Captain Crash


captain crash v. to “go down with the ship”. This is usually the result of a novice spud user failing to clip out in time.

spuds n. “SPD” (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) clipless pedals.

Clipless pedals are bicycle pedals that have a special mechanism that attaches you foot to the pedal using a special cleat mounted to the bottom of your shoe.  This type of pedal creates a very efficient connection between you and your bike. Clipless pedals are about the most efficient way to attach your foot to the pedal.  The rider steps into the mechanism and can then apply pedaling forces in the upward, downward, forward and rearward directions. To release from the pedal, the rider simply needs to twist their foot.

The term clipless is a bit confusing, since many would describe the mechanism in a clipless pedal as a clip.  However, they are known as clipless because they are an alternative to the original toeclip pedals that use straps and a toe cage to hold your foot to the pedal. 

Yesterday Kayak Women in her blaugh asked me about ice biking.  In a related post Ron had a post earlier this week about people who bicycle the Iditarod, the ultimate winter cycling experience.  I don’t really ever set out to go biking in the snow or ice, but sometimes I encounter some while I’m out and about.  The flurries I encountered on Monday of this week are a perfect example.  The preceding definitions and explanations are intended to educate the non-bicycling members of this blog’s community, so I can tell my story about why I don’t usually go out biking in the snow or ice.

As the title of this post implies it is all about crashing.  I have crashed two times while trying to bike in winter wonderland conditions.  In these events I did the captain, I went down with the ship.  The good thing about these types of crashes is they are usually low speed crashes.  The first time I went down, it was many years ago and I slipped on some ice and simply tipped over into a snow bank.  No harm was suffered.  The second time I went down with the ship was last winter.  Everything was going fine until a freezing mist descended.  I went to round a corner and found myself lying in the street.  That one was a hard landing, but I was in my Michelin Man outfit so still no harm.  These two events are the reason I don’t intentionally go out into ice or snow. 

I did ride today, in the Park.  I got 15 miles.  The temperature got up to the high fifties though, so there was little danger from winter weather today.  Tonight we are expecting a wintery mix, so tomorrow is another day.  The picture for today’s post is intended as a little breath of spring.

6 thoughts on “Captain Crash

  1. some o’ the bi-cyclist guys* around here definitely do not have a sanity system.

    I’m not sure any of those guys could get through the latest 10 inches…

    *Yes guys. I have never seen a woman try to bike through several inches of snow on top of ice. Yet.

  2. First off my sanity system pre-disposes that the other six cyclists I see are, well random. Alternatively, if the seven of us have all just escaped from the county hospital, then this system kind of falls apart.

    On the otherhand, countries like Finland manufacture and sell products like studded bike tires. Where it gets really cold, like Siberia, people do not drive (the cars won’t start), mainly they walk or take public transport. Finland, I think has a more individualistic approach.

  3. Warning!!!
    Clipless pedals are very dangerous.
    I’ve been riding bicycles continuously since I was 5. Have even commuted to work year-round in suburb north of NYC, Had been using Shimno clipless pedals for about 10 years and had several occasions when I couldn’t release from the pedal and dumped over. The last time, at age 58, caused my right hip to fracture. I needed 2 surgeries and 6 months of rehab.
    Needless to say I took them off my Trek and will never use them again.
    The Pain was not worth the gain.

  4. Crash,

    I see from your “Header” pic your Kaldi team has been riding in Europe (left side). Watch out for the road apples; they can be slippery.


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