The return from holiday signalled one thing : it’s time to get back on the bike and start training for the hill climb season. It invokes feelings of excitement and trepidation. Hill climbs are the best thing about the racing season, but they’re also by some distance the most painful and extreme. This means that the training phases tend to be painful and extreme. It is simple though; it requires bursts of effort on hills, repeated in various forms. At the moment I’m testing my legs and doing a difficult hilly ride, before resting up and doing another difficult hilly ride.
Highlights of the hill climb season for me will be the National Championships on the Stang at the end of October; the BSCC open on Burrington, West DC Crazy Hillclimb Weekend©; Haytor/Widdecombe and the Minehead Toll Road weekend and maybe, just maybe, the Cat and Bec.
I’ve done two 50 mile rides this week, with each one squeezing in 5000ft of climbing. Today i ventured further afield for the first time and took in some of the hills around Bath. I found a monstrous climb out of Wellow and up to Combe Down. I then zigzagged my way up and down three or four of the central Bath climbs. They are long and steady, sometimes a bit steep. I avoided Brassknocker; it’s a bit of a hairy main road ascent, but i’ll head back there on a quieter day.