THURSDAY, 22ND JULY SAW THE FIRST CLOSED ROAD SANCTIONED URBAN HILL CLIMB. THE WEATHER CAME OUT TO PLAY IN THE EARLY AFTERNOON, TURNING THE ROADS FROM DRY AND PREDICTABLY GRIPPY TO WET AND SLIPPY. IT WASN'T JUST POWER AND FITNESS THAT WAS REQUIRED WITH AN OILY TRAIL AND WET LEAVES ON THE CLIMB RIDERS NEEDED TO CHOOSE THEIR TYRE PRESSURE, RACING LINE AND POSITION ON THE BIKE VERY WISELY.
The winning time was 1 minute 32 and the shock of the night was under 16 youth rider Germaine Burton landing a super fast time of 1 minute 34 and taking 2nd place.
The staff at Condor came out to watch with four taking part. Click read more to see them in action and read their thoughts.
Name - Julian C., Stock Fulfilment
Bike ridden - Condor Leggero with 7900 Dura-Ace
Gearing on the steep section - 52-25t
Time - 1 min 59 secs
Three words about the event - adrenalin, accelaratin', crowd explodin'
Comments - Longest half mile of my life.
Name - Ben S., Designer
Bike ridden - Condor Leggero with 7900 Dura-Ace and carbon deep sections
Gearing on the steep section - 39-17t
Time - 1 min 57 secs
Three words about the event - slippery, steep, slow
Comments - A shallow gradient allows you to start you ride with gusto -even rolling away in the big ring! Within about 1min you reach a false flat where most riders made a cheeky down-shift into the little ring before attacking/grovelling up the second, much steeper section of the course. Gear selection was critical here as it had rained at the start and the road was greasy and slippery which robbed many competitors of their speed/momentum as they started to wheel-spin. I tried (will limited success) to keep as much as possible in the tank, so as to make my effort on the steeper part but in the end it was everything I could do just top get to the top.
The finish was the other side of a speed bump at the top and I actually thought I wasn't going to get over this little hump!
Name - Sammy S., Bike Fitter
Bike ridden - Condor Tempo
Gearing on steep section - I rode it fixed, 44x20 which on my 165mm cranks and 23c tyres is a 57" gear. I like to spin!
Time - 2 min 11 secs
Three words about the event - wet, wheelspin, wicked
Comments - Great event. I had an early start time and it was really wet. I think I went a bit fast off the line, span up to the right hander where it gets a lot steeper, felt burnt out and then I knew it was going to be a drag! The crowd was incredible, my lungs were burning but as they cheered me on, my legs found more energy and created 120psi of wheel spin! I managed to get slightly out of the saddle for the last heave over the line for a deserved San Miguel!
Name - Claire B, Brand Manager
Bike ridden - Look 555 with 7800 Dura-Ace
Gearing on steep section - 39-23t
Time - 2 min 8 secs
Three words about the event - short, sharp, pain
Comments - It took me about 10 minutes to get my breathing back to normal. That was crazy. All I could hear was a volume of noise as I went up the steep section.
The event was run and organised by Rollapaluza and Simon Warren. For more info and a report about the nights event visit www.urbanhillclimb.com.
To find out more about the Swaines Lane climb and other tough ascents around the UK pick up a copy of Simon Warren's 100 Greatest Hill Climbs, available from Condor Cycles for £8.99.