On Sunday I rounded off my ‘hill climb season’ (all relative) with the infamous Bec CC event on White Lane in Surrey. I had to send apologies to the Catford CC event on Yorks Hill in the morning owed to the 2017 Glastonbury ticket sale.
Arriving at the Bec event around 2pm it was clear that this was going to be a fun day. They have bunting across the road up the final 100m and the grassy banks on each side of the road create the perfect setting for the crowds to watch the action from.
I was off halfway through the day, which gave me the chance to watch the first 50 or so riders make their way up before having to go off and warm up myself. It was clear that riders were either totally spent by the time they made it to the big gathering of spectators in the final 150 metres, or still had enough to drop watt bombs right up until the end.
Times ranged from around 1m50s to 3m15s, and all I knew is that on my two previous visits to the hill I had clocked around 4m30s, albeit as the final climb of many on the 120 mile Evans King of the Downs event.
The start of the climb itself is slightly unnerving, as you set off round a couple of corners without a soul to see or shout at you. It felt I was subconsciously taking it a bit easy without the fear of being judged for going too slow without anyone seeing me. I looked down at my Garmin and saw I was about 60 seconds in, feeling ok and thinking ‘shit I should probably have gone a bit harder to this point’.
I then came round the corner at the bottom of the final straight and started to see the crowds and before I knew it I was up and out of the saddle, clicked down a couple of gears and was giving it the beans. I genuinely can’t remember any of the final section. I recall it being pretty noisy and seeing a blur of people, but for the first time ever I felt so ‘in the zone’ I had no idea of my surroundings. On video it looks like I was going pretty well and then sat down about 20m from the end where I assume I was absolutely cooked and had nothing more to give.
I ended up with a time of 2m38 which I was really happy with, and there’s defintiely scope to get that down towards 2m20 and below in coming years with a stronger bottom section and some significant improvements to my Power/Weight ratio.
We watched some more of the riders and collected a complimentary hot chocolate before rolling back into London.
Great event, top crowds and another that will definitely be on the 2017 hit list.