Sunday, 17 June 2018

Waller Pain

waller pain hillclimb caterham nearly finished
Waller pain hillclimb Caterham nearly finished

The day finally arrived, but how did I get here?

I saw the posters for the hill climb last year but it was too late for me to sign up. I kept an eye out and a few months ago I saw the event on Facebook. The hill climb is a very old event, (here is a bit more info about it) dating back to the 1890's. Back then it was run by Catford Cycle Club, nowadays it's the Caterham Round Table.

The confirmed booking meant the training had to begin. During my weekend rides I attacked hills harder than normal. It surprised me how quickly this extra effort improved my pace and stamina. White Hill Lane, Gangers Hill, Tandridge Hill Lane, any hill in fact is still not easy but is less of a strain.

Yesterday, it was time to prepare the bike. This is where every gram counts, so I took off the lights, and the pump. I also decided I would be leaving the backpack that normally carries food, tools and my camera at home. And lastly I inflated the tyres to max PSI. It's all about speed, not comfort.

waller pain hillclimb caterham bike number

This morning it was cereal, coffee and some chocolate. I hoped the coffee and chocolate wouldn't be considered performance enhancing substances. When I signed on, there were no awkward questions, so all good.

I accepted the extra weight of the GoPro was worth it to have a video of my climb. I was thinking about the start so much, I forgot to press record before the off, only remembering after a few peddle revolutions. If you listen carefully you can hear my breathing getting more laboured.



So what was it like?

It was raining hard as I left my garage, but within minutes it stopped and the weather was perfect after that.

waller pain hillclimb caterham waining at the start
Waining at the start
It was very busy at the start but I had booked early so I didn't have to wait too long. Before I had much time to think about it I was at the start wondering how hard I should push early on. The riders leave at one minute intervals so it was a little depressing to hear them count down the next rider before it felt like I had gone very far. There were a few people cheering everyone go past which was nice. All I wanted was not to get overtaken, some of the other riders before me had gone off at a high pace, including kids, a bloke on a Brompton and another with his daughter on a seat behind him.

My time was 2:57, definitely the fastest I had climbed the lane, but still a little disappointing. Next time I'll do better.


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