Team Cycling Plus – Andy Ward

It's a family affair

Lily's artistic impression of her dad on his Verenti

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Andy’s evaluates the impact cycling has on family life…


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.

Last week I blogged about the effect the arrival of the Verenti  had on my “family” of bikes. This got me thinking about the effect all this cycling has had on my real family – you know, the one without any wheels. The news I had made it into Team Cycling Plus was met with genuine excitement all round. After four years of my road cycling, they’re used to me disappearing early on Saturday mornings looking a bit like an insect in my lycra, sunglasses and helmet. The thought of this actually being featured in a magazine was quite a novelty. The prospect of me doing even more cycling, sportives and the occasional jaunt to Bath for a photo shoot did cause a little trepidation though.

There’s no doubt about it, cycling is time consuming,  and requires the help of a supportive missus to keep the kids happy as I troll about the countryside thinking about the best place for a cake stop. The kids have their own ways of getting involved. Ruby, my eldest, has risen to the challenge of creating a savoury alternative to the gels and flapjacks usually provided on sportives. A very tasty range of cheesy rolls has emerged this weekend. Ella, my middle daughter, has contented herself with modelling my cycling glasses and somehow managing to look glamorous. Lily, my 5 year old, drew this picture of me – I’m trying not to read too much into the fact that she’s drawn my helmet  falling off, and I look in distinct jeopardy!

The cycling has gone really well this week. I’ve stuck well to the training prescribed by Ben, monitoring my heart rate, rather than my speed. It’s a different type of challenge trying to keep my heart rate below 140 while tackling the steep hills around Rutland, but I can already feel an improvement in the sprints he has advised me to do at the end of rides.

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