Britwell hill is a short 0.6 miles hill, averaging 9% and having 85 metre of height gain. It is 15% at the steepest, near the top. It has been used in local club hill climbs for quite a long time. It is a simple hill – going straight up the Chiltern ridge with no attempt at devising any kind of hairpin – it provides an imposing view as you approach from the village of Britwell.
The road surface is good and traffic is light. Though a big drawback is that the road is quite narrow at the bottom, in places it can be hard for a bike and car to squeeze past. I was able to do several intervals without any problems, but you might be unlucky.
A windmill near Britwell hill was apparently featured in the film ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ Maybe the car starts flying when making the descent of the hill. You can certainly get a good speed going down, though watch out for approaching cars on the narrow bit.
I rode out Tuesday to have a go at a few intervals. Irritatingly I got the theme tune to ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ in my head. As much as I admire any film with the lead character of Dick Van Dyke and a person called ‘Truly Scrumptious’, it’s not a theme song you particularly want going around in your head when you’re trying to do all out 2 minute intervals.
Fortunately, when you do an intense effort, everything gets blocked from the mind – even the most catchy song lyrics. That’s another bonus of hill climbs I’d never thought of before.
At the weekend I had enjoyed the short hill climbs, so I entered the first interval with great gusto, setting off at a fearsome pace and with the tremendous optimism of holding a sprint pace all the way to the top. The first minute was fantastic, but as the gradient got steeper, the initial burst of power was evaporating and leaving that sinking feeling of running out of steam – just as the gradient become remorselessly steeper. Hopefully, it was a good training effect. but also a reminder, that even 2 and a half minute climbs aren’t all out sprints, you can still badly pace short climbs. And there’s no prize for getting a one minute power pb in a real race.
I did the few hill quite a few times, with a short recovery in between. My legs were well worked over at the end. I rode the 15 miles back to Oxford at around 85 watts and was grateful for a tailwind pushing me home.
I haven’t done Cat and Bec hill climbs since about 2007, but part of me would like the challenge of having another go at these classic climbs. I’d like to have another go at the Rake sometime. They will never be my speciality, but it is possible in past I have carried a bit pessimistic attitude to short hill climbs. They certainly present an interesting challenge.
But, this weekend is Porlock a very different kind of hill 13 minutes + of nice 7% gradient. Looking forward to that.
- Distance 0.6miles
- Average gradient 9%
- Height gain – 85 metres
- Strava link
Lancaster CC hill Climb
Getting late to enter, but I promised I would mention the Lancaster CC double hill climb header at Jubilee Tower and Conder Bottom hill climb on Sun on Sept 28th. I’ve done Jubilee Tower hill climb quite a few times, but this year, that weekend I will be down south at Kingston Wheelers CC Leith Hill and Newbury R.C Westbury HIll.
28/09/2014. – for several years now we have had the open Hill climb on Jubilee towers but this year we have decided to include Conder bottoms climb as well. These are still classified as two separate events so you can still enter one or both at £6 each. The first event at 10 AM is Conder bottoms this is followed at midday with Jubilee towers. The event headquarters where you can socialise, have a drink and recover in between is the Bowling Green Pavilion halfway between the two start points. Official closing date for entries is next Tuesday (16th) but I’ll keep entries open until 6 PM on Saturday the 20th.