Hill climbs are usually the most innocuous of cycling events as riders toil up one by one at - even for the best riders - uncontroversially low speeds. But that didn't stop a farmer from getting irate at the Mercia Cycling Club hill climb on Sunday and trying to disrupt the event by driving a tractor up and down the course.
On its Facebook page, the club said: "Unfortunately a local mad, angry farmer and his tractor intervened immediately following the event, swearing profusely and reversing said tractor up and down the course."
On the afternoon of the race, the club's Twitter account showed the rather large tractor on the course:
— Mercia Cycling Club (@Mercia_CC) October 19, 2014
The 23-rider hill climb on Woodruffes Cliff, Marchington was not affected but club officials thought better of trying to mix the planned freewheel contest with an angry man on a tractor and cancelled it.
They added: "Hopefully he will be locked up before 2015 Hillclimb."
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.