Friday, January 21, 2011

I fell down the stairs and my shoes fell off

That's right. Somehow I tripped when getting up from the couch last week and immediately fell over into the ground. I found the ground after narrowly missing the wood and glass end table and the ottoman. When I hit the ground my shoes fell off. I was okay but caught off guard.

This prompted me to do something. What to do? How about shoveling some more snow? Yup, it seems like every other day I am shoveling the snow off my driveway and sidewalk. Today was the third or fourth time in a little over a week (okay, so I guess it isn't every other day).

It all started with this.

Wednesday January 12th.

Note how this small region of Massachusetts did not get any snow? Yeah, that region where the red pin is casting a shadow. Steve Jobs told me that whatever the iPhone shows on its screen is exactly what is happening in reality. For some reason I do not believe him.

I went to bed around 1am the night before and the snow was just starting. For some reason I was up just before 6am. That was driven by the dog getting me up so he can go play in the snow. Less than an hour later I was out shoveling. After shoveling a walkway from the backdoor around the house to the driveway I broke out the tape measure and recorded 16inches deep and the snow was still falling from the heavens. Damn!

The driveway wasn't terribly fun for I couldn't do what I normally do by just 'plowing' the snow to the sides and then lift the shovel and throw it off to the yard. The end of my driveway is my arch nemesis. Two lanes of road plowed into my driveway. Yes! Just what I want.

making some progress at the street.

Once that was done I still had to do the driveway.

A few hours later we were done and the snow stopped falling. I estimate another 5 to 6 inches fell from the time I started shoveling until the snow stopped. Crap, so much for riding mountain bikes on three week old ice crusted snow.

Well, I guess this is my 'training' since I seem to have failed quite quickly at my resolution as I haven't ridden in almost two weeks. Since that storm we've had a storm of 3-4inches of snow plus rain and ice and just last night we got another 3-6inches of snow.

I managed to keep my shoes on whilst shoveling and also managed to decide on which mountain bike shoes I want for this season. I was thinking about some Shimano M240s or Dicky Look-Alike Mavic Razors. I settled on the M240s.

Last night I had them custom fitted as these shoes can be heated up and molded to your feet (up to 3 times I believe). Matt from Pedal Power fired up their Shimano shoe oven and went to town.

I opted to stick with my Superfeet insoles but we molded the heat moldable shimano ones for good measure. The insoles go into the oven for a few minutes to cook. Then then come out and go into the shoes. The shoes are put on and cranked down tight. I then stood there for a few minutes as a bunch of magic happened (the soles conforming to my feet).

When that was done we threw one shoe at a time into the oven.

Time is kept as it is bad to overcook them. The oven also comes with these fancy stickers that you put on the side of the shoe (that thing in yellow). The sticker has two boxes; one for 'good' and one for 'overcooked'. When the 'good' highlights the shoe is ready.

Out comes the shoe from the oven and the insole is inserted into the shoe and the shoe onto my foot. A plastic toe cover is put over the shoe to ensure the toe-box stays and does not conform to my foot. A bag is then put over both the shoe and my foot/leg. A hose is inserted and a strap is tied around my ankle (A good use for an Awesome Strap but we wound up using the Shimano provided strap). Then the pump is turned on and all the air is sucked out of the bag. This is called Vacuum Forming.

Oh, the Shimano oven also comes with these nice Shimano branded Michael Jackson gloves so Matt's fingers wouldn't burn when he touches the metal buckles on the shoes. Nifty. Note how I also wore the socks I normally ride with. This is important for proper fit.

The whole 'custom molding' that Shimano advertises is basically a vacuum forming of the shoe around your feet. Pretty novel concept once the appropriate materials for the shoe are determined.

I then stood there with the vacuum bag on my foot for a few minutes (5 maybe?). What is being molded are the heelcup and a portion of the sides of the shoes. I am not sure how much of the upper (buckle region) is molding. Probably not much.

When that shoe was done it was time to do the other.

Now my shoes won't fall off.



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