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 road.cc for making it such a great event.