Team Cycling Plus – Kay Bowen

Kay gets to grips with her Garmin...sort of!

Kay hits her record of 34mph on her Verenti Millook

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Kay listens to her body and takes it easy…


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

A week of two halves. After suspecting a head cold and the adrenalin keeping it away on triathlon day, it came out in all its glory on Monday. In the past I would have kept going and wondered why I felt awful for ages, so this time I didn’t and did no exercise at all for two days. And took it very easy on two other days. Looking at the times on the Salisbury tri, I came 32nd out of 60 female entrants. Which sounds better than 255th out of 302 entrants altogether. Half way down the female pack is not bad!  When Rob was preparing my bike for this week’s Tour he mentioned that I had ridden the triathlon on fairly flat tyres and could have shaved a few minutes off my bike time if I had had them pumped up harder. I like the way he told me that after the event, and with his own self interest in beating me overcoming his more altruistic feelings of affection and support for me in my mission to become an Olympian in the next 2 years. I must learn to pump up my own tyres and then will not be prone to sabotage by one of my team.

By Friday I was feeling stronger and did a 20 mile evening ride with plenty of climbing up through the pretty Hampshire countryside with my bike mechanic/husband/triathlon rival Rob. He was hampered rather by riding my old bike with his new seatpost, as, not to be outdone by me having a Verenti Millook in the stable, he is building himself a new carbon fibre frame bike and it was not ready to ride.

 I used my Garmin 705 this week and found the heart rate monitor a bit tricky, which is the feature I thought would be most useful. It didn’t seem to have a way of taking my heart rate and telling me what it is. I had to work out my maximum by guessing (as I couldn’t find a way to use it to do my max ride up hill to work it out). Having it set in zone 3, it beeps when my heart rate is too fast. Which is helpful, I guess, if you can’t feel your own heart popping out of your ears on every pedal up a hill. I found the beeping irritating as I have to put in more effort to get up hills and if I keep my heart rate under the beeping level I would just fall off sideways because my pedal rate would be so slow that I would go nowhere, or backwards. As well as a Garmin, I think I need to have a Garmin employee to come round and help me – it seems that the GPS likes A roads but is not keen on B roads or tracks, which is a shame as these are my preference. I think I need a tutorial to get more from it. I do like having it as a speedo though, as I have now joined the speed-limit-breakers club with a top speed down a hill (admittedly on a derestricted road) of 34mph! So it’s fun to see how fast I can go, and whenever I can I try to get into that elusive 30 mile high club. As in, you get a legal high from whizzing down a hill that fast when you are not sure what is at the bottom or round the corner and whether you might lose your teeth on the front end of a tractor coming the other way. 

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