Yes. believe it or not, the day after high winds & heavy rain had battered our green and pleasant land (and Essex too), your reporter was horrified to awake to a balmy Sunday Morning.
Oh, the disappointment.
How could we have been dealt such a cruel blow.
What HAD we done to deserve this?
A Hill Climb - in the SUNSHINE??????
It's just not Traditional, is it?
The shame of it all........
Once over the initial shock, I thought "Well, I'm not going to allow a bit of sunshine to ruin MY day, and I'm sure the riders won't mind too much either", and so I prepared.
Dave Peck, having already rounded-up the talismanic figure of Mr Doug Collins, now turned his attention to collecting me (& my broom), and off we set towards Old Windsor. En-route, we saw results of a very recent, and quite serious accident on the A4 - a sobering thought on a Sunday morning.
Just as we arrived in the vicinity of Crimp Hill, would you believe it - we got stuck behind a Bl**dy Cyclist!
Oh, hang on, it's Darren (out having a crafty practice run). Darren had already ridden the climb that morning, so we checked what the condtions were like "under tyre". All was reported to be safe & satisfactory, but nonetheless, we took a steady cruise up to the top of the hill to check the road conditions ourselves - did I mention that I'd brought a broom with me?
Atop, we were greeted my Ann & Mike Cater, who'd come out to cheer along the riders, and take some photos, closely followed by Gavin & Sheila Mitchell in a similar capacity. We also soon spotted Marcus & Rory warming-up.
The groups started arriving, having been abley guided by Johnathon Brent, Lisa West, and Warren Watson from Twickenham Green, and pretty soon, the majority of the field was in attendance.
Dave & Doug were depatched back to the start line to administor that component, and a few late-comers rolled up.
A scrum of riders developed at the finish line, with everyone dumping any kit that could be removed from their machines, and bodies (I could swear someone left a leg there), in an effort to shift any unneccesary grams in preparation of the ascent. Once spartan, the riders were sent downhill, and only allowed to return upon announcement.
No sooner had I said to my fair scribe, Sheila, that the riders were due up soon, Darren appeared over the crest and duly powered towards us. If a picture could paint a thousand words, I bet I could only publish about 3 of them! Boy, was he trying......and was he suffering too......
And so, one by one, the 35 strong field passed us by, and were duly recorded.
Some grimaced more than others, but there was no getting away from the sheer effort that ALL the riders had exerted in their own taming of the ascent. One competitor observed "No matter how many times I ride Crimp Hill, it never gets any easier".
As each rider finished, they soon positioned themselves at the finish line to cheer on their adversaries. This crowd swelled as the competiton reached it's climax, and the final protaganists were urged up to the line by a sizable group.
The riders and helpers were thanked for their efforts, and indeed their attendance too - 35 riders for a Club Hill Climb, that's very impressive - and off they were packed in the direction of Angelo's in Twickenham, where the results would be announced.
Ahhhh, the results.
The stop watches were checked to ensure they were still in synchronisation, and the results were rapidly computed at the awe of Dave & Doug. Once the results were finalised and sorted, the trio of Dave, Doug, & Des (and his broom) headed to rejoin their clubmates at Angelo's, where many had adjourned. The atmosphere was fantastic, and the results were announced. Some amendments were made once the true age of some competitors became apparant, and apologies accepted.
What a great day out, a Club Run Stylee ride out, some great competition up the hill, Club Run Stylee back, and all in the sunshine...well, you can't have it all can you?
Apart from Ann Cater's fine images of the event, some really fantastic photos from Steev Davidson and Gavin Mitchell are available on Flickr, I do recommend viewing them.
Oh.........you want the results do you???????
Well here they are.... Congratulations to the following.
|Senior Men's Champion
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