Friday, September 24, 2010

Facebook Friday-Riding In Sandals with Flintstone Toes

With a quizzical brow she commented, “You’re riding in sandals?”  While riding my GS45 Super Cruiser (my pet name for my 1992 Specialized Crossroads hybrid equipped with hand-me-down once high-end components like XTR V-brakes), a friend and neighbor was out in front of her house.  I had a few minutes.  Instead of giving her the wave, I stopped to chat.  I brushed off the sandal comment explaining I was headed to Yoga in the Park.  Sandals are easy to kick off for Yoga.  Besides, trying to do Yoga with shoes is as impossible as scuba diving in a tuxedo.  All through my Yoga practice, I couldn’t put my hands to heart center and Namaste it away.  Since then and a second comment from another friend, it’s been niggling me.  What’s wrong with riding in sandals? 

Dear little baby Jesus!  Maybe it’s my freaky toes.  Tell me it’s not my freaky toes.  If you must know these are my piggies.  As you can see, my big toe looks like Fred Flintstone naked.  My pointing toe next door is as tall, thin and twisted as Amy Winehouse on crack and my pinky toe and his neighbor are about the size of large cashews.  Thanks for the freak toes Dad.  I wonder.  Was her comment my friend’s way of saying sandals should be only reserved for people with perfect ducks in a row toes.  Maybe I need a pedi…or a plastic surgeon. 

I’m guessing it’s an old wives tale.  Don’t eat before you swim, don’t feed the Mogwai after midnight and never ever, under any circumstances wear sandals while cycling.  Like the Gremlins movie quote, when exactly is “after midnight” and what exactly is wrong with biking in sandals.  I mean besides having Gremlin toes.  One advantage I’ve found, opposed to wearing skater shoes, is you can more easily wrap your toes around the platform to get more power to the pedals, especially helpful with Cincinnati’s hills.  Secondly, you won’t burn your ankle on the imaginary muffler.

For me, wearing sandals comes down to convenience and minimalism.  That’s what riding a city bike is all about, getting from point A to point B with as little hastle as possible.  When I commute the 5-6 miles to work on the GS45, I don’t put on my team kit.  I don’t wear gloves, bring a water bottle or carry a lock.  I wear jeans, a collared shirt and loafers.  Really the only cycling related thing I wear is a helmet.  My main goal is getting to work without sweating.  Believe it or not, I ride ridiculously slow.  I park the bike in my office, take off my helmet, finger feather the helmet hair away and I’m ready to go.  It’s a beautifully simple thing.  You wear on the bike what you want to be wearing when you get there.  With a city bike it’s not about the ride.  It’s about the destination. 

Still I’m confounded by the sandal comment.  So, I put the question to you.  Now and then we ask our Facebook friends a question and post the comments here on Fridays.  We call it Facebook Friday.  If you’d like to participate, friend us in the right hand column and follow us. 
Today’s Facebook Friday question was:  “Is it an old wives tale?  Is there inherent danger?  What’s the issue with riding in sandals?”

    • David R: Getting beat up by the bike fashion police.

    • Tim W: That's an old wive's tale. Someone (Teva?) made some SPD capable sandals a few years back, IIRC.

    • Jason G: Aside the obvious danger to scraping the shit outta your feet in a crash or even a curb strike, you would to shave your toes and feet too.

    • Mitchell B: Way back when I was a kid, I nearly scraped my toe to the bone when I crashed wearing sandals! Severe toe road rash! Not fun!

    • Mark H: If it feels good, do it.
      Fly that freak flag high.
      Shimano makes a clipless sandal.
      Here is my rule: Sandals are okay; Thongs, no way!

    • Cameron P: Shimano and Lake both sell cycling sandals. I doubt it's too dangerous.


Anonymous said...

Letting your feet breath is healthy! I wear my spd sandals all the time. I even commute in them. Also, after fixing a bike, they make it much easier to test ride a spd equipped bike.. I have a friend locally that lives in his "birks". Does road rides in them, and mountain bikes in them. Went to WV a few years ago with him and he put socks on while riding the TeaCreek Connector trail.. lol I've even seen this same guy pull a flatland 360 in sandals.. Joe.. Fred Flintstone? looks more like George the Animal Steele.. lol

dean schmiedel said...

im going to stop reading this blog if i see one more picture of your effin' feet