Team Cycling Plus – Malcolm Ratcliffe

Malcolm gets motivated to beat the bulge!

No more pizza and chinese for Malcolm!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Malcolm struggles to get has a new plan: more miles, less food…


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.

A very busy week at work with a few days abroad to boot.  Back home it was straight into dad taxi again so only a late ride out Sunday.  I wonder if I’ll ever get some regular consistency to my training in the real world as opposed to the numbers on a training plan.

Thankfully by the time I got out it had cooled down a little from the oppressive heat of the noonday sun.  Tried some route finding so a stop start ride and almost tempted by a stop off at a lovely little watering hole I came across.  Luckily I hadn’t taken my emergency money with me so had to ride on by; I’m sure I’ll be back this way soon.

Although stop/start my average hear rate continues to lower, a sure sign I’m continuing to improve my overall fitness.  My weight however continues to fluctuate and since improving my power to weight ratio is a two way street I need to consider the dreaded ‘diet’ word!

I’ve been training full time now with C+ for 8 weeks and have only managed to lose 2 lbs.  This takes me below 17 stone, just, but I should be targeting 2 lbs a week or else it’ll take me over four years to hit my target weight.  My plan was to exercise myself to a new slimmer self, to prove that you don’t need to go through dietary depravation in order to become lighter.  But less mileage than desired and the odd kebab or two means the laws of physics kick in, ie if calories in (food and drink) is greater than or equal to calories out (exercise) you will not lose pounds and you have to reverse this equation and thence increase the differential in order to speed up the process of fat reduction.  So nothing for it but more miles and less food.  Sorry kids no more Chinese or Pizza!!

Got a note from C+ asking if anyone could make the Dave Lloyd Mega Challenge on June 20th.  Even the Mini challenge is 45 miles with 1300 metres of climbing so not for the faint hearted.  I’m sure I’d spend more time pushing my bike up the hills than on the saddle.  Even so, tempting, and for a fleeting moment the alpha male buried deep inside surfaced and I was onto the web site,  Common sense however prevailed and not wishing to die on my first sportif I declined. Maybe next year…

The guys and girls at keep me expectant every time the postman knocks and this week – it was that must have accessory for the Verenti, a Verenti Carbon Bottle Cage – well don’t want to add any unnecessary weight to the bike!  Also in the parcel was a nice pair of Ergon GR2 Magnesium Handlebar Grips for my mountain bike to try and alleviate some fatigue on longer rides.

Keep the faith.

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