So I've ridden my Specalized Vita Elite for almost 2 full years now. This year will be my second year of riding him. Yup, I named my "woman bike" a male name: Captin' Johnny
I rode Johnny in the winter of '12 after I paid Travis off, I didn't feel right having my bike sooner and wanted it to be legit. I was pleased to have the bike so I could do stationary riding in the winter; originally it was mentioned that I should try clipless pedals. Well, it didn't happen during that winter and I rode the entire 2013 season with regular standard pedals.
Travis and I moved in and he started working on making some upgrades to Johnny. Travis feels very strongly about building wheels vs. using stock wheels; so he started working on that for me. Then one night he came home and said "I brought you clipless pedals!"
I spend part of the evening getting used to snapping me shoes in and out. Realizing that I needed to use more force than what I felt I needed. Getting used to having my foot automatically set on the pedal in the spot, getting used to the motion needed to unclip.
My first ride was the next day and it was the first ride of the week where I didn't encounter sandy legs. I very much appreciated that. I also didn't fully realize at first how many muscles I had not been using while using standard pedals. It was pretty darn amazing, Thursday afternoon I had muscles that had been aching where I didn't think possible.
I worked on doing more sprints today, and it was nice to experience doing that without losing my footing. I've also practiced pedaling with one leg for reps and then the other; having read that it's a good exercise to do to avoid one leg being more dominant than the other.
There has been some opposition to my going clipless, but I'm not deterred. It's something I want to try and if I find it's not for me...well, okay then. However, I think it will give my rides this next year some extra oomph that I've been lacking.