Bike Shoes: The Windows to the Soles of Your Feet

A set of rapidly disintegrating bike-shoe cleats … and soggy bike shoes.

These are today’s topics.

So, a few days ago, I started having trouble getting my cleats into my clips … took a look, and discovered …


Uh-oh; I need some new cleats. And pronto. Guess they couldn’t handle the cobblestone streets of St Emilion or Blaye.

The only problem was locating an actual bike shop.

There were several bike-rental places in Lacanau-Ocean and Arcachon, and I went to ’em all. Nope. No cleats. Not even close.

The woman at the bike-rental place in Arcachon showed me on the map where there was a Decathlon bike shop. Went there the next day … and it wasn’t where she said it would be. I don’t have a data plan over here, so I couldn’t map it out on my iPhone.

Yesterday rode back to Langon, where I know there’s a good bike shop. I bought a pump there early on this trip.

Sure enough, they had the Shimano cleats I needed. They were 22.99 Euros, which is significantly more than they cost back in Columbus, Ohio. And, they wouldn’t accept my Westerville Bike Club discount card. Darn. Oh well, I definately needed new cleats. Got ’em.

Also got a tube of what I thought was butt balm, as I’m running low.


Turns out I should have read the label more closely. It’s not butt balm, it’s some sort of warm-up massage cream, as you cam see on the label … and which I should have seen.

Rubbed some on my legs this morning … and the skin turned reddish whoever I rubbed the “effect chauffant.” And yet, I didn’t feel anything. No heat, no discomfort, no nothing.

Today’s ride through the Sauternes region of Bordeaux was great. Even the last 10 Ks in the rain.

Got back to the hotel … and needed to dry out my bike shoes. Normally stuff them full of newspapers, and … voila! … they’re dry by the next day. This is a trick my college soccer coach taught us. Was all set to do so … when I got an inspiration…


Yep, used the hair dryer.

30 seconds on one … switch … 30 seconds on the other … switch … and so on until the dryer stops working. Wait a few minutes. The dryer now works again … 30 seconds on one … switch … and so on.

BTW: Had to do it on the sink, as this is as far as the hair dryer cord would reach. As cyclists are always polite, considerate and sanitary, I put a newspaper – the Sud Ouest, of course – under my shoes.


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