Will Cleats Help Me To Cycle Faster?

My second full week of training for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 and this week I’ve managed 7 sessions on my bike totalling over 63km (39.5 miles). Undoubtedly the most strenuous outing was the 28km round-trip to take part in the Fulham Palace Parkrun. That entailed cycling up Wimbledon Hill (a 35m climb according to Endomondo) on the way there and same elevation on the way back albeit a somewhat gentler incline when the hill is approached from Putney!

The other major event of the week was the fitting of cleats to my ageing bike by the excellent CyclIMG_0076e Power of Worcester Park. After a brief lesson from Mark inside the shop, I embarked om my first ever cycle with my feet ‘nailed’ to the pedals. I have to say that I haven’t really ridden enough to come to any conclusions yet on the benefits or otherwise of having cleats fitted. For those that are interested I will report in later blogs on whether I think they are worth the effort (and the cost!)

I have however already had the inevitable situation where I couldn’t get either of my feet off the pedals at a stop on the way to Fulham and found myself unceremoniously dumped onto the road surface causing considerable distress to the driver behind me. No real harm done – just a grazed knee – more wounded pride than anything else.

I have now had a chance to examine in detail the 16-week schedule I plan to follow in 3 weeks time. It doesn’t mention distances – it is purely time-based. In essence it involves cycling every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday rising from 1 hour sessions in the first week to a 5-hour ‘marathon’ on the Sunday of the penultimate week. The Tuesday and Thursday rides are often interval sessions and there are regular 1-hour tests to measure improvement. I hope that is enough to get me round on the day – we shall see!

Finally, the fundraising seems to have stalled somewhat this week. So if you’re reading this and haven’t donated to Prostate Cancer UK via JustGiving please ‘dig deep’ and make a pledge. Please bear in mind that:

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
  • Over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 130 men every day.
  • Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,000 men every year.
  • 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Over 330,000 men are living with and after prostate cancer.

Thank you for reading.


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