Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Off Road and On Road


We started our Sunday by doing a ride around the trails of Surrey. It was all very pleasant. I was beginning to get the hang of being in the dirt, even if my 1999 Rockhopper is becoming a bit of an antiquity!
When it came to the infamous "Wall of Death" near Warlingham I wasn't too keen to have a go though. Mind you I wasn't the only one to get nervous at the sight of this sheer drop, so it was just left to a couple of brave and skilled souls to have a go while the rest of us looked on.

Our group leaders conveniently took us to the top of Titsey Hill for around 1.45pm on Sunday, just in time to reach the proceedings of the annual Bec Hill climb.

We were able to watch the competition unfold on the 700 yard long White Lane, which leads off Titsey Hill. All the locals were out in force to watch the ultimate battle of the power to weight ratios.

A few girls took part, which was good to see. The overall winner was a non-local guy, Michael Leonard Smith of Team Milton Keynes with former winner and hot favourite, Jody Crawforth claiming 3rd in the pouring rain.
I have such admiration for all the people who have a go at this.

photo by Fred


The climbs aren't long but they are very steep - almost 20% in places, and they have to be taken at speed. In addition the crowds that line the road can serve as encouragement, but also in my case, a chance for a public humiliation!

I may feel more comfortable riding on road than off road, but seriously I would prefer a mountain bike race over this 700 yards of pain. Maybe one day I will get the courage to take on this challenge.
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