Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday's Fashion Fallout: Shoes will not heal grief

Back to the "Grief and Clutter" series, which, I swear I will return to in earnest.

Today's Friday's Fashion Fallout item is a pair of road cycling shoes. I love cycling and unfortunately have more or less stopped since I got married. But these shoes need to go for a different reason.

Right after Gram died I decided it was time to put some serious energy (read: money) into cycling as a way of trying to move forward with my life. So two weeks after she died I dropped an insane amount of money on a road bike and the gear to go with it. These $100 shoes were part of that purchase.

Cycling shoes are funny. You can't really walk in them because they don't have a flat sole. Instead, they have holes for you to screw a clip. The other half of the clip is attached to the pedal. When you get on your bike, you clip yourself in and quite literally are attached to your bike. If you fall, the bike goes with you if you can't unclip yourself fast enough. But when you're riding and not falling it's awesome. This kind of pedal makes you much faster because you're able to pedal through the entire 360 degrees of your stroke, instead of just on the downstroke.

I'm a skittish person. I also break easily, as evidence by the long list of physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons I've acquired over the years. I tried the pedals -- they were fine so long as I didn't have to suddenly put my feet on the ground. I fell a couple times, and got back up. And then I fell right in front of an SUV, with my feet still attached to my bike. I was done. Back to toe cages for me.

It took two years before I finally was willing to get rid of the shoes. I really loved what they did to my ability to ride. I've always dreamed of riding fast even though I'm short and slow no matter how much I ride. Giving up these shoes meant giving up that dream. I guess I just have to learn that I may be athletic, but an athelete I won't be. But I'l take not being an athlete over getting killed by the insane drivers in this town!

The Reckoning

What: Item 150! A pair of cycling shoes
Cost: $100 and some skin
Fate: sold on eBay for $30
Total money wasted on stuff: $1644.00
This purchase wasn't a complete waste though. I found out that this kind of shoe and pedal just isn't right for me. I still can't decide if that was worth the $70 I lost on this pair of shoes. I'm still going to count it though.


  1. Ha! I just returned from the thrift store where I was hoping against hope to find a pair of these! No luck, but I did get a nice winter jersey so hopefully I won't have to freeze anymore.

    1. well, there's always eBay! :o) enjoy the sweater.

  2. I'm a major clutz, so I've always figured that even trying cycling shoes and clips would be the death of me. Your post kind of confirms that, and I watched a friend trying to adjust to them for a 100 mile organized ride. She definitely got beat up while breaking them in and she's not a clutz...

    Do you like toe cages? I've only used them on spin bikes and they feel uncomfortable on my big ole feet. I'm an old-fashioned pedal kind of girl.

    1. and I thought I was just incompetent! Glad to know it's not just me who has a hard time with these.

      I haven't tried the toe cages. I think if you get them from the right place and, er, probably spend enough money on them they can be comfortable. It's going to be a while until that happens. But I'll let you know when it does.

    2. I ride with toe cages (I think they're officially called toe clips) and I really love them. I think I spent $5 on mine. It took a few rides to get used to them, but I never had any crashes. The nice thing about them is that you can leave them kinda loose so it's easy to get your foot in and out. I generally leave them loose when riding on streets and tighten them up when I'm on the bike path where I don't have to stop so often.

      But... I'm having trouble with cold feet - and haven't found shoes that will both keep my feet warm and fit in the cages. Plus you aren't quite as connected to the bike as you would be with clipless pedals. Anyhow, I've been contemplating making the upgrade, but I do admit that I am a tad bit fearful of crashing. This is why I keep looking for used shoes because I don't want to spend a fortune on something that's not gonna work out!

    3. good to know they're so cheap. I'd been avoiding looking at them online because I knew as soon as I looked I would buy them.

      This guy, "allseasonscyclist" stopped by my other blog and seems to have loads of good advice about how to keep comfy in all weather. Maybe he'd know about a good way to keep your feet warm. Good luck!

  3. I think if I were to try the clip-on shoes, accidents would've happened within the first 2 minutes. I'm a major klutz! And like you, I also break pretty easily (yay Ehlers-Danlos!). I've also been through the "it's time to buck up and get serious" thing too many times to count. Maybe I need to get serious about not getting too serious about things financially until the time is appropriate. At least in your case, you got some money back. :)


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