Of all the hill climbs planned this year Beeley Moor was the one I had given the least thought to. I needed a race to fill the gap to the national on the 25th. I think it is important to race as much as possible before big events, it seems to keep me sharp mentally and in the routine.
The hill is one I have never raced before. I liked it. The steep start shallows throughout giving a feeling of ever increasing momentum as you click up the gears.
The conditions were bleak. The HQ is positioned at the top of the hill which meant a chilly descent after warming up to the start. Fortunately this time I remembered the turbo skewer so could complete the planned warmup, although a little rushed. I descended after warmup layered up and stripped down at the start.
What struck me on arrival to the HQ and my descent down the hill to the start was how busy the road was. Not with cars especially but weekend warriors. It would be a problem.
The wrong plan perfectly executed
I had a plan of attack for the race. I had calculated using my race comparison app that the powerful standing position was advantageous over the more aero seated position up to 1.4km. After this point a mixture of seated and standing would be optimal followed by the final km in the saddle getting my head out of the way. What I hadn’t factored in was the head wind up the climb. I stood all the way into the headwind. I stubbornly stuck with it. It’s impossible to tell whether I could have raced this smarter in the saddle.
Making my way up the climb was eventful, I felt on it and powerful despite the wind nagging at me to sit down. I made my way up the hill side willing the cars to make decisive overtakes on the slower group rides taking in the Moorland scenery. In everyday riding I curse at cars taking rash overtaking decision however in a race my mind turns to impatience, I just want them out of my way. Without too much delay I ascended taking the primary position most of the way up to discourage the cars from overtaking me whilst I negotiated the traffic.
A clunky final km
With the main climb behind me I rounded the busiest point for spectators the final bend leading to a km drag to the finish. It was time to build the speed up I went for the big chainring. For the previous race, Mow Cop, I had removed the front derailleur cabling so had reinstalled this week for Beeley Moor. I was very pleased with my handy work as my front mech all week had been shifting with an ease that I don’t remember having ever had on my bikes. This was in part due to creating my own bottom bracket guide sleeve out of cable housing inner. In the moments of lactic acid accumulating at an unsustainable rate throughout my body including now my arms and hands I shifted from inner to outer ring ready for the big push to the finish. The shift went badly with nothing but a grate grate grate noise as the chain sat between chainrings. I shifted back and went for it again this time hardly pedalling, my momentum ebbed away to what felt like a stand still. Eventually it engaged and the speed built. Clicking U.K. The gears this time it was my rear derailleur that wanted to sabotage the watts slipping all the way to the finish.
My time 10:19 which I was sort of happy with. I had intended to go under 10 minutes but it was my first shot at Beeley Moor and I’ll be back.