I learned to ride a bike when I was perhaps 7 or 8. So let's call it 40 years now that I've known how to ride a bike.
It took until today to learn how badly I suck at pedaling.
Lots of coaches recommend one-legged pedaling drills to improve efficiency. A few different people have recommended them to me - like Yurtie, and the trainer who did Kona that I rode with for a few miles out on the road who noticed how I was pedaling all stupid and pointy-toed. She unclipped one foot and demonstrated how smooth and easy it should be, then switched feet and demonstrated with the other foot. Never missing a beat, while going easily at about 16 mph.
I tried it on the road by myself when there were no cars around and nobody was watching. I was riding along and unclipped one foot and held it out to the side. Then I proceeded to lose all control and nearly fall down in the middle of the road.
I abandoned that idea until my next trainer ride, which I have cleverly been able to successfully postpone until today.
I started with five minutes warmup. Then I unclipped one foot and pedaled with the other by itself. Fortunately the bike trainer prevented me from falling over. But I was definitely "pedaling squares". It felt clumsy and awkward and as if I had never pedaled a bike in my life. Worst of all, it was *really* tiring. I lasted about one minute.
Then I tried it on the other leg. Not surprisingly, with similar results. Also very tiring.
I repeated the sequence once. That was enough.
A few weeks ago I saw one guy with a bum leg pedaling around easily on a bike with a pedal on one side and a little platform on the other side for his bad foot. I noted it, thought it was interesting, but I was not nearly as impressed by it as I am today, in retrospect.
I sure am glad I have two relatively good legs, so I can hide most of my inability to pedal in a circle. I won't make the mistake of doing that one-legged stuff again.
At least not where anybody can see it.