Hill Climb First Prize for Stewart "Hippy" Birnie

Stewart “Hippy” Birne has posted a win riding for CS Grupetto at the Hounslow and District Wheelers hill climb. Hipps says his time was “1:47 on a slightly shorter course than the other week”.

I’ve crapped the following full story has off his blog http://www.thehippy.net/nucleus/


Hounslow and District Wheelers HHC011 Hill Climb

1st place in 1:47.

Today’s weather wasn’t looking good and I almost stayed in bed. I’m glad I didn’t though. I usually do better in bad weather since all the actual fast people are all scaredy bed wetters. 😉

I finally left the house and rode 30k to Windsor Hill. At the top of the hill there were a few people milling around but I assumed the sign-on was at the bottom and rode down. Nope. Doh! So I had to ride back up to the top of the hill and sign-on. Extra warm-up for the win. I met mitre_tester from lfgss here and he pinned my number on. Cheers!

The course was maybe 100m shorter than the last time I rode it, starting after the bridge. This worked to my advantage since I had wasted time on the flat start last time spinning too fast. This time I would be geared higher and take off on the actual hill. It also meant the ride would be shorter, so it wouldn’t really start to hurt until half way up.

I was #12 and got the countdown from 30 seconds.. 5..4..3..2..1 off strongly (in a good gear this time so no faffing with changes). Around the first corner ok and now the breathing starts to get ragged. There’s some photographers on the right and I get out of the saddle and grind on for a bit further, getting a little wheel spin here since the roads were damp but nothing too serious. Back in the saddle and now the real misery is all systems go. I feel like I’m moving at 1kph, my legs are like wet bags of concrete and breathing is gasps. I get out of the saddle approaching the finish and think what a waste of time this was, coming back here only to finish so slowly.

I’m over the line and roll to a stop almost immediately, lying over the bars and gasping for air. I have an ice cream headache. I think the blood that was supposed to be going to my brain has been directed to my legs (no change there, some of you will think). I have the same wobbly legs as last time but I make an effort to get the bike moving again and slowly roll down the road a bit, drop the gears down and spin a bit before returning to the finish to be congratulated for a good ride. Really?! What time did I get? “1:47, the next guy is 15 seconds down on you”. “Wow”, I’m thinking to myself, that’s pretty odd since it felt like I was riding through treacle. “Not the record, that’s something like 1:32, but still a good ride”. Also met clubman from lfgss after the ride. Had to skip the cafe stop for some xmas shopping but a big thanks to the Hounslow Wheelers for running this.

The S-Works even got washed after the event and now has (almost) white bar tape again. This will probably be the last ride it does until well into next year so it’s only fair. It has served me well this year.

I’m pleased that these show bigger power numbers than the last attempt. Even if it didn’t feel like I’d worked as hard or was going as fast, power doesn’t lie (much). 🙂
Distance: 551m
Time: 1:47
1114W max
620W avg

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