Team Cycling Plus - Andy Ward

Andy takes a tumble

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. This week Andy has his first big fall - but it's okay because the bike's fine!

Team member: Andy Ward

Serious cyclist, 41 year old Andy from Leicester, commutes to his job as a doctor, competes in a number of sportives, and enjoys the challenge of a hilly climb. Last year he did the London to Paris, and this year he hopes to squeeze in a cycling holiday to the Alps with his mates. His goals are to improve his power and have a go at time trialling.

I suppose it had to happen eventually. After four years and thousands of miles of road cycling I had never had a proper crash. Prior to this week, the only fall I had suffered was a low speed, “forget to uncleat shoe from pedal before trying to put foot down” incident outside a hotel in Paris, having cycled all the way from London without incident. (Why do those sort of things always occur at a time guaranteed to produce maximum embarrassment?) This time was altogether more dramatic and unpleasant. I had set out in weather that seemed more like March than May, and was making good progress in the training prescribed by Ben. This ride was supposed to be at a fairly easy pace, keeping the heart rate below 140, with three 4 minute intervals keeping  the heart rate over 155. I received the Garmin Edge 500 this week, and found its ability to display my heart rate on a graph, with the zones clearly marked, invaluable in keeping to this training plan.

Unfortunately the wet weather had made the road surface very slippery in parts, and as I approached a corner at about 25 mph, I realised I had overcooked it a bit and the front wheel slipped out. I have ridden that stretch of road dozens of times before, and so was probably a bit over confident. It was a horrible sickening feeling as I realised I was going to hit the tarmac. The language afterwards can only be described as Anglo-Saxon as I went through the routine of checking for broken bones, then leaping up and checking for broken bike parts! Fortunately I had only suffered some nasty grazes and the bike was ok, which was just as well, as I was on my own, in the middle of nowhere, and still had 12 miles to get home (I took those very steadily).

I’m a GP, not a dermatologist, but this week I have learnt about a new skin condition  - Road Rash

Cause – over exuberance in wet weather.

Symptoms – it really hurts!

Treatment– ask one of the kindly nurses at work to put some fancy dressings on it. Mope around the house, wincing and showing off war wounds.

Prognosis – it’s not put me off cycling, but I’ll be a lot more careful next time it rains. 

Who are Team Cycling Plus?

Team Cycling Plus powered by Verenti are readers Andy Ward, Kay Bowen, Malcolm Ratcliffe and Sam Shaw. We’ll be following them in the magazine for the next few months as they train towards their personal cycling goals under the guidance of Team Wiggle’s Ben Simmons and we will be publishing their weekly trials and tribulations here too. For regular updates check our twitter page twitter.com/cyclingplus and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page.

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