On Sunday (13th October), Adam and I ventured over to Yorks Hill near Sevenoaks to watch the 124th running of the annual Catford CC Hill Climb. While not the longest, it is the oldest continuing hill climb competition in the country and therefore has a prestige associated with it for hill climb aficionados.
The climb itself starts at Yorks Hill Farm and extends for 0.4 of a mile at an average of 12.4%, but that really doesn’t tell the whole story. The climb is a narrow, tree covered affair with steep banks either side of the road. Rain washes debris into the road and leaves can cover a multitude of watt-sapping imperfections in the road surface. The members from Catford CC did a great job of clearing the road the day before and, thankfully, the rain looked like it would stay away.
To give an additional idea of how difficult this ride is, the course record of 1:47.6 has stood since 1983, over 35 years!
Nearly 150 riders attempted the climb on Sunday and we cheered every single one of them on to the top. Young, old, male, female – they all made it up this brute with many going on to compete in the Bec Hill Climb that afternoon! Nutters! Enjoy the slideshow!
The overall competition was won by Calum Brown in a time of 1:49.0, the closest we’ve seen to the course record for those 35+ years. A great ride and fully deserving of the title.
Bill Bell was the fastest male veteran, Amy Marks was the fastest female senior, Alice Gilmore the fastest female junior and Theo Tadros the fastest male junior.
The greatest thing for me was still to come, Cycling Weekly picked up my pictures on Twitter and used them in one of their online articles. I was pretty stoked about that!
It’s a great event, plenty of people on the hill to cheer the riders on and a special mention for the guy on the PA who kept us laughing throughout