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Wimbledon Clinics

Box Hill or Bust!! The 2014 Hot Chillee Alpine Cycling Challenge by Adrian Fairbank

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So here I was with a £2000 bike and a 99 kg physique and a poor level of fitness the wrong side of 50 years of age. Although that does sound an extraordinary mix it turns out that there were hundreds of us within a spitting distance of where I live, and more amusingly hundreds of them came to the area from miles around to cycle on the famous surrey hills. One of them Nigel was a neighbour and a previous patient. You will meet him on our videos on our website. He had knee surgery for a meniscus tear in the presence of longstanding degenerative change.

I think this proved to be one of the most important factors in making my cycling a success – having a friend who was nearby who could and would go riding with me with similar goals. We weren’t going to be challenging for Ironman or triathlon-we had a simple goal –  to get fit and to do so having fun. We both been to gyms, we both had spent time and money with personal trainers and we both had spent some time doing Pilates but nothing seemed to stick and judging by the number of similar people at the top of box Hill we weren’t alone.

On this matter it turns out that our first ride was to the beautiful National Trust area that is Box Hill.We went on our first ride nervous and clipped in climbing Box Hill, the infamous Box Hill site of the Olympic Route through Surrey and countless stories from colleague cyclists made us bizarrely nervous. Retrospectively in some regard it is difficult even to call it a hill because the gradient is gentle, the road surface is sublime and the environment friendly. Above all at the top is a National trust cafe with a variety of home-made cakes and flapjacks.

The first new thing to learn was how to use the cleats. I think I have fallen three times now and each time has been due to a failure to uncleat when stationary. It sounds obvious that a bicycle won’t balance without forward movement. Einstein commented on this in his statement “science is like a bicycle if you don’t keep moving forward you don’t advance. The cycling shoes I bought were Specialised colour-coordinated to my bike, and have the most fantastic snap buckle. Pressure down and a clockwise turn in the boot tightens up and buttoned up in the shooting slip off very quickly on the occasions when I fell off this quick release mechanism proved to be quite useful and saved embarrassment we English hate falling over and making a fool of ourselves and jump up generally with a cry like a child of I’m all right. The cleats do need reasonably regular care-the clamp on the basis that shoe needs to be protected and replaced intermittently I use look cleats the advantages ease of insertion and and extraction but the disadvantage is that the paddle has to be the In the correct orientation for the clique to bite. On one particular day and this is generally have. I was surprised along the road where I live by the emergence of a large Mercedes I stopped of course and prompt referral over to a cheer from the car as it turned out that it was Nigel’s family on their way to hockey training. I hadn’t bargained on my cycling giving other people so much pleasure

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