Wednesday, 16 May 2012


If all goes to plan on Friday, my first climb on Saturday morning will be Challacombe Hill in Woolacombe. Those of you who've been following this Blog from the beginning may remember that Challacombe Hill featured in a particular conversation mentioned here.

The National Hill Climb Championship on the last Sunday of October 1985 - nearly 27 years ago - was the last time I went anywhere near this hideous piece of tarmac. On Saturday morning I won't take a practice run, I won't 'recce' it in the car, I'll simply get to the start and ride. I hope to conquer a few tiny demons.

Even though it's not the steepest hill I've ever encountered, it's certainly been the 'hardest', although the main reason for that was my overexcited approach at the start - quickly followed by running out of talent before the halfway point! Mind you, Darryl Webster (one of the UK's most gifted and successful riders) retained his title that day and described it as 'horrible' and one of the hardest he's ever ridden. Actually, he said more than that but it's a family show here!

I dug out a couple of pics...

 Blown to pieces but not yet zig zagging across the road!

Not a pretty sight...this was in the centre pages of Cycling Weekly. 

Before t'internet, any kind of mention, photo or result in was like gold dust. Not quite what I had in mind!

Roll on Saturday morning, eh?

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