Phew! What a weekend. I’m literally still recovering. Last Sunday’s hill climbs provided some of the best laughs I have ever had. So where to start with our Cupcakes to Catford adventure…
Squadron leader as ever, Charlie shepherds the support crew out from Look Mum with the obligatory pink already in evidence.
I’ve never done a hill climb before, so it seemed like an obvious idea to do two in one day, wearing a pink tutu, with as many of the girls as we could muster to show our support for Charlie and raise money for Breast Cancer Care.
Tom and Alice journeyed from Exeter suitably pinked up to show their support. Thanks guys.
With Charlie and co heading out from the cafe the ‘racers’ gathered at Elmers end
and pedalled out over a direct route that would include the 1:4 hill at Downe
and a couple of match sprints between myself and Henry to warm up the legs and
raise the levels of insanity. I discovered during the ride out that wings and a rucksack are not and ideal combo, but fortunately the tutu and leg warmers were genius additions to any winter cycling wardrobe, allowing for a free pedalling style at the hips and adding a little much needed warmth at the ankle.
Our cafe led squad arrives at Yorks. Charlie wears stylish Rapha. Helen wears one of the many pink items she selected from her own wardrobe.
Racers arrive at Yorks.
Louise was the first to go up Yorks Hill with an understated outfit with (shock-horror) no pink! As the morning wore on it became apparent that this omission was due to lack of intravenous caffeine and a rather long ride out from Richmond. The situation was remedied later for the BEC, so we forgive our ex-pro her seriousness. We acknowledge that Louise is still adjusting to the different code of conduct required from her in the amateur ranks. We know she is still developing as a Look Mum rider.
I was next to go and I think its fair to say that I kicked the fancy dress event off in style. Exactly what that style was saying its hard to tell.
The heavens had decreed that on Sunday 14th October something remarkable would happen in the hills of Kent. Angels would come down from the skies and devilment would take place.
Elise followed me up shortly afterwards with an equally impressive and unique outfit. Unique that is apart from the fact that upon cresting the summit she was greeted by a 5 year old who exclaimed with a big smile on her face “I’ve got that dress”! It was like one of those moments at a party where you realise there’s someone wearing the same dress who looks better than you do. Elise was gracious and motherly in defeat.
Siobhan was fourth to go and showed that she has just the right qualities to be a member of the look mum racing team. The pink was in evidence, the effort was tangible, and she somehow manages to display this look of focussed determination in the face of farce.
Last to go on Yorks was our pocket rocket Lydia. Always highly competitive and determined, I must admit that we had discussed the aerodynamic effects of the tutu. On balance (and without the assistance of wind tunnel testing) it was decided that our candidate was strong enough to wear the tutu and still go for glory. This discussion concluded with a two word phrase, the first rhyming with duck and the second very similar to tit.
Fortunately Lydia was on cracking form and posted a great time of 2mins 38.1 seconds, a time that would not be beaten by any other women.
With the first performance phase of our day complete, we were free to enjoy supporting the other riders and do our best to encourage more mischief.
Chief stalwart in this regard was Henry, a friend of Siobhans who frankly showed a
rather unusual willingness to don pink tights, vest and tutu, and er..bust his balls…up some stupidly hard climbs.
As a team, I think Look Mum were outstanding supporters, and I’m sure we reduced
the times by tangible amounts over the top of Yorks hill. As the energy amongst the camp built towards hysteria it became apparent that wearing pink allows you to do all sorts of things that you might otherwise consider absurd. Notice that at this stage we have been delving into Helens ‘sac ‘o pink’ and I am sporting a fetching scarf, whilst
Louise has finally been dragged kicking and screaming into a pink jersey.
As it turns out a tutu is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it not impede performance, but you can easily slip it off and slip it on an unsuspecting bystander. Here Sarah of Brixton makes the last minute performance decision to wear the tutu and still post a pretty respectable time.
50 Lydia Boylan 2.38.1 Look Mum No Hands!
65 Maryka Sennema 2.44.9 Kingston Wheelers
88 Deborah Percival 2.55.4 34 Nomads
90 Louise Moriarty 2.57.4 Look Mum No Hands!
93 Louise Fellingham 2.58.6 London Dynamo
103 Sarah Connell 3.07.2 Brixton Cycles
109 Joanne McRae 3.16.3 Look Mum No Hands!
110 Tamar Vanderhaas 3.17.4 Brighton Mitre
113 Louise Mason 3.22.1 Medway Velo
116 Elise Sherwell 3.25.1 Look Mum No Hands!
120 Siobhan McNamara 3.36.0 Look Mum No Hands!
128 Mercedes Tallo 4.32.8 Catford CC
129 Laura Morgan 5.05.9 Rollapaluza CC
(60 Henry Martin 2.43.1)
With the excitement of the first of our twin peaks over with, we started to head across to the second climb – the Bec, up old titsey hill near Tatsfield. Myself, Louise, Henry and Siobhan had time to head to the Crocodile café for a quick snack and coffee. This could not have come sooner for Louise whose mood had improved slightly since she pulled on the pink jersey, but was sure to lift further with another injection of caffeine.
I was the first to go on the Bec and frankly was over the actual racing bit at this stage and rather more looking forward to more spectating. However, I gave it what I had left from the morning (which wasn’t a lot) and naturally saved a bit for the top where the paps and crowds were out in force.
Siobhan followed me up shortly afterwards. See what I mean? Poker face.
Rejuvenated by coffee, Louise had refocussed for the Bec, not least because there were some really decent prizes on offer! Louise had a garmin in her sites, and combining caffeine with the power of pink posted a great time of 2.39.4
With most of us gathered by the roadside it was time for Lydia to have a go at doing
the double by taking her second victory of the day. As we screamed and whistled we could see Lydia honey badgering her way up the climb, and to add to the excitement she was catching her minute man Roy Instrall of Morden CRC. Moments later, the unthinkable happened….
Last of our motley crew to come up old titsey was our cross-dressing friend Henry, who having realised that the tutu and pink tights were a fabulous way to attract some
attention, decided to sport the horns this time too to finish off the outfit. Nice one Henry.
If you have never watched a hill climb before, I highly recommend it. There is something special about watching people die on their arse over the top of a climb, and as a rider the crowds really draw you out at the top. I don’t know who you are but this was my favourite race face.
As the mens record tumbled and we got towards the sharp end of the field it became apparent that Lydia had done the double. Quite literally – Twin Peaks. Brilliant.
Congratulations too go to Louise who gave us a flavour of what she can do on the second climb, provided she has been fed and watered appropriately.
Thanks also to Siobhan and Elise for their brilliant efforts, and especially to Siobhan who had come over from Ireland for the event.
46 Lydia Boylan 02.33.3 Look Mum No Hands!
59 Louise Moriarty 02.39.4 Look Mum No Hands!
62 Deborah Percival 02.43.6 34 Nomads CC
68 Maryka Sennema 02.45.5 Kingston Wheelers CC
76 Bronwen Ewing 02.59.1 PM Racing
78 Louise Fellingham 02.59.5 London Dynamo
79 Siobhan McNamara 03.05.9 Look Mum No Hands!
82 Joanne McRae 03.14.1 Look Mum No Hands!
(53 Henry Martin 02.37.1)
All that remains to be said is a big thanks to all the organisers of the Catford and Bec Hill climbs for putting on fantastic events and accommodating and supporting our fancy dress antics.
Thanks also to all the women who turned out either to support or compete showing that we deserve a decent prize list and can add enormous value to these already well-established events.
Thanks to Sam from Look Mum for organising breakfast for our early risers.
Thanks to Wayne Peach for designing our amazing cupcakes to Catford logo
Thanks to Linda Gray for putting the horns and tail into my costume.
Thanks to all who have donated at our money giving page (see below if you would still like to donate)
And finally thanks especially to Charlie for coming out to support us in supporting her, for putting our cycling team together in the first place, and for being such an inspiration to everyone.
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