Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. A well earned holiday for Andy and the family – no bikes allowed!
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.
I’ve just spent half term in the South of France with Kirsty and the kids. Didn’t take the bike – the family put up with enough cycling without me disappearing on holiday as well. We could see the Pyrenees from where we were staying, so I did get a few pangs, especially when I saw other riders heading off to the mountains. Still I’m off to the Alps next week, so shouldn’t grumble. I’m going with a couple of mates and it’s the first time any of us have taken on any real mountains, so we’re a little bit nervous. We’re travelling by Eurostar and TGV to Annecy and staying in a ski chalet in La Clusaz (http://www.gravite.co.uk) . The owners will pick us up at Annecy station, so I’m hoping for a trouble-free journey – at least the ash cloud won’t stop us. The Tour de France goes through the village on the way to La Colombiere, so we should be able to do our own mini Etape.
The family holiday came at a bad time in my preparation for the Alps. No cycling, lots of French wine and (my main weakness) French cheeses are not normally what is recommended in the Know How section of Cycling Plus magazine. I had a word with Ben about this, but he told me not to worry as a week off the bike would probably do me some good, enabling me to come back to it with great enthusiasm. However, I didn’t want to let all the training I’d done over the last few weeks go entirely to waste. I’m no jogger – old football injuries to my knees have scuppered that- and the holiday swimming pool is generally not the place for keeping fit, due to the presence of a giant inflatable crocodile and a 5 year old hanging off my shoulders. After some deliberation I think I found the solution, in the form of a… skipping rope! I’ve never really used one before, but a few sessions with that really worked my calves. The girls liked joining in too, although I was hopeless when it came to singing at the same time.
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