I biked in heels

This poor little blog feels so neglected!

Saturday night, I attended Lightbar. A guy named Mykle Hansen builds a big structure in his backyard, covers it in white tarps, and fills it with lights. Then he acquires some alcohol and invites his closest few hundred friends. It’s intended to be a treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder…or maybe just a big party.

We were all asked to wear white and/or outer-space-themed clothing. I don’t own a lot of white, but I grabbed what I could. But what shoes? Hmm. I was trying to decide between my plain black Crocs (that look like normal shoes, they’re what I’m wearing in the header picture for the blog) and some white girl’s Easter shoes I got at Payless a few years ago…they’re cute, but the ankle strap is too tight…and then, when going through my shoes, I found a pair of silvery pumps that had been my mom’s in the late 1970’s. Disco shoes! I wedged my feet into them even though I was wearing tights and thick socks, realized I was very pleased with the results, and decided to wear them.

Now I wear heels approximately once every other year. I keep meaning to buy some shoes with a nice short heel (like these) that would be comfy enough to wear out and about, but haven’t been willing to spend the money. And the disco shoes? Not terribly comfy. The heel is several inches tall, and I get the feeling they were inexpensive shoes to start with, the bottoms had no traction at all. If I tried to walk in my natural gait, it felt like the heels were going to break off!

But I can be pretty stubborn, and so off I went.

Let me mention: I was riding Ye Olde Raleigh, with its steel rims. And it was drizzling steadily. So there I am, in slippery shoes, riding a bike that takes a while to stop in the rain. And the drizzle made it hard to see, since it was nighttime and it made light refract like crazy on my glasses. It did occur to me that this might be a recipe for disaster. I was definitely a much more aware and wary rider than usual! Nothing like a little danger to sharpen the mind.

The first thing I discovered: the slippery soles of the shoes meant that the only way I could pedal, was with the heels hooked onto the pedals. I was basically pedaling with my arches, or even further back really. That felt a bit weird, and I had to remember that I was “caught” on the pedals when I put a foot down at stops. The other thing I discovered was that it was easier to put my foot down! I was already standing on my toes, after all.

But in general I felt very Cycle Chic, riding my upright bike in high heel shoes. I suppose the helmet killed the image, but whatever.

I almost got hit, of course. I was going straight through an intersection, and both an SUV to my left and a car coming from the opposite direction were turning left from their respective positions. I came up to the light just as it turned green and didn’t even think about the idea that the driver turning across my path wouldn’t see me because of the SUV on my left. She didn’t, at least not right away. I slammed on my brakes, which bordered on useless, and yelled “Whoa whoa whoa!!” Thankfully the driver saw me in time and also slammed on her brakes. Yikes!

After I got to the party, I managed to keep the shoes on for a little over an hour before giving up and gratefully changing into the Crocs I’d tucked away into my bag. And before leaving the party, I tossed the Disco Shoes into the basket of my bike.

Stupid heels.

discoshoes

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One Response to I biked in heels

  1. kate says:

    Hi April:

    You discovered the secret trick for riding in heels!

    I also have some secret yoga tricks for combatting arm/back fatigue while touring. They really work. Hit me up next time I’m in town and I will demonstrate.

    Kate

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