Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

15 June 2013

It's All About The Shoes!

I think I've found my next pair of cycling shoes:

And they'll only cost me $300.

Never mind that they're the wrong size.  They're in my color:  purple.  (Well, OK, lavender).  These shoes are actually much prettier than they appear in this photo, which I shot through a display window.

I mean, what's not to like?  In addition to the lovely color and details, they're from Chanel, made in France:  no knock-offs here.

So where did I find these chaussures carines?

Well, since you're reading this blog, you probably have guessed that I saw them during the course of my ride today.  So, of course, the question becomes:  Where did I ride today?

OK, so Arielle is telling you that it's next to a body of water.  So what other clues can I give?

I don't know how those blotches got onto that photo.  But at least you know that there were boats moored where I cycled today.

And they weren't just any old boats.  Nor were the others I saw at my destination.  They belong to some of the wealthiest people on the planet.

If your "Great Gatsby" associations led you to think I was riding along Long Island Sound, you'd be right.  Except, I wasn't riding much along the Long Island part.

Rather, these photos came from Greenwich, Connecticut.  The consignment shop in which I saw those lavender Chanel ballet flats is just up the hill from the yacht club, where I saw those boats.

You might think that I'd need to butcher modify the shoes to make them suitable for cycling.  I'd have to add a carbon fiber insert to the insole and drill them for cleats.  Or so one would think.

But, given the kinds of pedals I ride these days, I think I could get away with pedaling in those Chanel ballet flats as they are.  Would Coco approve?

The idea that I would use them for cycling made me think of a joke I played on Stella Buckwalter, who worked at Open Road Cycles and later opened, with her then-partner Stelios Tapanakis, Rock'N'Road in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Orange was her favorite color.  In a thrift store, I found a pair of pumps in that color with 15 cm (6") heels.  

She had recently bought a new bike, onto which she had installed a pair of SPD pedals.

So--you guessed it--I drilled out the soles of those shoes to accept SPD cleats!

She got a kick out of them--even though the shoes were the wrong size.  I figured as much when I found them, but they were only $1--and worth much more than that in the laugh I got out of her.

Of course, drilling the shoe and installing those cleats defeated one of the purposes of off-road SPD shoes and pedals:  It was impossible to walk in those pumps with the cleats on them!  

Then again, knowing Stella, I doubt that she would have tried such a thing, even if the shoes fit!

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