Saturday, 29 October 2011

Final Race

So tomorrow it's the national hill climb. It is a race that i have been looking forward to for a year. My HC season has had it's ups and downs. I have tried riding fixed but haven't got the gearing right yet but next year i will have more experience. Then i picked up a cold and had to miss a weekend of racing. So last week i did 2 hc and was about 10seconds of last years pace so i hope that my cold hasn't put me back to much. My aim for tomorrow is to make the top fifty but i think it will be tough but i am going into it with nothing to lose.

Monday, 17 October 2011

My first DNS

After last weeks 3 hill climbs i am afraid i picked up a cold this week. I had hoped that i would of got rid of it by sunday but unfortunately it was not to be. When i get ill at this time of year it normally takes me 3 to 4 weeks to fully recover so it doesn't look good for the nationals but i am trying not to get to down about it yet. As October is the month that i have been waiting for it couldn't have come at a worse time. It happened last year just before the nationals as well. I think looking back there are a few thinks that i have learnt about may body.

1. No more than 2 hill climbs in a weekend.
2. Need to start my hc season later as my body can not cope with more than 5 weekends of racing before it breaks down.
3. Need to stay warm at all time's
4. Don't worry about not entering certain hc even if you feel you are letting people down.

so fingers crossed i can get rid of it this week.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Gone into the red once to often

It would seem that at about this time of year i start to get ill. I thought it was just because of the drop in temperature but i think it is more to do with the fact that my body just can not cope with the high demands of the hc season. I have done 9 hill climbs so far this year over a 6 week period and i think that is about my limit before my body starts to break down.

I hope that after maybe missing this weekends racing i might just shift it before the final 2 weekends of the season so at least i can put in some sort of performance at the nationals. i really wanted to race this weekend but looking at it long term i think i might have to dns.


Next year i will have to have a close look at my race calendar and i might have to miss event's that i enjoy so as not to get ill. One thing that i will not be doing is doing more than two hill climbs in one weekend and will start my season later.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Monsal Head

I wanted to get one hill climb in this year that had a large crowd and was one of the biggest field's in the country so i opted for the Sheffrec CC run event which takes place on Monsal Head in Derbyshire. It is run on a closed road so the spectators have full run of the course. I got there early so as i could have a look at the climb. I rode up it on the fixie and the start was fairly flat but thought that it wouldn't hinder me to much and i would make the time back and more on the climb itself.
trying to give it sum

I was there nearly 3 hours before my start time so the boredom started to set in. We had to park in a farmers field so the rollers were going to be a problem for warming up, then it would be a walk across the field in the cycling shoes to get to the start which is never good whilst dodging the cow dung.

I wasn't feeling to good after the previous days 2 hill climbs but thought i would still do ok. I had hoped for a time in the low 1:40s. I could hear the crowd cheering every rider up as the commentator did his best to give some info about each rider. As i was off 109 i would no prity soon just how well i had done.

I felt ok on the start line but as soon as i had set off i knew the fixie wasn't the right way to go for me. I could only get up to about 30kph and the big boyes would have been pushing 40. Then as soon as i hit the climb my legs just died on me until the final 80 meters as the crowd encouragement pushed me on to pick the speed up and finish ok. On crossing the line i knew that my time was poor as it took me all of about 20seconds to get my breath back. I did a 1:54 which was very poor. The winner Gunnar Gronlund won in 1:26. I finished in 49th place.

Top 4
1. Gunnar Gronlund 1:26
2. Chris Metcalf 1:27
3. Lee Baldwin 1:27.9
4. Matt Clinton 1.29.9

This climb is ideal for fixed if you can push a big enough gear for the flat section and keep it going on the climb. For me i just don't have the power so if i do it again it will have to be geared.

A Good But Hard Weekend

So my second year running the Granville Sydney Memorial open hill climb. This is a classic climb and has been won by some of the greats of the sport. It's first winner was Graham Sydney a profilific hill climber of his day and brother of Granville so a fitting tribute who just happened to be our special guest on the day.

Trying to run an event is very stressful especially when you are also trying to compete. We had 41 entries for the open event which is a good number for a hill climb and 2 past winner were on the start sheet, Matt Clinton and James Dobbin. After the morning's event and not warming down after i wasn't expecting big things from my own performance but did have enough time for a warm up as i was going of near the end at number 39. Matt Clinton was off number 40 so i had hoped that this would spure me on a little. The weather had warmed up a touch from the morning and the rain had stopped so as i made my way to the start line i felt ok. I was riding fixed for the first time on this climb so i would see if i had got the gear right. The legs didn't feel to good and on the second 3rd of the climb i was struggling to keep the pedals turning. The encouragement on the climb was great and on the push for the line the crowd made all the differance. Until the last quater i had forgoten that Matt was chasing me until i herd the crowd shouting for him. I pushed as hard as i could as i didn't want to get caught.
Pushing for the line
On finishing i caught my breath as Matt crossed the line. I stopped my computer to save my data but didn't look at the clock as i knew it wasn't a good time as matt was closer to me than i had wanted. So i turned round and made my way back don the climb whilst thanking people for their surport. Matt caught me up and said that he thought i had gone under 5mins which is a good standard on this climb. Matt had done a 4:17 which is a very good time and would be the fastest of the day.

So my time was 4:59.8 which is my second fastest on this course but 11 seconds short of my best but as matt had gone about 11 seconds slower than his best which he did on the same day i surpose i shouldn't be to unhappy.

I hadn't got the gear right and on the few times i have used the fixed bike i now know where i have gone wrong but it will have to wait another 12 month's before i can put this right.

Matt on his way to the win

Andrew Askwith 1st Vet

Shaun Crowther all the way from Jersey


I short video taken about half way up the climb

MCipollini. Tutta la Verità - The whole Truth - 2011 - HD

Tuesday, 11 October 2011



A big thanks to everyone who came out to support the event as either a competitor, Marshall or spectator. Tried to thank everyone but i missed a few people. Top day and the weather wasn't to bad.


British Schools Cycling Association Event

Under 15s
1st David Pullan Abbey Grange 6:17.7
2nd Lewis Hirst Castle Hill Acad 7.22.9
3rd Joseph Parker Priesthorpe Sc 10:07.5
Over 15s
1st Jack Duffy Appleton Grange 5:33.1
2nd Connor Palliser Immanuel Colleg 6:54.3

Open Event
1st Matt Clinton Mike Vaughan Cycles 4:17.2
2nd Dan Evans Rhos on Sea CC 4:35.7
3rd Joshua Ferguson RT 4:49.3 1st Junior
4th Mark Tickle Leigh Premier 4:52.2
5th Josh Teasdale Team Jewson UK 4:53.8
6th Sam Ward Otley Cc 4:59.7
7th Andy Pearson HSW 4:59.8
8th Andrew Askwith Bridlington Cc 5:03.4 1st Vet
9th Pete Barusevicus VC Bradford 5:05.8
10th Jason Fossey HSW 5:06.6
11th Mark Flynn Oldham Century 5:12.2
12th Craig Gath York Cycleworks 5:14.3
13th Paul Smith HSW 5:17.7
14th Richard Anderson VS Cycles 5:24.7
15th Mick Silversides HSW 5:25.2
16th Ivan Boyes HSW 5:26.2
17th David Thompson Scarborough Paragon CC 5:27.4
18th Tom Broadbent HSW 5:32.7
19th Andy Moore Lincoln Whweelers 5:39.8
20th Paul Brierley Huddersfield RC 5:41.2
21th Carl Mustill Ferryhill Wheelers Mountain RT 5:43.7
22nd Richard Facey HSW 5:53.5
23rd Ian Shapiro Stockport Clarion 5:56.2
24th Craig Melia Clifton cc 5:56.7
25th Will Boyes HSW 5:58.3
26th Nathan Veall Clifton CC 6:00.2
27th Joshua Ruddiman HSW 6:06.1
28th Kath Farquhar Holme Valley Wheelers 6:29 1st Lady
29th Shaun Crowther Caesarean CC 6:32.7
30th James George HSW 6:36.4
31st Greystone Small Bridlington CC 6:37.7
32nd Thomas Askew Ashley Touring Club 6:39.3
33rd Andrew Farquhar Holme Valley Wheelers 6:47.5
34th Jon Newsome Rhos on Sea CC 7:23.5
35th Chris Coulter HSW 7:24
36th Lucy Farquhar Holme Valley Wheelers 7:24.3
37th Alan Jones Yorkshire Road Club 7:30.7
38th Jonathan Poole Ashley Touring Club 7:35.2
James Dobbin DNS Apols
Chris Edmondson DNS Apols
Victoria Annis DNS Apols

Big thanks goes to time keepers Dave Lindsay and Richard Haigh and clark Christine Tiffany. But big thanks goes to the HSW Legend Graham Sydney for presenting the prizes.
A good event was had by all and some HSW popped there Cherry's. Looking forward to seeing you all back next year.

Thanks Andy Pearson

Monday, 10 October 2011

Holme Valley Wheelers HC Holme Moss

Saturday saw me wake up to a cold and miserable day. A stark contrast to the 29 degrees of the previous week but i suppose this is proper hill climbing weather. This is the first time i have done this event as i normally try to save my energy for our own event in the afternoon but this year i am trying to support the local event's. The weather seemed to get even worse the closer we got to Holme and the mist was covering the top of the climb. This year they moved the start time back an hour to 11am to make it closer to the HSW event and also to try and stop the fog and mist problems they some times get from a 10am start time. It is the coldest i have been warming up this year and from what people were saying the wind was going to be a challenge on the climb. Holme Moss is not i climb i enjoy climbing as it always seems to suffer from bad winds. Even climbing it 20 times in the summer has not made me like it any better.

After warming up i decided to wear arm warmers and full finger gloves as i don't like the cold much. The first 200 meters were sheltered from the wind and you seemed to be flying but then just as you got out of sight of the start the wind hit. I would normally do i climb like this in the 39x21 but i just couldn't get the cadence high so dropped down into the 39x23. The wind didn't let up until about 150m from the car park at the top but then over the top it was a strong head wind which meant sprinting for the line wasn't going to help much. I felt i finished ok but was probably a little over dressed on the climb as i overheated a bit but didn't want to get to cold on the decent. I finished with  a time of 8:21.4 for 7 place.

I didn't warm down as it started to rain and i also needed to get over and put the signs out for our own race in the afternoon. But a good turn out of 30 riders and a big thanks goes to Richard Haigh and all at Holme Valley Wheelers for making the event happen.


Well the last 2 weeks has been very stressful. I am not the most organised person at the best of times but whilst trying to get myself into some sort of shape for the hill climb season i also run Huddersfield Star Wheelers open hc which took place on saturday 8th october. A few entries went missing in the post which didn't help so i am very sorry for the people who maybe missed out on riding the event. I feel now that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders so i am looking forward to the next few weeks of racing.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Both myself and Paul "tall" Smith made the trip over to Otley to take part. There is just one thing to say about the day and that is that it was hot very hot. This is not the weather for trying to go up hills as fast as possible.

Stage 1 V8910 Guise Cliffe ( Pateley Bridge )

I got there in plenty of time as the numbers where being given out at the bottom of the climb. Park up about half a mile away and cycled to pick up my number. The ride to the so called base of the climb was hard enough in the heat. As i was doing my warm up Paul parked next to me. He is always late. I was off number 25 so got to the start just as number 18 was going of so had a little time to wait but with the heat you didn't cool down. I did this climb 2 years ago when it was cut short due to high winds so was unsure how i would go on the full climb. I rode it on the fixed and maybe that was a mistake as it felt like a struggle to turn the pedals. The climb is very step for just over 2 thirds of the climb before it goes into a false flat for the final third. My legs were shot after the step section and struggled to get the speed up.


1.Tejvan Pettingter Sri Chinmey Cycling Team 3.24.8

2 Matt Clinton Mike Vaughan Cycles 3:29.9

3 Gunnar Gronlund RST Racing Team - Trigon 3.30.7

11th Andrew Pearson HSW 4:09.5

15th Paul Smith 4:17.8

Once i had seen the results i new it had been a mistake to ride the fixed but its a learning year where the fixed is concerned.

Stage 2 V897 Norwood Edge

I had planned to ride both climbs on the fixed but after the mornings ride and with about 5 riders either in front or just behind me i chickened out and rode the race bike. The legs felt heavy after the first stage and i think my age is starting to catch up to me and the recovery between stages is not as good. Norwood edge is a climb that is ideal for fixed but as i had not been up and practised i just couldn't take the risk. The first 20seconds of the climb felt very good but then i just seemed to hit a wall. I got to half way and felt like death the heat was a big factor today. I just felt like i was over heating. Looking down at my average speed at the half way point i was way down on what i had done 2 years ago and i actually felt like just cruising the second half of the climb but i had forgot that it is the second half of the climb that is the fastest so the average speed started to increase and my morale picked up. It felt like i finished strong but only everyone Else's time would see if i was right.

The winner was Tejvan who was only 4seconds of the course record which has stood since 1994. The boy is flying this year.


1. Tejvan Pettinger 4:46.5
2. Gunnar Gronlund 4:59.1
3. Matt Clinton 5:02.7

6. Andrew Pearson 5:56.6
16. Paul Smith 6:21.7

so after seeing the results i think i made the right choice but could i have gone faster on the fixed who knows.


1. Tejvan Pettinger 8:11.5
2. Gunnar Gronlund 8:24.8
3. Matt Clinton 8:32.6

6. Andy Pearson 10.06.1
15. Paul Smith 10.34.5

So it was a tough day in the saddle but after my second ride i was fairly happy. It didn't make any difference to my overall position riding the fixed in the morning as the top five were head and shoulders better than me but luckily for me my second ride clawed back enough time to move up to 6th overall.

I big thanks must go out to Claire Jessop of Otley Cycling Club who put on a great event with a field of 51 which is a very big field for a yorkshire hill climb.