Months ago I set myself the challenge of riding all the way up the massive hill to Triscombe Stone on the Quantocks before the Red Bull, in two weeks time (aaargh!). Thankfully nobody managed it at last week’s BMW - that would have been truly depressing - and I returned to have another go today.
I originally said I’d do it on the 29er, but I think I’m coming round to the belief that 29er-ing it just isn’t possible for mortals like myself. This time it was on the 24" muni that I approached the bottom of the hill, fully fuelled up on jelly babies and ready to go.
Alas, closer, but still no cigar. The hill rises 140 metres from 180m ASL to 320m; I made it to 278m, almost three quarters of the way up. Unfortunately I had to stop because some schmuck in a Range Rover coming downwards evidently thought that I’d really enjoy a break and so completely blocked the track. I apologise for the bad image I may have given unicyclists in general because I really wasn’t in the mood to humour his missing-a-wheel line after getting that far.
Admittedly my lungs and legs were close to destroying half of Somerset in a massive and messy explosion, so I’d probably only have made another few metres upwards anyway, but it’s the principle of the thing that matters.
The curious thing is that looking at all the GPS tracks I have of the hill, the quickest time I’ve done it was actually when I walked most of it with Paul. It seems that riding a little bit then walking the rest is faster than riding the lot with a stationary break in the middle. Not by much, admittedly, but maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere…
A brave attempt, Phil!
I’m thinking you need a back-up team though. I mean, Sir Edmund Hillary had Sherpa Tensing to ensure Range Rovers weren’t poorly parked in between base camp and the summit.
I’d do it like a shot, only I live a long way away, and I’ve er, got um, things to do and stuff…
Seriously though, it sounds like you are very close to conquering your personal Everest. Keep us up to date!
If a hill ever gives me trouble, it just means that I’m going the wrong way. Down is more my style.
Music to climb hills by
I haven’t tried that hill again yet, but today I managed to conquer my Personal K2 (longer, but a bit easier than Everest…).
In the whole ride I attempted it three times; I didn’t make it the first time, got all the way up on the second go and just managed to claw my way up on the third go.
I’m puzzled… I would have thought I would have been less knackered the first time I did it; I wasn’t expecting to get anywhere near the top on the second attempt, and definitely not the third, but somehow I did. The only conclusion I can come to is that Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding out for a hero” is better for hill climbing than a random Sick Shift tune from Universe, and that if you’re listening to Jimmy Eat World you might as well go home because the hill is going to kick your arse. Hurrah for 80s power ballads and their gravity defeating properties!
A lot of it is probably mental… if you can ignore the fact that your legs are about to explode you can go on past the point where it becomes painful.
My arms ache now from waving them around like a loon. I may be unable to move tomorrow, but it was worth it…
Does this mean that you’re now so inspired you’ll get around to putting your BMW photos on the interweb?
Riding up that ‘Everest’ would be a truly remarkable feat, Phil!
If it’s the one I think it is, which Roger, Tue and I went up on the way back to the car park at BWM the other week. We rode for about 50 meters before deciding walking was far more sensible. Even walking it was a serious challenge to keep going to the top, and required an innordinate amount of fresh air to be extracted from the vicinity.
Some day you shall do it though.
Maybe we should have a compilation of music tracks which have gravity-defiying themes…
Disclaimer: Musical styles may vary, and not always be condusive to uphill riding.
Lenny Kravitz, Fly Away
Lighthouse Family, Lifted (or High)
Whoever sang ‘Movin’ on up’
Led Zeplin, Stairway to Heaven
Aled Jones, You Lift Me Up (or Walking in the Air)
Foo Fighters, Learn To Fly
Frank Sinatra, Fly Me To The Moon…
Indeed. In fact I was so inspired that I travelled back in time and did it last weekend. Sorry for any temporal confusion caused.
I haven’t seen any other photos or this fabled video of the Saturday ride, though… prod
I had U2 “Vertigo” on in the car on the way back. Associated with climbing it may be, but not quite as inspirational as the others…