Thursday, October 2, 2008

Flip Flops ARE NOT Shoes!

As we continue to make "Out Of True" The Best Bike Blog Ever, and make the transition from the Joe Biker Blog on AOL which is closing it's Journals, here's a classic from the archive dated Monday, July 1st, 2006.

Flip Flops ARE NOT Shoes!
My New Pre-Ride Checklist:

1) Shoes
2) Something to cover your nether region.

That’s it. Shoes and some sort of interface between your saddle and your under carriage is all you need to have a fun bike ride. But since, you’re usually not running around naked, chances are you’ll arrive at the trailhead with some sort of pants or shorts on. So, all you really need is shoes.

We’ve all seen those pre-ride checklists in the cycling magazines. What a bunch of BS. Everything from helmets to chain tools is on those things. This just in…breaking news…the only thing you REALLY REALLY need is shoes. You can forget everything but a decent pair of shoes and still have a good ride. Think about it. Aside from the basics of just having a bike (regardless of condition). What’s really necessary for a fun bike ride?

I forgot my shoes yesterday. We drove about 40 minutes to get to the trailhead. So, going home to get them really wasn’t an option. Oh yeah, I was wearing flip-flops. Flip flops are not shoes. Flip flops are foot coverings at best.

I’m sure there are a few of you out there that’ve ridden with Tevas or something like that. Tevas are nearly shoes. I rode with rubbery slippery Speedo flip-flops…AND IT SUCKED. Tevas may have worked better, simply because they’d probably stay on your feet. A pair of sneakers and I would’ve rode all friggin’ day.

I’m usually up for a challenge. But, riding in flip-flops wasn’t even a challenging type of fun. It was an exercise in how short of a ride can you have and still call it a ride. For the record, about a 45-minute ride.

The person I was riding with was very supportive. When I cleaned a hill, or a particularly nasty creek crossing she said “good job” and “you’re doin’ great.” Granted that made it fun…but it only lasted about two seconds before the suck settled back in.

No matter how I tried to position the pedal under the flip (or maybe it was the flop) it was just incredibly uncomfortable. One of those pains you just can’t ignore. Maybe that’s why so many torture type devices are based around the feet. Take hot coals for example. Feet are sensitive little bastards.

So, back to the checklist. A pair of shoes is all you need. By shoes I mean something that has a solid sole and covers the entire foot. That could be cowboy boots or a pair of Chuck Taylors. Had I had either of those, I would’ve had a fun ride.

For the record, you can forget the following and still have a fun bike ride:
1) Helmet (you may die, but you’ll have fun til you do)
2) Shorts & Jersey (as long as you got something down there you’re golden)
3) Tools, patch kit, tube, pump (completely unnecessary for fun)
4) Water & Food (see #1)

Shoes is it.

You got shoes…you got yourself a fun ride.

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