Team Cycling Plus - Kay Bowen

Toast and tea beats a banana hands down!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Kay's bike enthusiasm is rubbing off on her friends...

Team member: Kay Bowen

36 year old Kay from Southampton is a very active person. She overcame thyroid cancer last year which has inspired her to try a whole host of new activities, including sailing, tennis, skiing and triathlons. As a triathlete, she already does a lot of cycling, but is keen to work on this aspect of her training. Her goals are to sustain longer distances and to go on a cycling holiday

This week, I have achieved the training time on the bike Ben suggests, for the first week ever. Ta da! My running and swimming have dipped, just one swimming session and three very short gentle jogs, one of those straight off the bike though, to try to get the bike/run transition legs you need in triathlon and which are hard to come by at Tescos. But, I have slogged away in the sunshine on the Millook, which despite my inexpert handling doesn’t seem to mind being taken out in the Hampshire countryside by an amateur. I overtook someone today, and it counts, even if she was on a shopper and wearing jeans, ok?

I have done 3 proper rides, all solo, and taking in my usual web of lanes around the Meon Valley and my patch of southern Hampshire. I have approached some lanes from opposite directions and worked out where lots of places link up, completing a big ride on Tuesday slightly further from home, managing 30 miles and finding a new tea stop. I was planning to stop for a banana in the village shop, but the tea room was so inviting I had toast and tea instead of the virtuous fruit.  I proudly showed Rob my route on that day and found that I had gone off the map! Sadly for me, the high tech possibilities of navigating with the Garmin have eluded me.I avoid A roads, but did spend some time on some flat and fast B roads and found that it is a lot easier to sustain speed on a better road surface and without so many hills as my little back lane routes, which have very gravely surfaces.  After last week’s comments about only seeing retired gentlemen while out on my rides, I passed three women on road bikes on that ride, all of whom looked like they were fairly serious about the whole thing.

By accident, all my cycling and enthusiasm for sport have rubbed off on those around me, and I have a steady trickle of friends wanting me to take them out for a bike ride. Which, of course, is lovely, as I like being with friends, but I can’t often count it as training as I stop a lot for them and go slower than I would, and not as far. So, do I find a whole load of new fit friends, or keep working on the ones I already have and subtly build up their stamina and speed? Hmm. In the meantime, my favourite ride is the one I do on my own, in the sun, with just the bike, a mobile and an emergency fiver, cos the Brownies taught me to always take a 2p coin for an emergency - I have allowed for inflation. 

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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