When George Mallory was asked in 1924 why would he climb Mount Everest, he replied: «Because it’s there». For many, this short sentence has become their main motivation in their pursuit for new sport challenges, including those who, each autumn, tackle steep climbs with their road bikes during the hill climb season.
A cycling hill climb race is a rather straight forward event: A time trial where competitors have to ride uphill a steep road, one by one. The fastest person wins. There are categories (juniors, veterans, etc). In the United Kingdom, where they are very popular, these races are not under UCI rules (they are governed by Cycling Time Trials), so bikes can be as light as their owner can afford. It’s not uncommon to see bikes under 7 kg, and even under 6. But the rider must have a helmet and the bike must have front and rear lights.
I like climbs. No, I love climbs. But I am not too good at it. I just wish I were; my mind goes faster than my fitness. However, Tina is the hill climber, and she really enjoys it. As I write this, she is stretching on the floor, in preparation for the four (4, cuatro, vier) hill climbs she has this weekend. Steyning Bostal and Titch Hill (Brighton Mitre Hill Climbs) on Saturday; Yorks Hill (Catford CC Hill Climb) and White Lane (Becks CC Hill Climb) on Sunday. TeamTina (our daughter Alex and I) follow and support.
It’s the third weekend of the season, and Tina is glad to have obtained some good results: She appears twice on Cycling Weekly!
Tina climbing the last part of Steyning Bostal:
Bithja Jones, a former national champion, in Yorks Hill (2022)
The soul of a cyclist escaping his body: