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Speed Tip #4: Clip the Bike Shoes

Don’t Mess With the Bike Shoes

Just like the socks I talked about in the last post and video, I don’t want to spend time putting on my bike shoes in the transition area.   This is something a lot of athletes avoid by clipping their shoes on to the bike before starting the race.   Some people just let the shoes dangle from the pedals.  Mine would scrape the ground if I did that, so I tie the heel of each shoe to the bike frame with rubber bands.

The idea here is that I can slip my feet into the shoes as I’m riding. Then when I start pedalling, the rubber bands will break.  I’ve been doing it this way for a long time and it’s worked pretty well.

The one time it didn’t work well was in the Chicago Triathlon of 2009.  I had just started clipping the shoes and didn’t have enough practice.   I ran the length of the transition area (it’s really really long in Chicago) with bare feet.  That part was OK.  I mounted the bike

pretty well and slipped my left foot into the left shoe.  That part was OK.  Then I tried to slip my right foot into the right shoe, but my foot slipped off, the rubber band broke and the heel of the shoe flipped around hitting the ground.   This almost caused me to wreck and I was to scared to try again, so I rode the remainder of that race with one foot clipped to the bike and the other foot unclipped.

That was just the sprint race.  Later that morning I was in the International race.  I didn’t clip the shoes for that race!

What I did, however, was practice at home.  And it has definitely paid off.

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