Team Cycling Plus – Andy Ward

Weddings and fixies

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Andy misses the festival of the year for his sister’s wedding – I suppose we’ll let him off!


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 12: Due to an inconveniently organised wedding (my sister’s) I was unable to make it to Bike Radar Live (only kidding Julie and Ian – congratulations!). I missed the Pork Pies and Potholes sportive last week due to a virus infection, so my absence from the Cycling Plus sportive has left me with a bit of a break from long distance challenges through the summer. I’ve kept up with my training though. I usually have a couple of hours on a Wednesday for a ride and in the past I might have cruised round, pushing myself quite hard, but not really varying my pace. Now, I do one of the sessions that Ben has suggested. This means riding along most of the time at a fairly easy pace, enjoying the countryside and spotting the wildlife – recently a hare ran alongside me for a short stretch, at an impressive pace. In the middle of this I either do five intervals of one minute, absolutely flat out, with five minutes recovery between each, or longer intervals at low cadence (best achieved by climbing in a high gear).  These variations increase the interest and make the two hours pretty exhausting. I particularly like the slow, low cadence climbs, concentrating on my technique and keeping the bike straight.

In between my riding, I’ve taken the opportunity to work on the old Raleigh I bought on ebay to convert to a fixed gear bike. This has turned out to be a bit more tricky than I had hoped. One of the bottom bracket shells was completely stuck and despite my best efforts with a Black and Decker workmate and various heavy tools, could not be shifted. Fortunately there is a very good bike shop almost next door to my work, and Graham at the South Wigston Cycle Centre educated me in the idiosyncrasies of old Raleighs. Basically, standard bottom brackets do not fit – the threads are different. A new axle for the old cup and cone set up was found in a box at the back of the shop and Bob’s your uncle! Graham has been a great source of advice and practical help and now the bike is ready to ride.

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.