I don’t know how I arrived at a place where every bike I owned required a specific pair of shoes, but you can imagine I felt pretty dumb about it,. Now, obviously I am an extremely serious cyclist who needs to take himself extremely seriously, and what’s more serious than highly-specific footwear? But then there I stood, in the basement, contemplating my rack of hard-won bicycles, trying to figure out which one to take to the grocery store.
Does Sidi make a shoe called the “Grocery Getter?” Does Giro make a “Prescription Picker Upper?” There’s a trick being missed, a sales door to kick open, and I’m here to tell the bike industry’s marketing wizards all about it.
See, I am not one to go tippy-tapping around the grocery store with a basket over my arm and the potential for a banana-peel pratfall waiting next to every Pop-Tarts display. And what that means is that I don’t ride my bike to the grocery store. If only there was a pedal/shoe solution for this dire problem.
Well, I suppose mountain bike shoes tackle the difficult terrain of Aisle 5 (I spend most of my time in the snack aisle) pretty well, and if I didn’t have to keep my bag mostly empty in order to fit in several bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, then I could even slide a pair of flip-flops in there and do a whole wardrobe change in the parking lot, over by the dumpster. But this problem started back at my house.
How did I end up with no flat, platform-pedal equipped bikes?
I do have a fixie my friend Mike built for me, but the hills between me and Aisle 5 make that bike not entirely effective for the fetching of foods and summoning of takeout.
I have friends who, having realized that too many of their mountain biking skills are clip-in dependent, have gone back to platform pedals as an exercise in relearning. I admire them. They’re taking their riding seriously, while I’m strolling the bread aisle and wishing I could ride a cruiser with a basket through the store.
Something seems askew when all my equipment is so serious, and yet I, myself, remain a garden-variety chucklehead.
This week’s TCIF asks, do YOU have flat pedal bikes that you ride regularly? Where do you go? What do you do? Or are you like me so, so evolved as a rider, that all your pedals are vestigial bits of metal protruding from your cranks like so many spindly milk frothers?