Peter Richards, Owner
“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realise fishing is stupid and boring” Desmond Tutu
On my 40th birthday (some years ago now) I snapped my achilles tendon playing rugby and was banned from ever playing again. I was very lucky to be living on the edge of the South Downs in Surrey and I discovered that a little local cycling was a great therapy for damaged tendons. My first tentative pedals, then on a mountain bike, grew from an interesting hobby into an all consuming passion as I cycled up and down all the regular routes. A couple of years later and one Christmas I was presented with my first road bike and my passion turned into obsession. I cycled everywhere I could. I moved my office to Guildford which was just about on the limit of my daily ride. I bought the kit. I upgraded. I cycled further afield - attempting ever-increasing hills as I went. I co-opted friends and family into cycling with me. I upgraded and bought more kit. Like many others who share my passion I wondered: "what next?".
One day I decided to cycle to our house in France; an old cottage built into the rolling hills of the Normandy countryside. Not a huge ride, 70 odd miles, but one of great beauty and pleasure. It took me from coastal Ouistreham to St. Lo (the City of Ruins) via the beautiful Atlantic coast and through medieval Bayeux. I had apparently cycled the Contentin via the majority of the D-day beaches.
Not content with keeping this guilty pleasure to myself I bored anyone who would listen to me with all the details of the ride. Once I had arrived at my house I continued to range far and wide consuming mile after mile of lovely, smooth French roads and countryside. What I really want to do now is share this experience, and many more, with fellow cyclists of all levels. Doing a few hours in the saddle with your friends is one thing but a solid road trip with fellow travellers takes you to another dimension.
I decided to create World At Your Cleats to enable cyclists to nudge the boundaries of their experience towards participating in something that will take them far beyond their local routes. I have put together an ever-growing list of journeys to take in the road in different places to sample life in and out of the saddle. The routes will be procured according the abilities of the riders - fast enough to burn a few calories but slow enough to take in everything 'en route'.
It might not be the 'Tour de France' but it is aimed at the intermediate rider who can, perhaps, happily tuck fifty or sixty miles under his or her belt every day. Whilst not known for their hills Normandy and Brittany do have a few rolling inclines which can provide a small challenge particularly toward the end of the day. Our rides will never be described as gruelling but they do need a certain modicum of fitness for complete enjoyment. Our rides only go as fast as the slowest rider.
I want to make sure that everyone has a great experience in a safe and higly sociable environment. I hope you will be able to join us on some of our adventures.