Team Cycling Plus – the first blog from team member Malcolm

Catch up with our reader team as they get stuck into their season

Team Cycling Plus member Malcolm Ratcliffe

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Malcolm tells us how starting the week with roast dinners and takeaways is ok if you double your weekly mileage to compensate…


I had a few days down London way catching up with some friends last weekend.  Thus copious amounts of takeaway food and beer!  Saturday started with a full roast in Borough market, a delightful plate of full on cholesterol; then managed a walk along the South Bank taking in the Globe and Tate Modern, still don’t get modern art sorry, via the wobbly MillenniumBridge, which wasn’t.  Rounded off the day with a few beers and an Indian with some friends. 

Sunday started with a 21 mile ride out up along the Thames from Chertsey via

Hampton Court

to Kingston; a coffee stop then the return leg on the opposite side of the river.  Having never ridden an almost entirely flat ride before it was an almost religious experience and has definitely made up my mind to enter the Verenti ‘Flatout in the Fens’ ride in June albeit the shorter 70 mile circuit as a build up to the Cycling Plus sportive in July.

With the kids away on a Scouts outward bound week in the Isle of Man and a few days off from work I managed to get in an extra ride this week sticking to my undulating hour loop out of town and back.  This may not seem much but doubled my usual weekly mileage.  However as I mentally prepare for a year as part of team C+ I am becoming more and more aware of the need to slot in a lot more training time.  Part on Ben’s work so far has been to identify our current level of activity and potential time available to train.  I’ve always assumed that as a typical family man with a full time job, taxi driver to three kids and some adult time for the grown ups, I haven’t got much free time for anything else.  But as I started to map out a typical week it appeared that time could be created without having to set the alarm clock even earlier if you’re prepared to be creative, juggle some stuff around and understand that even a thirty minute slot can be used to achieve more time in the training zone.  An understanding and supportive wife is also a key asset!

So by the end of this month I should have at least have got my head around the daunting prospect of the year ahead, with Ben’s input made some more detailed training plans, and hopefully started to get more bum on saddle time!!

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