On a scale of one to ten - How embarrasing?

Breathless Commuter Man
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
On my second commute in with my Christmas present (a pair of SPDs), I completely forgot that I was "as one" with my bike as I approached a busy set of traffic lights. I ended up taking a well earned lie down across two lanes of traffic. Judging from the hilarity this caused I can at least claim to have spread some joy on a wet Monday morning.

Any other (lack of) unclipping stories that are more embarrasing to help me with my bruised ego (and hip)? Gravity does work surprisingly quickly.

How long does it take before unclipping is second nature?
FCN 8

2009 Boardman Hybrid Pro
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Comments

  • Eat My Dust
    Eat My Dust Posts: 3,965
    edited January 2009
    Most people have done it. I once forgot to unclip and fell into a car. Putting my hand out to stop myself and hitting a car window. The driver (laughing) opened his window and said "I bet you're glad I had the window shut"
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    Welcome to the club, most people have at least two incidents in the beginning, glad your okay.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Not sure how long it takes before unclipping becomes second nature and I'm not going jinx myself by mentioning a set time.

    I've fallen over at the lights, I purposely didn't clip out as I attempted to reach for the rails completely mis-judged my speed, pushed myself off balanced and promptly made friends with the floor.

    Most people laughed, one guy asked if I was ok...
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    Still got a scar on my knee that is now 15+ years old from a clipless moment. At the time of fitting SPDs I was unemployed so had plenty of time to get out on the bike to get used to them which took about a week of daily rides.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • pst88
    pst88 Posts: 621
    I had one moment when I first got my SPDs when I stopped, didn't get my foot out in time and fell into a thorny bush (oww). The second was about 6 months after having them where I must've gotten complacent, didn't bother pulling my foot out and went down right outside work in a crowded street. Oh well.
    Bianchi Via Nirone Veloce/Centaur 2010
  • zanes
    zanes Posts: 563
    Two I remember particularly;

    1. After a fairly fast descent of north road in bath, start faffing with my gears as I slow down for the traffic lights, until, inevitably I go over, right knee hits the road, followed by my frame lumping into the side of my knee- painful! lie there, sort of stunned, until a women gets out and asked me if I was ok.

    2. Trying to get ahead of/watching out for some bloke on a hybrid coming out of Bath Uni's Main entrance in rush hour, at night. Go over to the left this time, hit the curb/verge and roll, until I end up "beetling" on my back, wondering wtf just happened.

    Live and learn :roll:
  • Once unclipped on the right side, only to find that my weight was all over the left side of the bike, so down I clattered to the left.

    A nice lady on the pavement rushed to help me and ask if was OK. I think she thought I had had a stroke :oops:
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • Matt-B
    Matt-B Posts: 112
    A couple of summers ago, me and a friend used to do Saturday/Sunday afternoon rides round London, quite leisurely, just to orientate ourselves as we had only just moved here. It was during this resurgence in cycling that I decided to invest in some SPDs. My friend took great delight in pointing out the error of my ways every time I forgot to unclip.

    Once particular time involved me (showing off a little...ahem) bunny hopping up a step on the Thames path, and then forgetting I was clipped in. After that, I was stationary at the top of the step and went to dab a foot. I could do nothing but grit my teeth and close my eyes as I slowly fell back down the step...

    Basically, don't worry about it. Everyone has a moment or two like that, and in the end you'll be glad you went clipless.
  • as a young boy, well a few years ago, i got my first pair, fitted them in my mum and dads workshop, was parcticing clipping in and out, fell over, into a pile of wood which fell on top of me, had to wait til my ma and pa came home from work and had to explain why i skipped school and was in a heap under a load of wood!

    fortunately once you have come off, you never forget to unclip!
    Specialized Tricross SS FCN 4
    GT Zaskar FCN 10
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    You have to remember to lean on the side you've unclipped :oops: Had many close calls where I unclip on the right and lean to the left then pull the left out at the last moment with the shiver of panic rising up my spine.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • gtvlusso
    gtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Yep - Mine was on a round-a-bout - on my arse and 2 lanes blocked!

    Watch your collarbone though - arm down etc etc!!!
  • chaley
    chaley Posts: 100
    My last trip to the floor was a cracker.
    I over took my mate in his car only to have to stop for a red, it was very cold and icy so I track stand for a while, its a 4 way stop so get bored and think I'll put my foot down, I unclip the left foot only to have the bike drop down to the right. Oh no over we go, but no wait I just manage to get my right foot out just at the last moment, few! Foot down all is well, oh feck my foot is on sheet ice and out it goes leaving me in a sort of splits type pose with the bike wrapped around me just as the lights change to green! How red was I?
    Chaley
    2009 langster

    Blasphemy is the only victimless crime
  • blackworx
    blackworx Posts: 123
    Well done on the Monday morning street theatre! (I'd say that's a nine, cos ten's reserved for tearing a hole in the erse of your shorts!)

    Thankfully it's never happened to me, but not for lack of trying. A few years ago I'd overtightened my pedals, couldn't unclip quickly enough and almost went off a small sand cliff onto the beach below; that was a lucky escape. My only thought at the time was that if I did go over it would look funny as hell and there was no one around to see it :lol:
    Trek XO1
    FCN4
  • allways makes me some what nervous this talk...

    i've never had a clipless moment.....oh i can see how one could it's just that i haven't
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    Guilty here too.

    Did it this summer smack bang in the middle of the set of traffic lights where Fenchurch St and Leadenhall St meet when I was trying to track stand. I won't do that again. :oops:
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • I've had some definite wobbles/near misses but no falls related to getting myself unclipped, it's unscheduled unclippings that have always been the issue.

    My brother, however, broke his arm in a clipless incident. Speaking of which, where's Jash? He has some great clipless moment stories...
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Greg66 wrote:
    Once unclipped on the right side, only to find that my weight was all over the left side of the bike, so down I clattered to the left.

    A nice lady on the pavement rushed to help me and ask if was OK. I think she thought I had had a stroke :oops:

    Not unlikely given your current state of decrepitude.

    My brother had a clipless moment the other day, he landed on a dog, then apologised to it, several times. I was too busy pissing myself to offer assistance.
  • Greg66 wrote:
    Once unclipped on the right side, only to find that my weight was all over the left side of the bike, so down I clattered to the left.

    A nice lady on the pavement rushed to help me and ask if was OK. I think she thought I had had a stroke :oops:

    Not unlikely given your current state of decrepitude.

    My brother had a clipless moment the other day, he landed on a dog, then apologised to it, several times. I was too busy pissing myself to offer assistance.

    Oh, ha, ha, a-ha, ha. You whippersnapper. :evil: Point of fact: it took place about 10 years ago (cue: "so? you were still and old fart then, etc...")

    Apologising to a dog, FFS! Is your brother all there? :D:D
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • It seems like its a right of passage. I thought getting the spds meant I was closer to being a true cyclist. It seems that falling off is the real advancement.

    Ego better, hip still sore.

    Thanks all.
    FCN 8

    2009 Boardman Hybrid Pro
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Greg66 wrote:
    Greg66 wrote:
    Once unclipped on the right side, only to find that my weight was all over the left side of the bike, so down I clattered to the left.

    A nice lady on the pavement rushed to help me and ask if was OK. I think she thought I had had a stroke :oops:

    Not unlikely given your current state of decrepitude.

    My brother had a clipless moment the other day, he landed on a dog, then apologised to it, several times. I was too busy pissing myself to offer assistance.

    Oh, ha, ha, a-ha, ha. You whippersnapper. :evil: Point of fact: it took place about 10 years ago (cue: "so? you were still and old fart then, etc...")

    Apologising to a dog, FFS! Is your brother all there? :D:D


    He's an Oxford classics grad - so no, in fact he's rarely "all here."

    :lol:
  • redvee
    redvee Posts: 11,922
    he landed on a dog, then apologised to it, several times.

    I was riding in the lanes around Whitchurch Canonicorum and a duck waddled across the road in front of me so I shouted at it to get out of the way :oops:
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    Predictably, I fell on my first clipless ride - unclipped left, leaned to the right.

    Since then it's mostly been uneventful, but I came off the Bowery twice in consecutive stops a month or so ago. After the secind time, I actually bothered to look at my shoe, and saw a bolt had come off the SPD cleats, so when I was twisting my foot out, the cleat wasn't actually moving. Check cleat bolts regularly!
    Commuting: Giant Bowery 08
    Winter Hack: Triandrun Vento 3
    Madone

    It's all about me...
  • Jen J
    Jen J Posts: 1,054
    redvee wrote:
    he landed on a dog, then apologised to it, several times.

    I was riding in the lanes around Whitchurch Canonicorum and a duck waddled across the road in front of me so I shouted at it to get out of the way :oops:

    And did it? ;)
    Commuting: Giant Bowery 08
    Winter Hack: Triandrun Vento 3
    Madone

    It's all about me...
  • biondino
    biondino Posts: 5,990
    I have had one clipless moment, which was far more painful than it should have been. I was cycling round the gravel path in Richmond Park with my mate who was running. We approach a gate and I go on ahead so that I could give him a split timing as he passed the gate. Unfortunately, I was paying attention to my stopwatch and not my cleats, and over to the right I went.

    Problem was, there was one of the park's lethal wooden posts there, and as I instinctively reached out my little finger took the full weight of my falling body and bent back as far as it could go (I have a distinct memory of it bending back to the wrist but when I try and do that now I can't get it within inches). So as well as the requisite cuts and bruises on my arm and knee, I had a painful finger for the next three months.

    My almost clipless moment is one that gives me nightmares. Stopping in the middle of the dual carriageway between Hyde Park Corner and Victoria, I felt myself started to fall to my right (I always unclip on the right), tried to get it out and couldn't. I could see cars heading towards me at 40mph plus and was aware that if I failed to unclip there was almost no way the nearest car could avoid running me over at full speed, and somehow I managed to get it out on the second split-second attempt.

    It still haunts me to this day - see recent mortality posts. So if you are going to have a clipless moment - and you are - make sure you're somewhere relatively safe to do so.
  • robbarker
    robbarker Posts: 1,367
    :-)

    There are two types of SPD users. the ones that admit their falling-off-still-clipped-in moment, and the ones that lie about it..

    I've certainly done it!
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    robbarker wrote:
    :-)

    There are two types of SPD users. the ones that admit their falling-off-still-clipped-in moment, and the ones that lie about it..

    I've certainly done it!

    You say this but I genuinely have never had a clipless fall. I've had a few panic stricken moments when I've managed to get my foot out just in time, but never had an actual fall.
  • chaley
    chaley Posts: 100
    robbarker wrote:
    :-)

    There are two types of SPD users. the ones that admit their falling-off-still-clipped-in moment, and the ones that lie about it..

    I've certainly done it!

    You say this but I genuinely have never had a clipless fall. I've had a few panic stricken moments when I've managed to get my foot out just in time, but never had an actual fall.
    Don't worry there's still time!!
    Chaley
    2009 langster

    Blasphemy is the only victimless crime
  • biondino wrote:
    My almost clipless moment is one that gives me nightmares. Stopping in the middle of the dual carriageway between Hyde Park Corner and Victoria, I felt myself started to fall to my right (I always unclip on the right), tried to get it out and couldn't. I could see cars heading towards me at 40mph plus and was aware that if I failed to unclip there was almost no way the nearest car could avoid running me over at full speed, and somehow I managed to get it out on the second split-second attempt.

    Before we moved, my route home involved a right turn at the junction between Grays Inn Road and Theobalds Road. Nothing exceptional about that junction, but I used to taunt myself as I rolled to middle of the junction on green, slowing to wait to go right, that if I stuffed up the unclip (and I always unclip on the right) I'd topple over to the right into the path of an oncoming vehicle. And that would be the end of that.

    Somehow, my current route doesn't seem to have much in the way of right turns across oncoming traffic. Or I've just managed to get over that fear. Who knows?
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • robbarker wrote:
    :-)

    There are two types of SPD users. the ones that admit their falling-off-still-clipped-in moment, and the ones that lie about it..

    I've certainly done it!

    You say this but I genuinely have never had a clipless fall. I've had a few panic stricken moments when I've managed to get my foot out just in time, but never had an actual fall.

    +1...

    Maybe it is just a matter of time... especially as I'm planning to get something other than SPDs soon!
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Never forgotten to unclip but a few times i've unclipped one side and then wobbled over the other way - panic panic panic! It's those moments i tend to forget i have to twist my foot before i can put it down - trying otherwise only hastens the fall :D