Team Cycling Plus – Malcolm Ratcliffe

Don't let a blustery ride put you off Malcolm!

Malcolm gets blown away by his cycling abilities!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Malcolm heads on down to 100-acre wood…


Team member: Malcolm Ratcliffe

Malcolm from Erdington is determined to shed some of his 17stone before his 45th birthday this October. To do this he hopes to take his cycling to the next level with Team Cycling Plus, by extending his 10-20mile rides, and include a sportive or two in his season. As well as losing weight, his goals include regularly commuting the 10miles to work and doing a London to Paris charity ride.

I’m surprised anyone with a real life can get the quantity of training in required to make any headway in any sport they undertake.  My guilt increases as I feel I am squandering the golden opportunity offered me this year to do something with my cycling and my general level of fitness.  Tracy is being very wifey and is nagging me all the time to get out on my bike so no excuses except those I conjure up myself.

However a new plan from coach Ben, including some ideas on hotel keep fit including skipping and stretching, so let’s see how it pans out!!  

Tuesday I fancied some cross training, ie off road again, and although not as quick or as far as on the road I’m sure lugging the extra weight of my MTB around the park is as good for me?

After a days painting and decorating on Sunday I left Tracy to it and grabbed my chance to sneak out again.  As I pedalled off I was at once reminded of the story of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

Gopher: If I was you, I’d think about skedaddlin’ out of here.

Winnie the Pooh: Why?

Gopher: ‘Cause it’s “Winds-day.”

And a Winds-day it certainly was, maybe I should have been ‘skedaddlin’ instead of pedalling.  I have never been buffeted about so much by the wind and it seemed to hit you whichever direction you headed.  At one point going downhill I was almost brought to a standstill, downhill!!!!  I continued to explore further out from my usual route taking turnings at a whim to see where they went and hoping to avoid the gales.  However, as if by magic, I came back to a dreaded little hill I hate with a passion.  It’s about two thirds in to my usual run and although not long it has me in the granny ring, off the saddle and at near maximum heart rate.  A reel sting in the tale and something I’d hoped to avoid this time around.  Definitely need to get the Garmin uploaded with a few new routes.

A quick thanks to 52Teeth on his comment on last weeks blog.  “Remember that to lose 1lb per week you need to have a calorie deficit of around 3500 over the week, so 500 per day which is about a nice steady hour out on the bike.”  There is hope yet.

Who are Team Cycling Plus?


Team Cycling Plus powered by Verenti are readers Andy Ward, Kay Bowen, Malcolm Ratcliffe and Sam Shaw. We’ll be following them in the magazine for the next few months as they train towards their personal cycling goals under the guidance of Team Wiggle’s Ben Simmons and we will be publishing their weekly trials and tribulations here too. For regular updates check our twitter page and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page