Speed up the Olympic climb and win

Think you're quick uphill? The folks at informal competition site Strava are inviting you to prove it by zooming up Box Hill as fast as you can  - or, if sheer volume of suffering floats your boat, as many times as you can.

Strava's Box Hill Beat the Best Challenge runs from July 21 to August 4 and will reward the three fastest men and women up the iconic Surrey climb, plus the three men and three women who make the most attempts at the ascent.

With an average grade of 5 percent, Box Hill is 1.6 miles long and gains 411ft. The Olympic men's road race will climb it nine times, the women's twice.

To get on the Box Hill Challenge, get yourself over to Strava.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.