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Kutztown, Pennsyvania


February 9, 2014 - I clip out left foot first. Everytime. Without thinking.


So when I slowed to a stop on an icy patch of road at the intersection of Noble and Main to heed a redlight and twisted my left foot and did not hear a click and feel the cleat release because the left cleat was now turning freely, I had to think.


...don't want to much snow is under that cleat?...yanking up is not working...what does rock salt taste like?...........use the other foot...oh yeah. Good idea.


So I leaned to the right, twisted my right foot and, click, no icy macadam kiss. My left foot remained clipped in, however. The loose cleat and neoprene bootie weren't giving up that foot without a fight. I needed a cup coffee.


Neoprene Puzzle


If Harry Houdini could escape from a straight jacket while suspended by his ankles from a crane over the streets of Manhattan, then removing a shoe that's connected to a bike without breaking a hip on a Kutztown sidewalk should be easy - I hoped.

When the light turned green I clipped back in and headed to Global Libations Coffee Shop just a few blocks away. There, on the snowy sidewalk, I made my escape. It was pretty easy to unzip the neoprene booty and get access to the boa release wheel on my shoes. I pulled up on the wheel, wiggled my foot and was out. No biggie.


It took some effort get the left shoe to detach from the pedal because the Keo cleat was rotating on a single screw. Seems the other two fell out recently. And now I had an explanation for the 'ice' that required so much kicking to remove from my cleat earlier in the day - must have been one or both of those missing screws that I was kicking loose.


Anyway, once I was able to yank the offending shoe from it's pedal, I slipped it back on my cold foot and headed inside for a hot latte and a screwdriver.


The sound and smell of an espresso machine in full swing can be uplifting. I placed my order for a two-shot latte with whole milk then asked the barista if she had a screwdriver. She smiled and went into the back room. Things were looking up when she returned with a screwdriver. She handed it to me. Phillips. Bummer.


I thanked her, sat down, and waited for my caffine. Then a wonderous thing happened when my drink arrived. It was in a cup on a saucer. On the saucer there was a spoon. A cute little espresso spoon that fit snugly into the groove of a Look flathead screw. 


I took a few sips then took off my shoes. Luckily, the right shoe still had 3 screws in it. I borrowed a screw from the right shoe, secured the left cleat, tightened them all, drank my latte, put on my shoes, and few minutes later I was caffeinated and on my way. 


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