Team Cycling Plus - Andy Ward

Bad weather stops Andy's time trialling plans

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Rain stops a time trial but Andy gets to grips with his fixie...

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 has already achieved one of his aims to go on a cycling holiday to the Alps with his mates. His goals are to improve his power and have a go at time trialling.

Jul 16: My great plan for this week was to do my first ever time trial. My next door neighbour Ivan is an experienced time-trialler, going out twice a week in the summer. I intended going with him on Tuesday night to do the 10 mile course run by Loughborough Road Club. This is on the A46, north of Leicester. It’s a dual carriageway, and fairly busy, being the main link between Leicester and Nottingham, but it’s straight and fairly flat. Unfortunately, the fantastic weather we have been experiencing over the last few weeks finally broke, and Tuesday was a day of torrential showers. A quick chat with Ivan and the prospect of riding through the heavy spray from passing lorries did not sound very appealing. We decided to race another day.

To cheer myself up on Wednesday I decided to take my newly converted fixed-gear bike for its first spin. I’ve never ridden one before, but had been inspired by this article by the legendary Sheldon Brown - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html  (I didn’t read down to the part about severed fingers until later!). It’s one of the great things about cycling that I can still try something new after all these years. My first ride was an interesting experience. The bike has a 44 tooth chainset and a 16 tooth sprocket, which means that climbing the hills round here is a challenge (although not impossible) – good for developing power. Descending a long hill requires a ridiculously high cadence – good for developing souplesse. On one descent my concentration lapsed for a moment and I automatically tried to freewheel – not a mistake I intend to make again. I didn’t fall off, but I think it’s fair to say I had a bit of a white knuckle moment. I think I still have a way to go to master the fixie, but I can see that there will be benefits and I had fun trying!

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

Back to top