Hill Climbs are an offshoot of time trialling, and similar only in the fact that the goal is to go as fast as you possibly can. Where they differ is that they take part on uphill slopes of various devilish designs. There are short steep ones, long steady ones, and the worst…long steep ones.
The biggest key factor of success in hillclimbing is a very high power to weight ratio…something that isn’t always obvious to spot looking at a rider, but as much as anything its about fitness and mental fortitude. Some of the most powerful riders can’t squeeze out the effort needed to give everything to the hill.
It’s a very competitive side to the sport, but like most facets of cycling, at a local level there are plenty of people just out to test themselves against a hill, without a worry about where they finish in the results.
The hillclimb season is a short one, and runs at the end of the road/TT season usually in September/October.
We are lucky (although some would argue unlucky) to live in a hill peppered with challenging climbs. The ridge on which Bolsover sits overlooks some beautiful countryside and gives enough of a challenge that we run two annual competitions on the hills that snake up towards it. The climb to Ault Hucknall was actually the location for the 1988 National hillclimb championships.
Head a little westwards and you’re into the Peak District, and you can’t possibly avoid the hills out that direction.
This does means that we have plenty of local hillclimbs to choose from when the season comes around, and there are plenty of riders in B&DCC that have a strong inclination towards suffering in these events.
The pinnacle of all the events is the Monsal Head hillclimb, promoted annually by Sheffrec CC and hosts 200 riders on a closed road, including numerous B&DCC riders
You can see the upcoming events for our CTT region (North Midlands) via the CTT website (You need to add a couple of filters , district = North Midlands & distance = hill climb)
B&DCC promote two annual “open” hill climb competitions each year
Hardwick Hill Climb
Taking in the 482m long hill from Hardwick Inn, up to the beautiful Hardwick Hall with an average gradient of 9%, this event is a real spectacle for several reasons.
It’s held on a closed road (normally the park exit road), it’s usually lined with hundreds of spectators, and the most interesting thing is that its run at night under the illumination of a series of portable floodlights.
This creates a real spectacle, and an atmosphere that is unique across the UK.
You can find out more about the Hardwick Hill Climb on Facebook.
Carr Lane Hill Climb
Carr lane climbs from the Stockley trail crossing up to the village of Palterton. It’s three times as long as the Hardwick Hill Climb, but with an average gradient of 7% and only 45m more ascent, it’s a very different challenge.
You can find out more about the Carr Lane Hill Climb on Facebook.
We like to chronicle the club records for each of the local hill climbs, as the courses are measured, and the same year on year.
We will be maintaining lists of current course records on this site soon.
As an offshoot of time trialling, the Hillclimb participation and promotion in the club are driven by the same team. Mark Bridgman-Smith is our TT Secretary and we have a current vacancy for TT Captains.