Team Cycling Plus - Sam Shaw

Sam joins deputy editor Neil for the Dragon!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. This week, a dragon and some camping in lovely Wales...

Team member: Sam Shaw

29 year old Sam who lives in Stirling weighed in at 20stone in 2006. But through discovery of his love of bikes he has shed over 6stone and is still losing. Beginning with tentative 5km commutes, working up to include an 18km detour with 360m climbs, and now braving sportives and time trials, Sam’s newfound obsession has changed his life. His goals are to get down to 13stone and wear lycra with pride.

The last couple of weeks have passed in a real whirlwind; I went down to Wales for the 130k Medio Fondo Verenti Dragon Ride, which I cycled with Neil Pedoe, deputy editor from Cycling Plus.  It was a great day; we set off in warm temperatures and sunshine, making Neil rethink his selection of a wind-proof gilet quite quickly into the ride!  The character of the ride was much different to the Keswick Sportive, and different to my training but we completed it at a good pace and really enjoyed ourselves.  The food stops were much appreciated and well stocked and we were surprised but delighted to find trays of roast new potatoes on offer – they were pretty tasty and a great energy boost! 

As we were climbing the final Bwlch, I heard a dull ‘thung’ as someone behind changed gears on bike shod with deep-section aero rims and a flash of orange went by, a flash of orange that I recognised – it was our coach, Ben Simmons on his way to the quickest time of the day for the 190k Gran Fondo route.  I gave him a shout (to slow him down!) and sped up so that I could climb with him.  We were climbing well and I was hoping to make it up to the top but we rounded a corner and I realised we were a long way from the summit and I was already working hard with the Garmin showing a zone 5 heart rate (Ben didn’t appear to have broken a sweat) so Ben gave me some encouragement and went on his way.  I spent the next few minutes getting my heart rate down and enjoyed the rest of the climb, and of course the long descent.  I know I’ve said it before but the Millook is a great bike for descending and I really enjoyed the long winds of the Bwlchs.

It was great seeing the guys from Wiggle there at the Verenti tent and getting to thank them in person for the opportunity and sponsorship.  I also had a look at the other bikes in the Verenti range and they all look pretty tasty.

After the Dragon, I went camping with my wife for a few nights on the coast in Wales, it was a great rest from the usual daily grind and a good bit of recovery after the Dragon Ride.  My only other ride this week was a couple of hours around the countryside in mid-Wales where my in-laws live near Builth Wells.  There’s plenty of climbing to be done round there and I picked a great circular route of about 30 miles that finished in Llandrindod Wells at the National Cycle Collection.   It’s a great visit if you’re in the area, I was lucky enough to catch their display dedicated to the efforts of Eilieen Sheridan (featured in Cycling Plus a few months back).  They had one of her bikes and a number of items and stories of her achievements.   The next temporary exhibition is to Fausto Coppi so it looks like I’ll be making another visit when we go next in September!

This weekend brings my local sportive, the Action Medical Trossachs Ton.  I’m really looking forward to it, not only because it’s on home turf but Action Medical is a great charity and I’m glad to be supporting them.

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 and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page.

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