At the end of last year I decided to host a hill climb race. The idea probably arrived at the end of an evening in the pub. How hard can it be? Surely all you need is a couple of stopwatches and some cake…
As it turned out, it was a lot of work. Similar to planning a wedding, except I had to find timekeepers instead of a Minister, Marshals rather than Ushers, cake bakers as bridesmaids and a village hall instead of a church. As the big day loomed, I was worried that my diet hadn’t quite gone to plan and fitting into my dress was going to be a squeeze.
75 people signed up to race, including 16 from Chew Valley CC – most of whom had never raced before. Fortunately I had enough support from friends and family with running the day that I felt confident enough to race too. My wife and her family took charge of baking the cakes and running HQ. Friends signed up to race and offered to be marshals. And lots of the village came out to support. It gave the day a real community feel.
I set myself off first so that I’d have time to get back down the hill and be ready for prizes and presentations. I’d ridden the hill quite a few times in the weeks leading up to the event so was pleased to set a PB. Racing was the least of my worries for the day; I’m not necessary advocating this but if you’re someone who gets really worried about racing then try racing in an event that you organise. The fear of racing is very much secondary to the fear of the event being a failure. I’d done my best to notify everyone who could be affected by the race (or could affect the race), but there’s always something unexpected that could happen.
The race was part of the district hill climb series so had attracted most of the best hill climbers in the region. So despite being 1st place amongst my friends and clubmates, I was 30th overall. If you invite all the big kids to your party, you have to accept that they might smash everything up!
Anabell Orenz and Andrew Feather produced dominant performances to claim victories. Feather was the only rider to go under 5 minutes with a time of 4:56 to secure his fourth consecutive victory at hill climb events.
The police even turned up mid-prize giving to answer a dubious complaint from a disgruntled neighbour who thought the noises of horns on the hill was hunt protesters. A friend commented that it’s not a proper party unless a neighbour calls the cops.
The event raised £150 which was donated to the local primary school to pay for Bikeability training for the kids. And was featured by BikeRadar in their weekly YouTube blog about hill climbing.
|2||Sam||Lindsay||73Degrees CC, WestSide Coaching||00:05:03|
|3||Phil||Stonelake||Bristol Road Club||00:05:12|
|4||Glyndwr||Griffiths||73Degrees CC, WestSide Coaching||00:05:16|
|5||Joe||Norledge||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:05:17|
|6||Robert||Borek||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:05:19|
|7||Jamie||Atkins||University of Bristol Cycling Club||00:05:25|
|9||Joe||Hawksworth||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:05:27|
|10||Kevin||Thomas||Chippenham & District Wheelers||00:05:30|
|11||Ben||Wainwright||Team Tor 2000 | KALAS||00:05:39|
|12||Charles||Coleman||Velo Club Walcot||00:05:40|
|14||Jack||Phillips||73Degrees CC, WestSide Coaching||00:05:45|
|15||Michael||Shute||Mid Devon CC||00:05:45|
|16||Nick||Livermore||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:05:47|
|17||David||Cullen||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:05:48|
|18||Gordon||Markus||Severn Road Club||00:05:49|
|19||Jacques||Coates||Cycle Team Onform||00:05:50|
|20||Adam||Whitehead||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:05:50|
|21||James||Pittard||University of Bristol Cycling Club||00:05:52|
|22||Ted||Cross||University of Bristol Cycling Club||00:05:54|
|23||Adam||Whittaker||Salt and Sham Cycle Club||00:05:55|
|24||Steve||Thomas||Bristol Road Club||00:05:56|
|25||Matthew||Skeats||University of Bristol Cycling Club||00:06:02|
|26||Andrew||Metherell||Salt and Sham Cycle Club||00:06:02|
|27||Sean||Leadbeater||Severn Road Club||00:06:03|
|30||Mark||Jerzak||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:06:18|
|31||Andrew||Turner||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:06:20|
|32||Michael||Gates||Maison du Velo – Storck Bikes UK||00:06:24|
|34||Morgan||Lloyd||Towy Riders Cycle Club||00:06:32|
|35||Will||Clarke||DAS RAD KLUB||00:06:33|
|36||Anabell||Orenz||North Cotswold CC||00:06:34|
|38||Andy||Collins||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:06:36|
|39||John||Grenfell||A2B Cycle Repair Race Team||00:06:36|
|40||Jim||Miller||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:06:38|
|41||Joanne||Jago||Performance Cycles CC||00:06:38|
|43||Jasmine||Jones||Cardiff Ajax CC||00:06:42|
|44||Robin||Hunt||Bristol Road Club||00:06:52|
|46||Rob||Nash||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:06:58|
|47||Emily||Slavin||University of Bath Cycling Club||00:07:14|
|48||Gavin||Estcourt||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:07:18|
|49||Becky||Dodds||Velo Club Walcot||00:07:29|
|50||Drew||Murray||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:07:35|
|51||Heidi||Blunden||The Racing Chance Foundation||00:07:43|
|52||Steven||Mabey||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:07:52|
|53||Katherine||Brand||Bristol South Cycling Club||00:07:56|
|55||Philip||Peat||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:08:11|
|56||Michael||Willis||Performance Cycles CC||00:08:23|
|57||James||Manthorp||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:08:27|
|58||James||Pike||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:08:27|
|59||Michael||Shaw||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:08:37|
|60||Louis||Pearn||Chew Valley Cycling Club||00:13:48|