photo by Claire on Guise Hill (flickr set of Race)
Saturday, was the Otley twin hill climb. I always have a fondness for this race. Because many years ago, it was my first ever race, aged 15, on an old Reynolds 501 steel frame. There was a bigger field in those days and I remember coming third from last. (and the one guy who came behind me, and mudguards and panniers and only did it to keep his wife company).
On the way between races, I stopped to take a few photos, these cyclists came to watch the hill climbs.
Anyway, those were the days of just being happy to get to the top without having to get off and walk…
For a change a lovely October day
The first climb is outside Pateley Bridge near Greenhow hill, but, not the main B road climb. It is about 1400 yards – almost identical in length to Dovers Hill – the National Hill Climb Championship.
I got off to a bad start on the steep slopes at the beginning but got going as it flattened out. I finished in second place with 4.02. Matt Clinton (Mike Vaughan Cycles) won in a time of 3.56.
After a two hour break, we moved to Norwood Edge, which is a bit longer. I didn’t feel tired from the mornings ride and was pleased with how I rode the climb. I really sprinted for the top and was able to go under 5 minutes for the first time. 4.56 (if I remember correctly). The course record is 4.44 held by Jeff Wright or Jim Henderson. This was just enough to give overall victory.
I was grateful to organiser, Claire and the race sponsors Shutt Velo Rapide and MAS Design Consultants. It was a really good prize fund; hopefully next year there will be a bigger entry. (Go on, you know you want to race as fast as you can up a steep hill until you pass out at the top…)
Shutt Velo Rapide
Since they sponsored the race and operate just down the road from my parents house, in Ilkley, I had a look at Shutt Velo Rapide – they look to have some very good hand made Merino jerseys. I think there is a growing market for more stylish cycle clothes, so I hope they do well.