Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

How to Pedal Your Way to More Power ; ON TWO WHEELS

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

How to Pedal Your Way to More Power ; ON TWO WHEELS

Article excerpt

IT had been a brutal training session. The weather had been hot and humid and I'd taken advantage of the summer sunshine by completing 60 miles through the Cheshire countryside. I'd normally ride with three friends but Dave, Stewart and Mark were otherwise engaged on this particular Sunday, so I was riding alone.

I'd decided to push the pace because I'd been concerned recently that during events I wasn't doing enough work on the front where the wind resistance is greater and therefore so is your effort. Riding behind another rider can be as much as 25 per cent easier. Over a long ride that's significant, so today I was playing catch up with my fitness.

By now it was late afternoon but the sun was still hot and I was pretty well cooked. I'd maintained a brisk pace which was pleasing but over the last few miles I'd run out of water, my legs were starting to hurt and my lungs were trying to swap places with my tonsils.

Turning the last corner, a feeling of relief washed over me at the sight of my house and the thought of a cold drink and a shower. Freewheeling the last 50 metres I glided up the path gently pulling the brakes until I came to a halt.

The heat, humidity, dehydration and exhaustion plus the end to my suffering had affected my concentration and as I ceased all forward motion and attempted to put my foot down, a gentle resistance stopping me removing my foot from the pedal rapidly refreshed my memory. If you cycle, you'll be smiling right now because you already know what fate is about to befall me.

I was using 'clipless' pedals which is a bit of a misnomer because your cycling shoes have a cleat on the sole which clip into the pedals. To undo them you simply twist your heel outwards, but you need to remember and start to unclip as you stop. I hadn't remembered and the inevitable and comical slow motion topple onto the lawn ensued. …

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