I ask a fellow competitor for the time, and panic at his reply. “Ten past three? Are you sure about that?”
“Yeah, look at my watch. See? Ah no, sorry. It’s twenty to two. I can’t read the display properly.” Thank Christ for that. I’m due to start at two fifty-four!
“I first did the Catford CC Hill Climb last year, and finished 18th with a time of 2.14.7. I didn’t think I had a hope of getting close to that this year. As September came round, I was feeling sluggish, and a few pounds heavier. I had to prove to myself that I could still get up hills quickly. So I did some training. Just going to the Surrey Hills, and finding every steep climb I could to go up and down. Then up again.
The Seasons of an Amateur Racing Cyclist: Winter is determination against the elements; pounding out the miles with visions of glory under sunnier skies flashing through the mind; mudguards; opting for the full english at the café stop. Spring is filled with the buzz of enthusiasm for the new found racing season; the lengthening days, racing one week in short sleeves, the next under a deluge of freezing rain; the emergence of peak condition.