Another glorious day as the Indian Summer continued through the weekend. Today saw the North Bucks Road Club hill climb championship, run as usual at Bow Brickhill. I think the residents of Bow Brickhill are used to mountain bikers congregating on Sunday mornings, but this morning was enlivened by a high turn out and even some spectators! Presumably this unprecedented enthusiasm was in large part down to the glorious weather.
Recently resurfaced (which removed the friable and frankly skittery road surface), the Bow Brickhill climb is quite challenging to race up. To be perfectly honest, hill climbs have always seemed to me to be a particularly vile kind of time trialling. This morning I had a bit of a rush to get sorted, as I discovered my road bike had developed a ‘garage puncture’ since I parked it in the garage on Friday afternoon. I really don’t know how I manage it, though Carol reckons is the big spiders jumping on the valve.
Once that was sorted, it was off to Bow Brickhill, where I was surprised by the turnout. When my start came round my heart was racing even before the off , which gives some indication of my fitness following the post-Duo cold I’ve been suffering from. Afte a brisk start, the road rears up, and I started shifting down a few cogs. Here I suffered my first jumping gears. Not to worry I thought, just keep plugging away…the trouble is that on climbs I tend to go into ‘tourist mode’ rather than ‘race mode’, and I just eased back that bit too much! Round the bend and the gradient eases. I shifted up a few gears. Crash! Bang! More gear crashes! Still, I kept what little momentum I had and headed on up the road expecting the finish to be round the next bend.
False expectation! It was round the bend after that! I came up the last bit rather too slowly and finished just under 3 minutes. Not a spectacular result, but I suppose at least I tried. After a spot of recuperation (and chat with riders) it was off home to get on the the business of coughing my lungs up in private.
I still hate hill climbs.
Results to follow.