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How do you get going (and does it hurt)?

greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
edited May 2017 in Commuting chat
The joy of commuting means one doesn't have to worry about riding uninterrupted for 30+ minutes at a time. There's always a set of lights in sight that will bring you to a halt.

And that means you have to get going again. So how do you do it?

Me: right foot down. Always the right foot to stop me falling into the traffic. Been doing it so long that I tried left foot and it was as easy as writing with my wrong hand.

Left pedal at 11 o'clock. Slight push off the ground, big push on the left pedal, clip in after half a pedal stroke at the top of the right pedal rotation.

I think - not 100% sure - that the first right foot push is tentative just in case the cleat's not engaged. I don't enjoy grinding my balls into the top tube as my right foot squirts off into the distance. Then a big left, big right and we're off.

Which is all fine, except I get a tightness in my lower back. Left side, in or under the thoracolumbar fascia (google it). And I can't help but think that the two are related.

Don't gear down for pullaways, which I'd imagine doesn't help.

Anyone else have a correlation between their repetitive movement and a back condition?
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  • j_mcdj_mcd Posts: 473
    I gear down, unclip (left side only, if I have to do right side I will simply fall over) and stop. Pulling away involves power and clicking up through the gears with a push away from the left foot.

    No back pain (from that), I think it's probably due to trying to turn a big gear. You wouldn't start in 3rd in your car would you?

    Talking of all this, I realised last night that I've totally worn out my left Carbon Fiber Look Keo Pedal. Anyone always unclip on the right and want to go halves on a set?!
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  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    ...Anyone else have a correlation between their repetitive movement and a back condition?
    Yes, my entire rowing life, and most other rowers I know too. The only solution I've found is chiropractor, and not just any one. There was a miracle-worker Polish guy in Ham until a few years ago when he moved back to Poland (he was an international judo person in his day). Every one I've used since, maybe 4 of them, has been useless, but I'm hearing good things about the Waldegrave Clinic in Twickenham, which also seems to have an emphasis on high-level sport rather than "wellfullness".
    J_MCD wrote:
    ...Talking of all this, I realised last night that I've totally worn out my left Carbon Fiber Look Keo Pedal. Anyone always unclip on the right and want to go halves on a set?!
    I've searched eBay in the past for 2nd hand pairs of Look Carbon/Ti pedals and by scrutinizing the photos found what I was looking for: one with a left-worn pedal, and one with a right-worn pedal, both very cheap because each as a pair was essentially unusable. I combined them and got a few years out of the un-worn sides.
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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,161
    Some what differently since it's a old MTB with flat pedals, I tend to though not always start with the right foot, I tend to start with both feet on the ground since flats are easy to start with.

    The bike is heavy with panniers and what not, if I've left it too high a gear then I either stand up when pulling away or soft pedal and shift down, either works. No pain.

    Back pain sounds like pulling away sitting down in a high gear?
  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 7,129
    The joy of commuting means one doesn't have to worry about riding uninterrupted for 30+ minutes at a time. There's always a set of lights in sight that will bring you to a halt.

    And that means you have to get going again. So how do you do it?

    Me: right foot down. Always the right foot to stop me falling into the traffic. Been doing it so long that I tried left foot and it was as easy as writing with my wrong hand.

    Left pedal at 11 o'clock. Slight push off the ground, big push on the left pedal, clip in after half a pedal stroke at the top of the right pedal rotation.

    I think - not 100% sure - that the first right foot push is tentative just in case the cleat's not engaged. I don't enjoy grinding my balls into the top tube as my right foot squirts off into the distance. Then a big left, big right and we're off.

    Which is all fine, except I get a tightness in my lower back. Left side, in or under the thoracolumbar fascia (google it). And I can't help but think that the two are related.

    Don't gear down for pullaways, which I'd imagine doesn't help.

    Anyone else have a correlation between their repetitive movement and a back condition?

    Gear down to 50/22, or do it when I've stopped if I've had to stop in a hurry, lifting back wheel. Left foot down - anything else is just mental. Right foot at 11 o clock. Lights go green, big push on right pedal, clip in as the left pedal comes round, out of the saddle for a couple of pedal strokes to get on top of the gear, sit down, change up, hare off like a scalded cat. I tried to trackstand - it turned very quickly into a [email protected], so I just maintain my dignity and put a foot down. No pain. I only really get knee pain from pushing too high a gear for too long.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,283 Lives Here
    Me: right foot down.
    That's just wrong. Seems utterly alien to me, are you just trying to be different like with your Bakelite pedals.
    Don't gear down for pullaways, which I'd imagine doesn't help.
    I would think that is not good as you say. I always drop onto the small ring when coming to a halt. Pretty much habit now. But I do have incredibly weedy knees that cry if asked to do any work.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Right foot down is wrong if you're in the UK. If you cant get the foot out, or it slips - you're out into traffic.

    Always do the foot nearest the pavement.

    I only gear down if I'm in a huge gear and theres a hill coming up.
  • mosheehanmosheehan Posts: 64
    I put right foot down, left foot if I'm doing a CX dismount.

    I find that I can get more power out of the first stroke of the left than the right.

    I do, however, always shift down before hand.

    I've not done it enough and I think my crank is creaking as a result of it.
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  • reformedfattyreformedfatty Posts: 543
    Stop.. left foot down

    Realise I have misjudged what gear I want to be in.

    Right pedal to ~10 o'clock

    Attempt to set off nonchalantly despite performing a ridiculous leg press with my right foot

    Attempt to clip in left foot, misjudge

    Coast for about 5 seconds whilst swearing at my shoe like it's the shoe not the user that's the problem

    Clip in left foot, conduct another horrendous leg press exercise as we've nearly coasted to a stop.

    Just me?
  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    cougie wrote:
    Right foot down is wrong if you're in the UK. If you cant get the foot out, or it slips - you're out into traffic.

    Always do the foot nearest the pavement.

    I only gear down if I'm in a huge gear and theres a hill coming up.

    Now I see that, but...

    Once upon a time I came to a halt on a road with a bit of a cant (not me, for once). Unclipped on the right but had to lean left a bit into the slope. Lo and behold suddenly my weight is on the left of bike, my left foot is still clipped in and my right foot is pawing at fresh air.

    Instant clipless moment which caused a nice young lady to wander over to me and ask (with genuine concern) whether I'd had a stroke.

    Whereas I've never had my foot trapped or slip coming out right side (yet).

    See, the clue is in the name. Right side. Not wrong or left side. Those are wrong. Or left.

    And I agree that trackstanding is a bit too "Look at meeee! I am fab!" for traffic lights.

    Anyway, apart from the physically ruined rower63, is everyone else saying that their back is just dandy? Bastards (if so).
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

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  • greg66_tri_v2.0greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    mosheehan wrote:
    left foot if I'm doing a CX dismount.

    DO that a lot at traffic lights?

    FOCUS!!!
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  • hopkinbhopkinb Posts: 7,129
    And I agree that trackstanding is a bit too "Look at meeee! I am fab!" for traffic lights.

    Anyway, apart from the physically ruined rower63, is everyone else saying that their back is just dandy? Bastards (if so).

    Oh, if I could trackstand, I would. I just can't - I creep into the middle of the junction wrenching my front wheel from side to side like I'm trying to drill a hole in the road.

    Back aches a bit after 100 kms, but that's old age and lack of core strength I think.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 25,283 Lives Here
    Instant clipless moment which caused a nice young lady to wander over to me and ask (with genuine concern) whether I'd had a stroke.
    I shouldn't laugh, but...
    See, the clue is in the name. Right side. Not wrong or left side. Those are wrong. Or left.
    You're not wrong. I believe the etymology of the word sinister is from the latin word for left, sinistra in Italian. I often get reminded of this by a vertically challenged right handed colleague.

    Oh, my back often aches, but not for any of the reasons discussed in this thread. Mine is a lack of flexibility and poor core strength aggravating a slight twist in my spine I've had since childhood. I didn't notice it when I was young and stupid, unfortunately I'm not that young any more.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    hopkinb wrote:
    Back aches a bit after 100 kms, but that's old age and lack of core strength I think.

    100kms is good ..... mine is time based 1hr30m .... does mater how far I have gone, its always 1hr30 :?
  • Always right foot down for me, just feels totally wrong the other way. The only time my left foot gets unclipped on a ride is when I get to the end of it.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Anyway, apart from the physically ruined rower63, is everyone else saying that their back is just dandy? Bastards (if so).
    Yep, but I tend to do the whole thing out of the saddle starting in something like 34x23. If I tried to do it in a massive gear, bits of me would probably fall off (and it would take forever to get up to speed.) Easier gears are kinder to old decrepit bodies like mine...
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  • waddliewaddlie Posts: 542
    Are the people putting their right feet down left-handed?

    I drop into inner ring, left foot down, right foot to 10 o'clock. Big push with my right foot (but not the left), mash the left hand pedal with whichever part of my foot hits it first, then clip the left foot in on the second rotation.

    No back problems here.
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  • imafatmanimafatman Posts: 351
    I've had back pain for years and couldn't ride more than 2 hours but since working in the gym on core strength and getting a bike fit - those problems have gone away and can stay out for 8 hours.
  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    Waddlie wrote:
    Are the people putting their right feet down left-handed?

    I drop into inner ring, left foot down, right foot to 10 o'clock. Big push with my right foot (but not the left), mash the left hand pedal with whichever part of my foot hits it first, then clip the left foot in on the second rotation.

    No back problems here.

    Left handed, left foot down. Although I tw*t stand nowadays.
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  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    TGOTB wrote:
    Anyway, apart from the physically ruined rower63, is everyone else saying that their back is just dandy? Bastards (if so).
    Yep, but I tend to do the whole thing out of the saddle starting in something like 34x23. If I tried to do it in a massive gear, bits of me would probably fall off (and it would take forever to get up to speed.) Easier gears are kinder to old decrepit bodies like mine...
    Having been schooled a number of times by TGOTB from standstill at the Millbank drag, I decided if you can't beat him, join him. So this is my technique too now.

    And, to complete the answer, I'm a left-foot-put-down-er. I don't want to fall under a passing lorry if I have a right-foot-unclip fail. I think one of the deaths last year was down to this.
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  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 7,078
    hopkinb wrote:
    And I agree that trackstanding is a bit too "Look at meeee! I am fab!" for traffic lights.

    Anyway, apart from the physically ruined rower63, is everyone else saying that their back is just dandy? Bastards (if so).

    .... creep into the middle of the junction wrenching my front wheel from side to side like I'm trying to drill a hole in the road...
    like 90% of the cyclists I see attempting to track stand at lights
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  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,858
    Left foot down if I have to stop, on a kerbstone if available. Drop gear to 34-20, unless my quads feel feeble (like they do since doing my first ever 19+ mph average 20+ mile ride on Sunday on the Cube), in which case 34-23.

    I swear the traffic light timing has changed since my week off last week, the last two mornings I've arrived at almost every light on red... Or my reduced pace from crying quads means I'm missing the green time.
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  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,169
    Singlespeed starting on a steep hill? Yes that hurts my knees, otherwise not really.

    Usually put my left foot down, but it depends on where I am and often which way the road cambers (e.g. in the right hand lane of a one way street). I prefer to power off with my left leg.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    I stop. Put both feet down. Then put one foot on whichever pedal is resting in the forward position. Lights change and I stomp on pedal then lift other foot up to the other pedal. I pedal on like I was starting off at any other place when out for a ride. I own pedals with spd one side, flats tyre other. Mostly I use flats.
    If my second foot lands on spd side I'll take tyre opportunity to turn it over as my other foot pushes down on the lead pedal for a second time.

    Oh! No back ache from pedalling. You need to look into.that and get it seen to. Not.good to have bad back.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,034
    yeah but Greg is SUPER OLD
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  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    There's a guy I sometimes see with an old tourer. He starts off slowly but really shifts when he's going. He has two handle bars. One a swept back shopper type and there is a lower drop bars. He uses the shopper bars to get going or at slower speeds. Then drops to the drops when he's leaving me for dust!

    Perhaps that idea might relieve the starting off back issue.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Ride fixed and learn to anticipate/ track stand.
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Drop a few gears and trackstand.

    Dont care if its showy. it lessens wear and tear*, avoids clipping in problems and gets me a head start on traffic. I consider it an invaluable skill.

    *2.5 years on one set of spd sl cleats and still fine
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    pastryboy wrote:
    Drop a few gears and trackstand.

    Dont care if its showy. it lessens wear and tear*, avoids clipping in problems and gets me a head start on traffic. I consider it an invaluable skill.
    Alternatively, learn how to clip in consistently/reliably, as you take the first pedal stroke. Also avoids clipping in problems, and seems to get me a decent head start on all the trackstanders...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Right foot down. I can do a bit of a wrong 'un if needs be and put my left foot down, but it feels weird and wrong.

    Generally start in the 50-15, sometimes the 50-14. It takes a looooooonnnnng time to get going, and later-life back pain probably awaits. I should try something a bit easier on the old knees and back.
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  • Right foot down here too. One swipe of the gears on the right as I'm coming to a halt gives a decent gear to set off with. I used to put a lot more torque into my acceleration from the lights, but was getting problems with my ankle, so now I have to be a little more gentle.
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