline. You are lucky you lived to embarrass yourself with this story.
posted Jun 20 2016 6:51AM - Anonymous

Easy.....Anonymous. I thought it was an entertaining read. Not all of us are such perfectly serious bikers on this forum that we can resort to name-calling. Am I a "nerd" because I wasn't hydrated enough a few days ago and almost passed out after riding for only 4 miles? HA!
posted Jun 20 2016 10:02AM - D.T., Burlington

I also thought it was a very entertaining tale that most riders that have gone to clipless or tried them can relate to...of course unless you are one of the very coordinated anonymous types who would in no way ever embarrass themselves in public.
posted Jun 20 2016 11:22AM - MidSouth, Rogersville

I don't use clips, but I have managed to fall 3 times in the last few years, due to a rabbit, a squirrel and (embarrassingly) looking up at the bluffs near Rocheport. Luckily, no one saw me any of the 3 times!
posted Jun 20 2016 12:20PM - Don, Ellisville, MO

I suspected that you were a nerd Don. Thanks for coming clean. Confessions are necessary to keep yourself honest with the rest of the world. I too join the ranks. The last time I crashed I was looking at a Wahoo tree on the Steamboat Trace south of Nebraska City last summer. Looking back, I know now that the disaster could have been avoided had I only planted a Wahoo in the yard and practiced riding past until I could do so staying upright. Live and learn I guess. As a post script, Wahoo also grows along the Katy Trail. Practice at home folks!
posted Jun 20 2016 12:59PM - Trek

Rick, you are a master storyteller! I loved your post. We just got off the trail and I am hot and tired, but reading your post made me laugh out loud more than a few times.
I recently switched to cleats and, just like the first woman you met, I love how they amp up the power when I use them to push and pull the pedal. I was lucky in that the person who sold me the petals and set the system up for me adjusted the cleats so that I can get in and out quite easily. There's a way to tighten them so they're a little harder to get out of, but I'm pretty happy with the way they are. I had to make a quick stop today and I probably would have fallen if my shoes hadn't automatically come out of the cleats.
Thanks again for your great story!
posted Jun 20 2016 2:28PM - Jeanne, Land o lakes FL

Whoops, that should've been pedals. And I meant it in the best way possible, when I said your story made me laugh. It sounded terribly painful and I feel for you, but you sure know how to weave a good tale :)
posted Jun 20 2016 2:33PM - Jeanne, Land o lakes FL

Thank you to everyone who enjoyed the story. I meant and wrote it as an amusing tale and a change up from the norm. As far as "Anonymous" I'm glad it irritated you and got under your skin. It makes it all the more amusing to all the rest of us! Ha Ha! P.S. What's "uncorrodinated"?
posted Jun 20 2016 6:13PM - R Sievers, St Peters

It's one of the reasons he/she remains anonymous.
posted Jun 20 2016 7:03PM - Doug, Bluffton

I fell on my Wahoo once, did not see the walnut on the trail.
posted Jun 21 2016 5:09AM - Gary, Near Tebbetts

That was too funny Rick. Hang in there, we have all been there. Clipless pedals are awesome and I have the scars to prove it!
posted Jun 21 2016 2:00PM - Russ, St Louis

Oh gosh, I fell so many times getting used to those! Including right in front of 50 hard core cyclists on my very first shop ride. Such a helpless feeling knowing you are locked into the bike and GOING DOWN. Great story, thanks for the laugh.
posted Jun 21 2016 8:57PM - Kim C, Austin

I had thought my response would insight some of you to respond. I must admit it was a little "Trump-like" in style. However, the point is many of the commenters talk about getting back to the quiet, easy, setting and the B&Bs and wineries of the KT. It does draw you into a calm feeling. But it has many dangerous elements, that most know, such as the loose limestone, ruts, down branches and trees, and those jetting animals. Many locally remember Belinda Hulen from Columbia who in 2013 took a short calm easy ride but tragically fell and died riding on the KT. I have many bikes with clip less pedals but only have used them a handful of times on the KT for specify timed reasons during hundreds of rides. Some can be spring adjusted properly as one mentioned for the type of riding. I would suggest for most casual riders who want to take in the KT scenery the plastic pedal toe clips that keep the pedaling rhythm but can be disengaged very quickly be used. Also testing new bikes and equipment locally can save on the damaged egos, body parts and bikes before getting on the unforgiving KT. I've been to too many hospitals with cyclists so I take this a little serious. For some of you who do not like "Anonymous", is Yoserious Sam better?
posted Jun 23 2016 9:28AM - Anonymous

Oh. You are the teacher and we've all been schooled. We all owe you our thanks and praise. You are a hero in disguise.
posted Jun 23 2016 12:22PM - Notsoserious Sam

So Anonymous, You were rude insulting and belittling to Rick because you are so compassionate and caring. Sure thing. We ALL believe you. Why don't you just admit you screwed up, got called on it and apologize to Rick? Then take some English lessons. You don't insight someone to respond, however you might inspire them to if you coordinate your efforts.
posted Jun 23 2016 4:35PM - Doug, Bluffton

Group shame. It is very powerful. I was trying to explain my intent but apparently it was inadequate. Happy Trails.
posted Jun 24 2016 6:44AM - Yoserious

Tags: Klondike Park, Bikes and gear Modify Tags

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