Well, I should have known someone would say "you should have known." Thanks for reminding me. So, as an ignoramus who has bought SPD pedals imagining they were the more or less only sensible/readily available option for touring, I'd like to know what exactly are the options for someone not interested in applying for the Tour de France. However, right now I don't feel like investing any more money. I'm riding mainly on the flat side of the SPD (what does that stand for?) pedals, especially in traffic and definitely on anything resembling a steep hill. On a straight level surface I can use the cleats (I wish we could simplify the vocabulary and settle on 'cleats' which is what they in fact are rather than 'clipless' which refers to something else) as they do improve cycling efficiency. I have them set at max looseness and still they're non too easy to get out of in a hurry especially as that only seems possible with the foot at the bottom of the stroke. I may be fit enough to restart my ride at the end of this week. In the interim I may be seen practising on some of Seattle's bike routes as they're called although only two I've ridden so far - Seward Park and the Burke-Gilman trail - are motorized traffic free. I could write reams on what this says about social/political and economic attitudes/planning in the US vs. Europe. In fact, to my surprise I even think I feel somewhat safer on the measly beat-up manic roads of SE Asia and find the gung ho Tour de France wannabe cyclists of America often as threatening as any other form of traffic here. But that's another issue. Read 'Letter from Moscow' in the latest edition of the New Yorker for a really scary traffic future. Thanks to the well-wishers. There're still a lot of good people out there.