I was about halfway home last night when I got stuck at a red light. Which can be nice, as an occasional breather is sometimes required on Sydney's hills. As I took off from the lights, I heard a metallic tinkle - the kind of tinkle that I have heard before - and was not surprised when my cleat no longer clipped into my right pedal. The poor old pedal had finally worn out, and a crucial bit of tin had snapped off.
To give you some idea of the wear and tear that a bike can suffer from repeated use, I have taken these close ups of the pedal. Not the crater that has been worn on the side of this one - there should be no crater there. This is the result of me unclipping about 10,000 times, and the cleat rubbing against the metal as it unclips to one side. Amazing that it should wear down this much.
Here are the two pedals side by side. The one on the left has a nice gouge, and the other has none. That's because I am a "right foot stander", which means I unclip my right foot 99.9999% of the time when I have to pull up at a traffic light or stop sign.
Now some people might laugh at that - the thought of a cyclist actually stopping at a stop sign or red light, but some of us obey the road rules most of the time. This pedal proves it.
I now have a shiny new pair of Shimano pedals, and they are wonderous indeed because I one can clip in on either the top or bottom. In fact they really don't have a top or bottom. The Wellgo pedals that I am getting rid of did have a top and bottom, and what it meant is that everytime I took off, I had to flip the pedal right side up with my toe, and then search for the cleat hole. Doing the flipping took a lot of practice, which is all wasted now. Ah well, such is life. One learns a skill, and then finds that technology has made it redundant.
Discovering that there are double sided pedals out there was a revelation to me though. It's like I had been watching black and white TV all my life, and suddenly found that colour has been available for 30 years. I wonder which hole I have had my head stuck in for the last 4 years.