I had barely set off on my bike this afternoon when I felt a tweak at my ankle. Which was odd, because I was wearing my cut-off trousers – the ones that, were I not still haunted by various fashion crimes committed in the 80s, I would call pedal pushers – so I knew it wasn’t that they were caught in the chain. Looking down, still rolling, I discovered that some loose elastic in my sock had caught in the pedal, and wound itself round the shaft with every turn. As clipless pedal solutions go, it was ingenious but there was no quick release other than just yanking myself free. As this was my default putting-down-to-stop leg (there may be some more technical term) I was glad I’d noticed then and not, say, twenty minutes later, when I came whizzing round a corner to see a timber lorry blocking the whole width of the road. Of course, by then I’d probably have had no sock and a neatly wound ball of yarn on my pedal so I might have noticed, although nothing’s guaranteed.
Which would have been all the more embarrassing because it was only yesterday that I was glibly leaving comments on other people’s blogs about how unusual it was for adults to fall off bicycles on a good road, and a familiar bike. Hmm. Perhaps I should have amended that to add, with non-disintegrating socks on. It certainly adds a whole new perspective to the old phrase ‘keeping the rubber side down’.