About the author:

Tejvan organises short-distance running and cycling races for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in his home city of Oxford. He is also a very good cyclist, having won the National hill climb championships in 2013 and finished 3rd in the National 100 Mile Time Trials in 2014.


Catford Hill Climb - Ide Hill

by R.Pettinger Sri Chinmoy CT


(picture PJW Photos)


The first climb was in the morning organised by Catford CC. It was quite short about 700 yards. The first half was not too steep – about 1 in 6 or 1 in 7. For last 200 metres the gradient rises to 1 in 4. At this point the crowd starts to get very thick, maybe 3 or 4 on each side. When your climbing your not really aware of the numbers of people but there’s a tremendous noise and encouragement. Its a great experience to ride with a big crowd, it really gives you a lift and lessens your awareness of your own pain. 


I’m not used to riding these short steep climbs and don’t do relatively as well. I think it tends to suit the short compact climbers who have explosive power. At 6 foot 3 I'm probably too tall. I’m also used to saving myself on the first half of a climb to enables you to go much faster on the second half. However on a climb of 2 minutes you can’t afford to hold back. At the start its probably best to go out hard and then just hang on for the last section up the 1 in 4.


Even descending was quite an experience. On my hill climb bike I put on Dia compe brakes because there lighter than Dura Ace but Dia Compe are pretty useless for stopping. I took my time descending it was also a chance to watch other people climb, it seemed great fun to be a spectator and watch other people suffer.


Its hard to remember anything much about the climb, its painful but mercifully over in 2 minutes.


Jim Henderson won with a margin of 0.1 second. His time was 1.55.1 just ahead of J.Crawford. I finished only 10 seconds down in 2.04.9 but it was so close at the top that I finished in 12th Place.


Bec Hill Climb - White Lane, Titsey


The Bec hill climb in the afternoon was a similar length and slightly less steep at the end, a good course for fixed as the gradient is fairly constant. I don’t have a fixed so was riding a 39 Chain ring using a 19-15 on the cassette. I’m never sure what gear I actually use.


On descending the climb I saw Olympic star Bradley Wiggins going up. He looked to be very strong although his time suggested that he was taking it relatively easy, I guess he has bigger races to win.


Jody Crawford won the event with a superb time of 1.47, he just edged out last years winner William Bell who did 1.48, third place was D.Diguid giving Evans Cycles the generous £900 team prize.


Pre race favourites J.Henderson and Rob English just got edged out of the top 3 places, but I think it will be different at the National Championships next week, the rake is about 30seconds longer which make a big difference.


I finished just outside top 10 in a time of 1.59.99.