In pictures: Hell Climb

A fixed gear romp up a classic Bristol climb

by timwilkey   October 15, 2012  

Earlier in the year myself & the other 2 Hamilton Wheelers resurrected a fixed gear event last held in 2010 - the Tunnel Sprints, held on the Bristol-Bath cycle path late on a Saturday night. We had an unexpectedly large turnout to the night which spurred us on to holding another event, once again bringing back an event that hasn't seen the light of day for a couple of years, a hill climb up the Highridge side of Dundry near Bristol. The event was the fixed gear/singlespeed Hell Climb. Hell because it's one hell of a hill, and because it ties in nicely with Halloween, which is conveniently placed right in the middle of hill climb season.

With online pre-entries open 4 weeks before the event, we really had no idea how many people would enter a race where you chose to ride up a 1.5 mile 6% climb in potentially bad weather. By the morning of the race we had gotten 50 entries, and we had also been blessed with the best weather in days.

Riders were set off at 1 minute intervals at 2pm, 47 riders rode in total, with the youngest being just 10 years old. The trickiest corner on the course had the added novelty of having cyclocross style dollar 'hand-ups' being available to those brave enough to let go of the bars & grab one, they exchanged these at the top of the hill for a number of goodies.

Shortly after 3pm we had crowned 3 new Hell Climb champions - winner of the 'Pro' category was Paul Jones, with Dan Alford winning the 'bros' category & Lucy Walker taking home the girls' crown. It's surprising how many people will push themselves to their limits for over 5 minutes all in the name of fun. The 3 of us Hamilton Wheelers are overwhelmed by the turn out on the day & we'd like to say a massive thanks to all the riders and our sponsors Boston Tea Party, Avon Valley Cyclery, Antic Apparel and for making it such a great event.


9 user comments

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Hipsters love getting photographed!

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [306 posts]
16th October 2012 - 2:02


Doesn't everybody?

Denzil Dexter's picture

posted by Denzil Dexter [141 posts]
16th October 2012 - 10:03


Are hipsters wearing Lycra now?

Hope not or people are going to start confusing them with us MAMILs Crying

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [153 posts]
16th October 2012 - 10:07


i know that hill ... ouch Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [922 posts]
16th October 2012 - 10:21

1 Like

i was wearing lycra. i'm not really a hipster, more of an ageing and slightly sad 36 year old with a nasty habit of riding fixed wheel bikes uphill.I was looking for a new technical gilet but the denim number above has put an end to my search.

this event came out of the incredibly strong bike community in bristol and was organised brilliantly by Tim, Ed and Christian, all of whom ride competitively for one of the country's oldest and best cycling clubs.

for info, i went up in 5.41, which is 30 seconds up on the strava KOM time, but i don't use strava so that's neither here nor there. and i took a dollar hand up. I am loving my new socks.

write up here:

posted by pj [149 posts]
16th October 2012 - 13:10


"we had gotten 50 entries" - AAAGGGHHHH

PLEASE use English. "We had 50 entries" or "We had received 50 entries"


posted by davebinks [136 posts]
19th October 2012 - 17:40


'Gotten' stems from Middle English. It has slipped out of use in the UK but remains in use in North America, along with some other archaisms. It has crept back into speech and writing over the past 30 years.

There's nothing wrong, linguistically, with the use of 'gotten', particularly in the more idiomatic and colloquial form of an online blog post where variations in formality and idiosyncratic expression tend to be a generic feature. Blog posts also tend to be 'blended mode' texts, occupying a semantic hinterland between spoken and written language.

It's entirely subjective that you don't like it. It's also linked to the common assumption that American English is somehow inferior to English English.

posted by pj [149 posts]
20th October 2012 - 8:31

1 Like

plus tim had just come back from brooklyn when he wrote it Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7854 posts]
20th October 2012 - 10:00


he'd gotten lazy over there, letting his speech drift into some kind of hipster brooklyn/bristol patois.

posted by pj [149 posts]
20th October 2012 - 15:44