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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Southeastern Wisconsin
    Posts
    118

    A bit too one-sided

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    Curious how many of us are one-sided when it comes to our bikes. As in mounting and dismounting...not just dominant foot or which one touches down first unconsciously. I knew with my road bike that I unclip left foot at stops. I also know that I'm more or less right foot dominant, but am comfortable in "ready" or "neutral' position with either leg forward.

    What I didn't realize is how strongly I am wired to mount and dismount from the left - right leg over. In fact it is awkward, uncomfortable and difficult to mount/dismount to the right/ left leg over. Maybe all the years riding horses as a teen?!?

    And what's weird is I can look and consciously put right foot down first in some places. But getting off/on that way. Not so much.

    Which on some trails, in some places is not ideal.
    Kim

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Very much so.

    The last bit of retraining my braking habits after my crash last winter, is learning to drink left-handed. It is NOT going well.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    I am VERY one-sided. I can only start, and stop, with my right foot. I have experimented and if I think very carefully about it I can touch my left foot to the ground, but it is very hard to do that. I suspect part of it is sub-consciously protecting that foot since it has been reconstructed (the back half).

    I realize this is probably not a good thing for trail riding...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Absolutely. I clip, unclip, and "power stroke" for wheelies with my right foot. I can do all of those things left-footed, but it takes a consideraby larger amount of thinking to do so.

    As for mounting and dismounting, I've always done that from the left to stay out of the drivetrain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,267
    Absolutely favor the right. I always put down the left foot when I stop. I always mount from the left. I am not sure that I could do it the other way around.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    208
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that has to mount from the left side. After I walked my bike out to the parking lot this morning to start my ride, I actually had to walk clear around the bike so I could mount from the left - just could not get myself to mount from the right! ...sigh...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,238
    Another left mounter, although I unclip with my right foot. My brain has trouble with coordination if I try to mount from the right.

    And we mount horses from the left because that is the side our sword would be on if we were Knights back in the day. Sword on the left hip, to be grabbed with the right, and proper, hand.
    Beth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    I had a mtb crash last weekend because of my right-foot dominance. Stopped to let someone pass, put my right foot down, and there was no ground below my foot. My bike and I tumbled down the hill and I got a handlebar hard to the ribs.

    I don't think there's any retraining this old dog so I just have to be more aware.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Well, I don't mountain bike anymore, but I am so dominant left side when it comes to cycling, it's probably dangerous. I can't even walk my bike on the right side. It just feels wrong.
    I am right handed, but I mount and dismount, unclip on my left. I start off with my right foot clipped in, but that's it. When I was mountain biking, I practiced unclipping on the right and I could do that if needed, but on the road, no way. I know when I started riding I was unclipping right, but I changed for some reason, and now I can't do it on the right side anymore. I can't really take my right hand off of the bar, either. I can only drink with my left hand and I can barely signal to make a right turn with my right hand... I do, but I often wobble, or its it's at the beginning of a ride, I am shaky.
    I've been riding for ten years and it's not getting any better. I just deal with it. I know my balance and spatial skills suck, so it's not like I haven't had time to practice.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,815
    You'll find that most people mount/dismount on the left side for a reason already mentioned - the drivetrain. In cyclocross, this is the way you are taught.

    That said, I have done a flying remount from the ride side out of necessity, but it's never pretty .

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,295
    Left side dominant to a fault. When you consider I am primarily a mountain biker AND race mountain bikes I should be able to do either comfortably but I can't. I must unclip left and put left foot down. I am in a moment of "get out now" I can unclip right but it only works about 40-50% of the time, the rest of the time I tumble down.

    My husband can do either side without much thought and has been telling me I need to be able to do both. But so far I haven't gotten there, not sure I ever will. Who really wants to work on drills to unclip their non-dominant side? Maybe if I had access to some nice mats to cushion the fall but even grass will bruise my very easily bruising body.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    1,944
    I'm relatively one-sided. I can stop and unclip either side but always mount/dismount from the left (because of the drivetrain! Sure! Of course I was considering that when I learned!...not. More likely the horse thing. ) and always clip in with my left foot first. Riding in neutral I always have my right foot back because I can't seem to get my left heel down if that foot is back and it throws off my balance. Something to work on.

    "I never met a donut I didn't like" - Dave Wiens

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    You'll find that most people mount/dismount on the left side for a reason already mentioned - the drivetrain. In cyclocross, this is the way you are taught.
    It will be a LONG time before I do proper mounts/dismounts on my CX bike (some people make this look SO easy/flawless/smooth/graceful), but I am such a left-side mounter/dismounter that it's embarrassing the way I have to walk around my bike to get on, as Hi Ho Silver also stated. I feel like such a moron when I do this.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    209
    I never thought about mounting only on one side or that it can look silly. I too tend to mount on the left but that is because I carry my bike on my right side so I don't get drivetrain grease on me. I hate it when I get chain marks on me or my clothes. (I have to carry my bike down my long, gravel driveway. Too many thorns hiding in the rocks I discovered 3 flats later.)

    Now I will have to try mounting on the right side next ride just to see how it feels.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    208
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    ... it's embarrassing the way I have to walk around my bike to get on, as Hi Ho Silver also stated. I feel like such a moron when I do this.
    LMAO, that is exactly how I felt when I did that! I was praying no one saw me. Over 25 years of riding seriously and I cannot mount from the right ...how lame is that?

 

 

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