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Friday open thread: life’s little embarrassments

17th UEC European Cyclocross Championships 2019 - Men U23 Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images

Happy Friday!

I’ve been riding bikes for a lot of years. I started riding to school almost every day in middle school, and haven’t really stopped since. I mean, I stopped going to middle school, but I haven’t really stopped riding my bike. It’s how I get to work, it’s how I run errands, it’s just my preferred way of getting around most of the time.

About 20 years ago, I switched to clipless pedals - the kind, paradoxically, that you wear shoes that clip into the pedals, so your foot is locked in place. This gives you more power and efficiency when you pedal - not super vital for recreational riding, but on some of the longer rides I do it really pays off. I’ve had the same pair of shoes now for about 10 of those years, and outside the occasional cleat change, the shoes are just part of the muscle memory of riding - I pick up my foot and I know exactly where to put it so it pops into the pedal and off I go.

I got some new shoes this week. Same brand and style, but a different size that fits my foot a lot better. With that comes a new cleat position, so for the first couple days of riding I had to look down and figure out where my foot went. I thought after a few days the muscle memory would re-train itself and life would go on as normal.

And then, today, I got into an intersection, plopped my foot down where I thought the cleat was, and missed. The shoe slipped off the pedal, and I went down in the middle of the intersection, flat onto my side, like someone who’d never been on clipless pedals before.

Fortunately, it was a four way stop on a not-very-busy street, and also fortunately, I didn’t really hurt myself all that much, apart from the normal pain of “old guy who doesn’t recover like he did when he was 20 hits the concrete,” which if I’m honest is probably going to hurt a lot more tomorrow morning when I wake up all stiff and sore than it does right now. It was just more embarrassing than anything else.

So that’s my question for today. Have you done anything lately that you normally eel like you’re good at or experienced with, only to screw it up in an ultimately harmless but kinda ridiculous way?

Also, what’s going on this weekend? Any fun pre-Thanksgiving plans?