TCI Friday

I’m trying to be wrong more. No. That’s not right. I’m trying to be willing to be wrong more. Yeah. That’s it. Without wading in too deep, and without triggering any of you into paroxysms of reflexive rage/anxiety, all I’m saying is that now might be a time for all of us to examine our beliefs.

Everyone seems to be believing what they believe really hard. I’m not here to tell you what to believe. I’m just saying that all beliefs bear examination, revision, and possibly even replacement.

For example, I don’t believe that human cyclist people should wear sandals while riding their bicycles. I am willing to be wrong about this.

Here is my case against riding in sandals, with some reflection about why it’s wrong:

  1. It looks awful. There is some sort of hippy-aversion I feel to the simple sight of it, worse if they’re wearing socks. This is entirely subjective, judgmental and stupid. Feelings aren’t facts.
  2. It exposes you to horrible toe injuries. The last time I climbed on a bike wearing flip-flops (the worst possible riding sandal), I tried to track stand a mountain bike with clipless pedals, slipping off the tiny platform and jamming my big toes hard into a friend’s back deck. Any crash or partial crash while riding in sandals holds out the very real possibility of sanding all the skin of those toes, too. OUCH. Clearly I’m dealing with some past trauma here and projecting my fears onto others.
  3. From a performance perspective, can there be any less effective a pedaling platform than a sandal, even one impregnated with SPD cleats. In fact, the very existence of an SPD sandal causes my brain to slowly melt and run out of my ears. The thing is, not everyone is trying to “perform” when riding a bike. Some are just trying to ride around.

And here’s the thing, if I’m wrong about cycling sandals, what else am I wrong about? Is 1x not the future of drivetrains? Is Lance Armstrong not such a bad guy? Were The Monkees not as frivolous and derivative as people think? Is representative democracy a sham?

This week’s TCIF asks, is it ok to ride a bike wearing flip-flops? What are you possibly wrong about? Now clearly, you can take this exercise anywhere you want, and I encourage that, but let’s focus on what we’re wrong about, not what we’re sure we’re right about, like the universal usefulness of Park Blue Grease.

Join the conversation
  1. scourtright2000 says

    Good topic. For me, this is a “Gotta know the rules before it’s ok to break the rules” kind of thing. As a long-time (mostly) road cyclist, I only recently concluded that it’s ok to wear cotton. (gasp)

  2. Jeff vdD says

    Emlyn, I am RIGHT about agreeing with you on your no-sandals stance, for the reasons you cited. FWIW, I have never been an off-the-bike sandals wearer. At least off-the-bike, they look good on some people, even if not on me.

    So, what am I (slightly possibly) WRONG about?
    – Tubeless beats tubed
    – Disc beats rim
    – Dirt beats road
    – Gravel tread patterns don’t matter nearly as much as volume, pressure, and puncture/cut resistance
    – Interesting socks go outside leg warmers

  3. pbelknap says

    I always wear flip flops while riding to the bar, because what else would I wear to the bar?

  4. alanm9 says

    I’m probably wrong about ebikes, gravel cycling, bike lanes and paths, tubeless, “indoor” cycling, carbon fiber, and “the bike boom”. Sandals? Sure, sometimes. With socks? Absolutely wrong.

  5. pfnavin says

    In the summer, I do wear Keen closed-toe sandals when I’m scooting around town on the commuter. Can’t bust up my toes with those sandals, so all is good.

  6. joshbeach304 says

    Where I’m willing to be wrong:
    Rollers without Video > rollers with video
    Ergo > STI
    Rolers > turbo trainer > stationary bike
    Pen > Touch typing > auto-fill
    Letter > eMail
    Analog > digital

    Where there’s only one truth: [enter] > =

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