Team Cycling Plus – Kay Bowen

Sportive preparation...with a big bowl of chips!

Hills don't scare Kay like they used to!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. This week Kay prepares for her 100km sportive…


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.

Jul 4: Last night’s big ride was 30 miles, a little east of my usual area, finishing off in the MeonValley as usual. I somehow managed to cycle through Winchester and up a steep hill out the other side. I have been very lucky with the sunshine, it seems to shine on me wherever I go – although I noticed that the wind seems to wind on me on all my rides too. In a bid to improve my performance and get ready for the 100k at Bike Radar next weekend, I stopped for a bowl of chips after 15 miles, and it seemed to make a big difference to my energy level for the second half. I shall have to carry chips in my pockets.  Once again I failed to have a happy relationship with the Garmin, after setting it to do 22 laps of 15 miles instead of 2, and then assuming it started timing and of course, it doesn’t, you always have to press start… Writing this, I feel woefully useless compared to Sam and Andy, and all their amazing distances, they and Ben probably cycle 30 miles before they get up in the morning, whereas it is a good effort for me. However, think positive, I am so much faster and fitter, and hills that used to have me in a panic are now just hills. In fact, last night I set myself the target of never going below 10mph on uphills, which I didn’t always achieve but it gave me something to focus on rather than breathing and pedalling.  And before I started doing the Cycling Plus team I had never cycled more than 30 miles, and it would have taken all day.

My trousers are all bigger than they used to be too, or is that me who is smaller?  And I have to think of a lifetime, not just this year – and a whole life, with some other sports thrown in. So this week I threw in a trip to watch the tennis at Wimbledon, an early morning run in the sunshine and a sail. Not all at once.

I did an assembly for a local school about cycling and took in my bike and kit and copies of Cycling Plus, so may have a whole new readership of 7 year olds from Southampton. It’s great to encourage children to be active and enjoy exercise, and I am looking forward to my girls having some fun next weekend at Bike Radar at the various children’s activities and rides. It will be our third weekend camping in a row, so at least we’ll be used to the less settled sleep and not be too groggy for the ride. I am apprehensive about being a minority female in a mainly male race, so hoping to see some other wider hipped cyclists out there in front of  and maybe behind me. The plan at the moment is for Malcolm and I to start the 100k together, however I fear he may be talked into doing the 100 miler. My aim for the weekend is to do the 100k and if I did it in 4- 4.5 hours that would be great!

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