Today, I experienced an epic cycling fail. I lost a shoe on my morning commute.
There I was, minding my own business, about to overtake a Brompton. I geared up, I looked, signalled and manoeuvred my way around the Brompton, and as I put in one last push of power to my pedal… my shoe flew off my foot. Across the road. And right under a bus that was coming the other way.
Needless to say, I was horrified.
I was also horrified at the amount of pain I was experiencing in my right foot, as when my shoe had made its epic bid for freedom, I’d bashed my heel incredibly hard down on the pedal.
So, there I was. Cycling with one bare foot, through the back streets of Kings Cross. I pulled over fairly quickly, limped off the bike and decided on my plan of action.
As the Brompton cycled past me shaking his head in despair, I did a quick rece and decided upon the course of action. I could: a) go and rescue the shoe. This would mean running into the middle of traffic barefoot, and leaving the bike on the side of the road alone b) continue to cycle to work with only one shoe c) give up on life and go home d) wear my nice new work shoes on the rest of the way to work.
It was lucky that I was carrying an extra pair of shoes, so I took this option. I abandoned my faithful Primark trainer, and decided to respect its decision that it obviously wanted a life of its own to pursue its own dreams, uninhibited by my foot or its matching soul-mate (get it?).
When I got to work I realised that my ankle was actually in quite a bad way, and I’ve bene hobbling around barefoot ever since. I’m due to take part in the OXO 70 mile sportive this weekend, so I’m hoping it’ll scab up by then. Nice.
In all seriousness though, the great escape of my right shoe has taught me a valuable lesson about appropriate bike clothing. I’ve been commuting in a mix match of normal work gear and cycling clobber for around a year now, and I’ve never felt that comfortable in it. I admire those who can get on the bike wearing beautiful flowing skirts and high heels, but that’s clearly not for me. I’m far too clumsy, and my garments obviously have a mind of their own. From now on, I’ll be sticking to sensible lace up trainers, which will be laced up to an inch of their life.