Team Cycling Plus – Kay Bowen

Close shaves and sportive success!

Kay is all smiles on the 100km Cycling Plus Sportive

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 has a near miss with a horse box…


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 19: After the exertions of Bike Radar weekend, I thought I should reward myself with a bit of stretching and relaxation and had a very pleasant Body Balance class at my gym, Esporta. Later that day I was back for a gym session, a rare event in these cycling days, but my daughter had signed up for the young people’s gym circuit session and I thought it would not be in the spirit of encouraging her to sit in the bar. After a yoga session on Sunday at Bike Radar, I was suitably limber by the end of Monday and didn’t have too much achiness of legs, considering my mammoth 70 mile effort in tropical heatwave conditions I was pleasantly confident and felt strong if tired.

Tuesday night – disaster. I stormed out on my usual route, intending to do a 20 mile blast at full strength and did really well up to 14 miles, when I had a very near miss with a horse box and a passenger shouting at me to ‘get off the road’ as they drove past, causing me to swerve into the gutter and my Garmin heart rate monitor to give its only chirrup of the ride – clearly the adrenalin was working and my heart rate shot up. I can only hope that other motorists don’t  treat said driver in same manner when he/she is on their horse. Even if they want to. Grrr. The rest of the ride was a write off, though luckily I wasn’t, and I got home weary and weak and wanting to put the bike back in its box.

Luckily, the opportunity to do just that came up on Wednesday, as Wiggle are very cautiously taking my bike back to check the forks are performing as they should be, as there may be some safety glitch that needs double triple checking. Bikeless, and tired, coach Ben suggested I take a good two days off any exercise, and I clearly needed some recovery time as it wasn’t till Sunday, a week after my sportive experience that I took to two wheels for anything more than my 8 mile round trip commute. I was riding my old bike, which is a bit of a composite, with the Millook’s man fit saddle and handlebars, as mine had been swapped onto the Millook. The gear shift was a new system to me, and I now totally understand what the other guys are on about when they talk about the Millook handling well. Taking familiar corners at my usual speed, I was flying around on the outside curves where normally I would be hugging the corners much more tightly. I didn’t ever stray over the white lines in the middle but came very close at times and can’t wait to be back on the trusty Millook when its ready.

My daughter was 9 this week and her present was a new bike, a respray and finish lovingly created by Rob, my husband/bike mechanic.  It is much lighter than her old bike, and as my next cycling event is an Evans Ride It! In August, Hannah and I are going to take it easy and do the 12 mile route together – although she may be up for the next distance up… as well as her cycling skills coming on, her Excel skills outwit mine, as she cut and pasted the Bike Radar Sportive results into Excel and found that out of the female entries, I had the 12th fastest time, and 2 of those females faster than me were called Paul and John. I was really delighted to find that I had also finished comfortably in the top half of the table, and am spurred on by such a good result to lengthen the routes I intend to ride at the Wiggle New Forest sportive in the Autumn.

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