Sunday 21st December saw the day of the VCL annual hill climb and Christmas Lunch, organised by Jules.
The recent trend of lesser known and traffic free hills saw the club ride out to the top of Toys Hill and the as before unheard of Scords Lane, which Jules had discovered in the weeks prior on a mountain bike ride. The climb started off down a bridle path with a slightly sandy surface, quickly kicking up into a steep ramp towards the road. Once onto Scords Lane and contrary to most other hill climbs the road then rolled gradually downhill before gradually ramping uphill again for the finish.
The uncharacteristic style of this year’s hill climb meant that the race would be much shorter and punchier than in previous years, with the field being much more open, with smaller time gaps between riders.
Traditionally a hill climb would only require riders to use their small chainring, but clearly nobody had told Jules this. A good working front shifter was paramount this year for the small downhill section midway through the climb.
This year top honours in the youth category was taken by Max Cheatle. His time of 1.07 was also good enough for 6th place in the overall competition. Perhaps with a larger gear to turn on the downhill section, he would have climbed higher up the rankings still.
The explosive nature of the climb suited Amy Good who measured her effort well and took the title for under 18 women, posting a time of 1.18.
Christine had some tough competition for the overall Women’s prize with a lot of the experienced youth riders in attendance but a nice aero position on the downhill saw her take home the prize.
The overall title this year was taken by the first rider to set off. Euan marked his return to competitive cycling well and stopped the clock in 57 seconds, being the only person to go under the minute marker on the day and the only person in recent memory to win it twice. The podium was then rounded out by last year’s winner, Iain, taking home the second spot and third place was shared this year by two new recruits to the club, Pete and Billy. Particularly well done to these 2 riders for finishing so high up the rankings on what was quite a technical hill climb.
After the hill climb riders then slowly meandered their way back down Toys Hill and to our usual stomping ground of the Beaver World Café in Tatsfield where the annual Christmas lunch was waiting for us.
A big thank you to Jules for organising this important date on the clubs calendar and well done for sourcing a climb that nobody has heard of.
The rest of James’ photos are on the VCL Flick Page.