So, Shaun gave me a pair of clipless* pedals for my road bike and I went out last weekend and bought a pair of shoes to use with them. I probably got a slightly better shoe than I really need, but I found a pair at Turin that felt really comfortable, and with my wide feet it's sometimes hard for me to find athletic shoes that just fit.
I rode over the weekend with the bike in my training stand and it felt really good. And I rode to work on Tuesday and had a great time. In hindsight it was a rather overcast day, and actually started drizzling on the way home, which kept the path pretty clear. Today I rode to work, with my brand-new shoes on, and coming home the lake path was packed. Dogs and children and strollers and rollerbladers just seemed to leaping out onto the path from every corner. I was terrified, because I'm not really that good at getting my shoes out of the pedals yet, and I was riding with my hands on the brakes most of the way, ready to screech to a halt. I made it almost all the way home and a couple blocks from my house I had to brake suddenly (at a Stop sign, duh) and completely failed to get either foot out of the clips** and just toppled right over. I scraped up my knee pretty good. It being prime bike-commuting time, there were 4 other cyclists at the stop sign who all asked if I was OK. I felt pretty dumb.
I think I'm going to ride the road bike and it's fancy cliplessness on early morning weekend 'training' rides and just ride my mountain bike, with it's plain-old-just-pedals-for-regular-shoes to work. And hey, tomorrow is the big Bike to Work rally at Daley Plaza. See you there, bright and early?
* I guess I get that "clipless" is in contrast to toe-clip pedals, but it just seems very confusing since you do, in fact, clip the "cleat" into the pedal. "Bottom clip" or something would make more sense.
** Dangit, I'm going to call them that.