I am working on writing a post about Ciocc, but there’s more work to do. I’m also going to be writing more about my foray into gravel riding and other cycling activities. Although I’ve now done my first dirt/gravel ride, today was my first time using non-road shoes on a bike. A quick pro tip: if you are potentially going to be walking at any point, putting a foot down in sand, etc. road shoes and pedals are far less than ideal. Thus, today marked my first ride in SPDs as well as in mountain/gravel shoes other than some riding around the neighborhood setting the cleats.
Although I received some grief for this, I ended up getting XT pedals rather than XTR. I know that is a bit incongruous with the bike, it just didn’t seem the XTR pedals were going to be any blingier than XT and I decided to be a little more rational in the purchase. The pedals feel fine and are a lot easier to get into than Look pedals, which I converted to this year after being on Speedplay since 1993.
Much more exciting than the pedals were the shoes. In 1993, I got a set of Diadoras, then rode Carnac LeMond (later Legend) until around 2007 or so and have been on Shimano ever since then. Thus, trying new shoes is a big deal for me. These are Northwave Extreme XC. They are not subtle, but they are Italian and very much so. As one would expect from high-end Italian shoes, they are really nice. I know it is going to take several rides to get the insoles broken in, but I was fairly comfortable on my first ride. Although I associate Northwave with Mario Cipollini, Northwave has been around for a long time and has a presence in snowboarding. I’ll get more history on Northwave for later.