Team Cycling Plus - Andy Ward

Will new training from Ben prove to be too much for Andy?

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 shows his mechanical side...

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.It seems to me that there are three main aspects to cycling – riding a bike, following the professional sport and the art of bike maintenance. Since taking up the riding side of things in earnest about 4 years ago, I’ve steadily built an appreciation of the other two aspects of the sport.

On the riding side of things, this week saw the arrival of my new training plan from Ben, our coach. This had the slightly ominous heading “Increase power through intense intervals”. These intervals were described as five sets of 1 minute flat out at high cadence, with five minutes recovery between. These are to be done midway through a 2.5 hour ride at a low level. No time like the present, so I decided to give it a go. “Intense” is a very apt description. At the end of each minute I felt distinctly unwell, as my heart rate topped 180! A two hour ride, normally a breeze, was transformed into an exhausting effort. All good for building the power – hopefully.

My interest in following the sport has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. Initially I would just watch the occasional Tour de France highlights show. Now I find myself skipping over the football articles in the sports sections of the newspaper, in the hope of finding a report on the latest stage of the Giro. I have developed a love of the classics and the history of the sport. My reading habits have changed – I enjoy reading of the exploits of great cyclists from the past and the best book I have read this year is “The Rider” by Tim Krabbe.

Which brings us to the maintenance side of things. This has always been a bit of a problem area for me – I once spent ages “flipping the stem” on a bike, only to find it was already flipped! Inspired by the Workshop articles in Cycling Plus, I have decided to take on a bike maintenance challenge. I have bought an old steel framed Raleigh on ebay (see pictures) and I am going to strip it down and convert it to a fixie. Hopefully I will learn a bit more on the workings of a bike in the process (and not break any important bits). I’ll keep you posted.

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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