Kentish Killer 15 Feb 2015 - For the first of the Spring Classics, the Chequers Racers Elite Men’s Outdoor Uphill “A” squad decided on a tactical split to best tackle both the long course and the longer course – I was one of the three appointed to tackle the long course.
For various reasons (ok because of my other life as a rawk legend) I wanted an early start so found myself in the second start wave at 8.20 on a raw grey misty morning at Brands Hatch. Thankfully, no rain or wind, and certainly not as cold as recently, so no danger of ice.
The route is certainly testing, with five and a half major climbs. All the favourites were present and correct – Carter Hill, Hubbards Hill, Ide Hill – plus the less visited Sundridge Hill (I’d forgotten about this one – a real doozy with gradients of 15-16%), the notorious Row Dow, which no-one knows how to pronounce (its Rohoo Dohooeee - Editor), and finally the little kicker at the end, the cutely named but horribly narrow and muddy, Tinker Pot Lane. Basically you go up and down the Greensand Ridge three times, and the North Downs twice! On a normal training ride, we’ll do maybe 1 hill and feel chuffed with ourselves – maybe time to up the ante, folks!
Some of the descents were pretty challenging too – Ightam Mote was very muddy, and the drop down Bayley’s Hill was more cyclo-cross than road cycling. In fact there seemed to more narrow, muddy, wet lanes than I remember – never my favourite surface!
Overall, though, the organisation is superb, with flag waving marshals at most junctions, clear signage, and a bucket of pasta at the end! Not sure if numbers were down this year, but I found myself in a 1 man peloton for much of the ride, though maybe it was the early start and me going so fast that no-one could catch me….maybe….
Not so much killed rather; water boarded, electrocuted, pumped, crushed, trounced, mullered, fecked...
by Des "the dart" McElroy