Team Cycling Plus-Sam Shaw

Sam rides in his first ever sportive!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Sam takes on the 6 pass challenge of the Keswick Sportive!!


Team member: Sam Shaw

29 year old Sam who lives in Stirling weighed in at 20stone in 2006. But through discovery of his love of bikes he has shed over 6stone and is still losing. Beginning with tentative 5km commutes, working up to include an 18km detour with 360m climbs, and now braving sportives and time trials, Sam’s newfound obsession has changed his life. His goals are to get down to 13stone and wear lycra with pride….

My training this week has been focussed on preparing for my first sportive, the Keswick Lakeland Challenge Sportive in the Lake District.  It involved choosing one of three short(ish) routes going over 2, 4 or 6 passes of Whinlatter, Newlands and Honister.  A colleague used to live in the area and had given me an idea of how tough it would be and my mate, Stephen lives there so he too gave me some words of warning on the intensity I was likely to face.  As such, I took it very easy in the run up to the event, taking short journeys to work at a low pace to keep the legs spinning.

The other main preparation included the pre-event bike clean, which for me is always enjoyable.  There’s something intensely satisfying about riding a freshly cleaned and lubricated bike, and I’m sure it gives a bit more speed, makes it lighter, gives it wings etc.  I also find it a pretty cathartic experience and it gives peace of mind prior to an event that everything’s working the way it should be… The above could be correct, or it could just be that I’ve got a serious case of bike-cleaning OCD!

Due to the extensive exam preparation in the last month or so, my rides have been limited to under 40 miles but I knew I had it in the legs to complete a longer ride, it was for this reason that I had my mind set on the 4 pass, 90km route though during a conversation with Ben, our coach, the night before, I was convinced to have a crack at the 6 pass route!  I completed the 6 passes on a scorcher of a day; the Garmin gave the average temperature as 24.9ºc so the ice cream I ate at the end of the ride was well deserved! 

The coming week is going to be a similar story of preparation, I’ve got another time trial on Thursday evening, a 10 miler this time, and I’ve not been feeling too strong on the bike after the weekend’s exertions so I’m not expecting to break any land speed records! 

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