New shoes (again) and a valuable lesson

One of the weird things about losing weight has been my feet.  When I started this I asked my podiatrist if my feet would shrink, and he said no.  I’d always be a “wide”.  Well, while I was getting a bike fit done a while back my fitter, the Cycling Goddess Vanessa, said “Hey, I don’t think your feet are wide.”  And she got me to try on the new Specialized S-Works shoe. Back then I didn’t think I was going to need new shoes, but boy were they comfy.  And they look cool, don’t they?

As training wore on I thought about getting new shoes.  Last week I was somewhat down to the wire – you can’t really make too many changes this close to the ride.  I had to get all my “interface” things locked in before the ride.  Training rides are gonna be at the 100 mile mark soon. That normally would be a crazy time to make changes, but I have two months to go.
The bad news was that the color I wanted (the all black pictured above) was out of stock.  The shop did have the black and white in my size.  I thought they would have to do and I made an appointment for Friday afternoon to get get them, put cleats on, make sure cleats were right, and to also check saddle height.
Let me digress to tell you a story about how awesome Vanessa is.  She’s the manager at Cognition Cyclery, where I have bought the overwhelming majority of my bike stuff.  She did my fit (she’s a certified Master BG Fitter, natch).  She’s just way on top of things and talks about anatomy like a med student.  It’s crazy.  And she’s figured me out pretty well.  I got there Friday and we discussed “Do I really need new shoes?”  She thought it could go either way, but in the end I decided to go for it since I was concerned about a hotspot I had been getting on my big toe.  After having decided that yeah, I was gonna do the shoes, she went to get them.  And then she says that she didn’t want to say anything until I was sure I wanted new shoes, but something had arrived that very morning from Specialized…a pair of all-black S-Works 2013 shoes in my size.  Yep, she didn’t tell me she had them until I was sure I wanted *any* shoe, since she wanted my decision to be not driven by my lust for matte black sexiness.  Does she know me or what?
The only bad news here is the lesson I learned: After making any changes I should take a quick test run on my “usual” route before doing a big training ride.  I was riding with a new (to me) ALC training group Saturday morning and I ran in to two problems.  One was that I hadn’t made sure the float was set up right on the cleats on the new shoes.  (New shoes – new cleats.)  The other was that once again my seatpost had slipped.  So 3 miles in to my training ride I had to limp (figuratively) back to the car and go back to the shop.  
Fortunately the seatpost problem was finally fixed.  It turns out that there wasn’t nearly enough carbon prep put on when it was installed.  They actually use a cream that increases friction so that (in theory) you don’t have to clamp as hard.  But every time I had used the seatpost it had slipped and this time it was enough to make me not want to ride.  The shop took it out, checked it, and told me there was not nearly enough on there.  I’m glad that they diagnosed the problem.  Vanessa had put tape on the post the night before, so we knew it wasn’t my imagination.  I went home and after playing with the float adjustment on the cleats I went for a short 15 mile ride and everything seemed fine.  I am going to try and sneak in a longer ride this week with some climbing before the weekend, which should be the first century of the season.
The lesson: Don’t screw with the bike before a big training ride unless you have time for a short no-pressure run to make sure it’s working as you expect.