Pedal Power!

Posted by in Castle Coop News | 4 comments



Pedal Power!

16.93 miles were covered today in the push for Pedal to Paris fitness, according to Map My Ride!


It has been another beautiful day and Lady Egality decided to join me on her bike. We cycled along the lanes in tandem which was very companionable.


About half-way round today’s training route, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a Chinook manoeuvre..

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We were cycling next to RAF Odiham and watched one of the Base’s Chinooks fly right overhead:

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It looked so ungainly and heavy in the air; we were both mesmerised watching it hover in one spot for simply ages.


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It must be a pretty extraordinary feeling to pilot such a whopping machine.

We stayed for a long time watching it; it was sobering to think all the training is necessary for the troops to be prepared for service out in Afghanistan.

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But then we cycled off and, once away from the RAF Base, felt fancy-free again.


[On April 26th, less than 2 weeks after this post was published, 5 military servicemen – 4 of whom were based at RAF Odiham – were killed out in Afghanistan. 

The Basingstoke Gazette report reads: 


‘The crash is the first fatal accident involving a UK military helicopter during the conflict in Afghanistan and it is the third biggest loss of life of British troops in a single incident in the country since the conflict began in 2001.

The incident brings the number of British forces killed in the Afghanistan conflict to 453.’



Maj Gen Richard Felton, Commander Joint Helicopter Command paid tribute saying:

“Events like this, whilst mercifully rare, remind us of the risks our personnel face in their work in Afghanistan as we approach the conclusion of the combat mission later this year.”

BBC News


It is dreadful news.]


An Un-birthday Present!

When the Agent came home tonight, he arrived bearing a parcel for me – how exciting is that!

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 Guess what was inside, wrapped up in all the tissue paper…..

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Pedal Power shoes with cleats attached! Gosh – that’s serious gear! There was even a shoe maintenance manual provided.



Advantages of Click-in Pedals & Bike Shoes


There is no doubt that click-in pedals are safer. They are designed to release quickly and easily. Similar to a ski binding, when you place your shoe onto the pedal and push down, the cleat snaps into place securing it firmly. To unclip, your simply twist your heel away from the bike.  Unclipping becomes second nature very quickly… the advantages of a firm cleat and stiff shoes will soon become very apparent.  The main advantage however, is that you can achieve a more efficient pedal stroke when using click-in pedals. When you learn how to maximise the full rotation of the pedal stroke by pulling up with your feet, your hill climbing ability will improve, as will your ability to pedal at a higher cadence and you’ll find yourself more efficient in the lower gears. All these reasons will lead to a significant improvement in your endurance but will also reduce wear and tear on your knees, helping you to enjoy your cycling for years to come.


I LOVE the idea of getting ‘a significant improvement’ in my endurance and my hill climbing ability just by putting on a new pair of shoes –  what a result – YAY!
It sounds to me as if these product designers are seriously gifted. I need them to concentrate on designing magic shoes for gardening which will give ‘a significant improvement’ in the lack of weeds in the flower beds and some for cooking which will likewise improve my delicious-supper-making ability.
Now I understand why Imelda Marcos ravea about shoes and has all those thousands of pairs!
This magic shoe business is an extremely exciting concept.

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I’ve got to change the pedals on my Poppy Bike to these Power Pedals so that my feet in the new cycling shoes, will snap in and out of them.

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If I forget I’m wearing shoes with cleats, I will keep falling off. So…I’d better concentrate for a change.

I’m going to have to practise clicking in and out of the pedals quite a lot to get the hang of it. Perhaps I should start off on the lawn – what do you think?

Yours hoping I don’t fall off however,

LLH signature


  1. Billy, who tends to be tardy in catching up with this, is delighted that the Agent has paid attention to his suggestion regarding the necessary footware and assumes the Agent appropriately recognized his input on this. He is, however, disturbed that you are only at 16.93 miles – to quote him exactly “That’s barely a warm-up” and thinks you should be at at least 50 a day by now. (Emilio, who came on the phone afterwards, chided him for being much too obsessive and said you would respond better to gentle encouragement!)

    • Please tell Billy that I am concentrating on my ‘hill work’. I am hopeful my mileage will increase once I start wearing the magic shoes. The training schedule is insistent that I don’t peak too early.

  2. Lady Egality has not fared so well. Her movement ability this morning is pretty much confined to arching an eyebrow over the wisdom of a long bike ride with no training. Very sad considering the joy obtained in zooming around those beautiful lanes, the rush of air through the lungs and the wonders of a Spring afternoon.

    • Oh no! You POOR thing. V.v. sorry. Can you do absolutely NOTHING all day? I know exactly what it feels like – (See post: I can’t Sit Down) Shall I come and minister with a cup of tea?xxx

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