Every hillclimb i’ve ridden this year has featured James Dobbin, it’s a recurrent theme, and the fields generally seem very strong this year. Rob Gough in particular appears to be flying upwards, as long as the chain stays put. The VC Walcot event, up the avenue in Bath, was great fun, well organised with more than a few supporters lining the route. it makes such a difference to the experience.
for this one i decided to ride fixed, i may or may not have been influenced by the promise of swag for the first fixed rider. i also felt that it might be a good idea, taking the pressure off and allowing me to enjoy – insofar as you can enjoy 3 minutes of savagery – the climb and ride my own race. 60″ did the trick, and i took home a lovely cadence t-shirt and £20. it was good enough for 6th place, which is fine with me; maybe on the gears i might just have nicked 5th, but maybe not.
i need to work on my pacing, it’s so hard to get right – go off too hard and suffer, losing time near the top when it matters most, or misjudge the effort and feel as though there is more in the tank. it’s about suffering, hurt, and managing pain; going really deep into a dark and horrible place for the benefit of 1 or 2 seconds. in the nationals, that could be as many as ten placings.
next weekend it’s weston wheelers demonstrating the art of using a crane to crush a fly, by encouraging foolish and demented riders to cycle at high speed up one of the nastier climbs in the mendips, i’m quite looking forward to it. i think it’s a 7 minute workout, which is right up my street.
the picture below encompasses the hurt, it’s not me, it’s a brave severn rider, in pursuit of 20th place or something like that. it’s a chastening and brave effort.
this is me, in front of the car that cost me time yesterday.
as a postscript, i completed my 3 minute ride. i hope that mike, rod, andrew and mike d had fun on their epic 8 hour ride, it doesn’t really stand up to comparison. i don’t think i’ve ever had the nerve to do a hundred miles. when i get to about 85, i start wobbling around like a plate of molasses.