Monthly Archives: November 2015

New Shoes, New Cleats….what could go wrong???

Godamnit……rookie error.

Last Wednesday, I managed to score the cycling equivalent of a home goal. Recently I’ve purchased a snazzy pair of Giro Rumbles, a light-weight lace up casual MTB shoe. Much to my surprise they didn’t come with cleats, rather fake bits of aluminium that were cleat shaped but were actually junk. I purchased new SPD cleats the other day and fitted them to the shoes on the weekend. So last Wednesday, I finally got around to trying them out on my morning commute to work.

As I cycled to work, I couldn’t remember whether I had closed the garage door. I looped around to check. Being back from holidays and a bit sleep derived, I thought a policy of ‘better safe than sorry’ was wise. So I pull up to a roundabout, give way to traffic, go to click out, when I discover I can’t. I think my exact word was “shiiittttttt!!!!” as I fell over in slow motion. I hate it when that happens. I feel so stupid for what was an easily preventable accident. This is where I committed my rookie error by not testing the click-in and more importantly click out.

To make matters worse, whilst the right foot cleat has released, I couldn’t get the left foot cleat to clear. So I’m stuck to the bike and sprawled out on the road. A 30-something female power walker comes over and asks me if I’m ok. Apart from losing some skin on and jarring my right knee nothing seems too badly damaged. I thank her for her consideration and assure her that I’m ok. Finally the left cleat releases and I’m able to stand up. My ego on the other hand has taken a crushing blow.

So what happened?
In short form, the cleats bolts loosened and this enabled the cleat plate to pivot round to an angle that was greater than amount of ‘twist’ I can manage on the ball of my foot. The cleats were able to move because I hadn’t done the screws up tight enough. Looking at the photos below you can see how much the cleat has pivoted around, out of position.

 20151111-VR70  20151111-Rumble
 My usual Shimano SPD shoes with cleat in correct position  My new GIRO Rumbles with cleat out of position

A simple click in and out test would have detected this problem. Like I said rookie error. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Oh BTW the Herald Sun reckons Chris Froome is coming to Victoria to compete in the Herald Sun Jayco Tour this year.

Until next time


Mt Ventoux vs Mt Wellington

Dear Rouleurs,

This will be the first of three blogs inspired by Team MMT’s recent holidays in southern Spain and France.  This one focuses on our recent visit to Mont Ventoux, which has close proximity to the the old Papal city of Avignon.  Avignon has been on our collective travel bucket list for a while now. Besides being endowed with seemingly endless medieval architecture and history, Avignon is only 30 minutes from the iconic Mont Ventoux.  Initially when Team MMT drew up its holiday plans, a half day was allocated to attempting ascent on the summit.  Leading up to our departure, the realisation that a more serious preparation was required set in.  Consequently the attempt was jettisoned from our holiday itinerary.

Whilst we were in Spain, its was announced that stage 12 of the 2016 Tour de France would finish at the summit. From that point I was determined that we view the ‘Giant of Provence’ first hand.


Initially as you drive towards Mont Ventoux, it looks like it has a snow cap, particularly in the afternoon light.  This optical illusion is provided by the famous ‘bald’ peak. The ascent from Bedoin starts at the 0km marker and winds its way through the town and nearby villages.  Once you enter the forest, the hard work starts.  As we visited in mid-autumn, it was ablaze with green, yellow, red and amber coloured leaves. It is easy to see why Paul Cezanne made his home in Provence. Most the climb is sheltered by this forest. In some ways it must be disheartening to riders, as the pinnacle isn’t visible until the last 6 km.

Whilst we were early, a number of riders were on their way up, mostly riding by themselves.  I was surprised to see a spritely 60 something year old on a modern Bianche making steady progress. Many riders were using either mountain bikes or eBikes. The road is well cared for and has many names and messages spray painted across its width.  Some of the hairpins turn were ridiculously steep.  Finally we emerged from the treeline and and had the ‘oh wow’ moment.  TV coverage doesn’t do the view up to and from the summit any justice it was spectacular.

In some ways it reminds me a bit of Mount Wellington in Hobart Tasmania.  The comparison isn’t as silly as it sounds.  Depending on starting  point, that an ascent of Mt Wellington is about 21k with an average gradient of 6.7%, but has a much lower pinacle at 1270m, compared to Mt. Ventoux.


Having driven up both peaks within 4 weeks of each other, Mont Ventoux is consistently more difficult, especially from the Bedoin side. From an asthletics perspective I think the east facing view from Mount Wellingon, overlooking the city of Hobart is superior.

In hindsight, having driven to the summit from Bedoin, deciding against an ascent was a smart move.  Quite frankly it would have been foolish given that my only riding had been on flat roads.  If I had come directly from Australia, rather eating and drinking my way around southern Spain and France with Team MMT, an attempt form the Sault side may have been doable.

From Bedoin the gradient profile is, quite frankly, intimidating.  A rider commencing their ascent from Bedoin, starts about 300m above sea level and climbs about 1600m over approximately 22km.  The basic math provides an average gradient of 7.5% with two really nasty sections over 10%.  However, its worth pointing out that this is an average and that there a number of sections over 12%, ‘hiding’ inside the orange sections….shudder!!!

Ventoux Bedoin profile-1

From Sault, the gradient profile is benign by comparison.  A rider commencing their ascent from Sault, starts about 690m above sea level and climbs about 900m over approximately 26km.  The initial approach is much easier.  The first 20 or so kilometres has a average gradient of about 3.6%.  However, the final 6 km is the same as the Bedoin route.

Ventoux sault profile-1

So onto the photos.  I’ve chosen 6 of the better ones. I have to point out that Team MMT was really lucky with the weather. It was both crystal clear and still at the summit. Prior reading indicated that Mont Ventoux experiences high winds for about 120 days of the year and has the highest recorded windspeed in Europe at its summit.

 The sleepy village of Bedoin.  An intrepid rider ascending through the forest.
 SummitMarker-01  SummitSign-01
 The official highway marker.  Yours truly, with the famous sign.
 WeatherStation-01  SouthView-01
 The iconic ‘lighthouse’ at the summit.  View to the south.

so, where does this leave me now? Well I think I’m going to have to try Mount Wellington next time I’m in Hobart.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to source a decent road bike with a third inner chain ring.  After that well, I would love to return to Europe and have go at the ‘Giant’.  I had been thinking about doing the L’Eroica of Gaiole for my 50th birthday, may I’ll be able to add this as well.

Continuing on with the travel theme, in the next blog I’ll be writing about the visit Team MMT made to the famous Otero Bicycle Shop in Madrid.  Until then ride safe.


Marv is back from holidays

Dear Rouleurs,

MMT is back  online after well earned 4 week holiday and has number of interesting stories and pictures to share. The three highlights being:

  • Meeting the grandson of  Enrique Otero, who in 1927 established the first bicycle shop in Madrid.  Unfortunately, they don’t make frames anymore.  They had a fabulous collection of old bikes. You can find them at
  • Driving up Mont Ventoux in Provence, France.
  • Checking out some very cool bike shops in London and spending way too much money.

Finally, a big ‘chapeau’ to Esteban Chaves of Orica-GreenEDGE who finished 8th in the 2015 Giro di Lombardia, a slender 56 seconds behind the winner, Vincenzo ‘I won’t cheat this time’ Nibali.

Surely it must be time make Chaves an Australian citizen.

More later this month.