So ... it's simple to fit cleats and bung them into the pedals - yeah right!!! After a less than successful stint in the park by myself, I rode to Condor to get them fitted properly and my pedals tuned and everything greased and all the rest .... right back on the bike. Day 1 was good, slow and cautious, but the sensation was good.
ok ok then I got a bit over confident and ignored what the little "uncleat, uncleat, be prepared for intersections, no matter how quiet, cos you are a day 2 novice" voices were saying in my cycle safely consciousness. And then and unplanned stop ... and BAM... well more like "aagghh oh no" and down I went. So, I have the kind of injuries you sustain when falling off at less than 1 km an hour - a scraped knee, a bruised shoulder, but no real blood, and it doesn't count if there's no blood according to my motorcyclist mate!! In my own defence, it is not that intuitive (yet) clicking in and out of the cleats.
All that aside, I could feel in a short space of time the difference that real bike shoes with cleats will make to the ride. However, the faster you go the colder your feet seem to get as well. So naturally I have now bought my shoes some wet weather and keep warm "over shoes". These have to be the saddest addition to the sad git wardrobe to-date.
I suspect that my experience is mild compared to some of the other crash stories I have heard ... I'd like to keep it that way if at all possible.