Monday, 2 May 2011

Bank Holiday Bail

In exactly four weeks time I will (hopefully) be sweating my way up Dunkery Beacon and be over halfway to completing the last day of the Tour of Wessex. I am having a few concerns with a niggling knee and hoping that this will be sorted by the end of the month and that all I'll have to worry about will be my fitness and ability to cram enough calories in!

Discussions with all sorts of other cyclists, triathletes, coaches and anybody vaguely sport-related have left me with a whole wealth of different reasons that the knee is playing up from overuse to cleat-position. One of the interesting discussions I had was about the fact that the knee that is playing up is the one that always pushes off whenever I start cycling. The outcome of this chat was basically that I should just use the other foot for a while when I cleat and uncleat and see if it makes a difference. Simple. 

The idea that I wouldn't be able to complete this manoeuvre successfully didn't even occur to me. I approached the first major junction I came to this morning, uncleated from the pedal and went to rest my foot on the floor. What happened next was really rather embarrassing. As I came to a stop, I was already off balance with the wrong foot providing pedal stability. I must have shifted too much weight to that side and by that point it was too late. I tried to regain my balance but I couldn't and I decked out at the junction. Even worse than that, I couldn't uncleat my foot that was underneath the bike so I was wriggling about on the floor in the middle of the road attempting to lift the bike up enough so I could get the angle. It felt like I was down there for about five minutes.. whilst it probably wasn't quite as long as that it was enough time for the lights to go through a whole stage of green and then back to red again. Fortunately it was before 7am on a bank holiday Monday and  in an incredible stroke of luck, there was not a single vehicle either behind me or at any of the other junctions - not a single witness! 

Eventually I picked myself up, dusted off the grit, got the chain back in the right place, was momentarily impressed with my bleeding elbow and then decided I probably wouldn't try that again today.

For the record, the rest of the ride was lovely and the knee only played up at the very end as I started to cool down!

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