Friday, 11 January 2013

Crossing the finish line

And so on the last day of 2012, on the way back to London to celebrate the New Year, we pulled into the Lincoln to ride the last of the 100 Climbs: Michaelgate.

A cobbled climb, and famed for its inclusion of the UK's hardest 1-day race the Lincoln GP (where the race climbs the hill 13 leg-breaking times), I had semi-engineered the plan so that I could finish on a hill climb somewhere near civilisation - as opposed to a rugged hilltop in the middle of nowhere...

As we rolled into a carpark by the castle at 3pm on 31st December, there was a palpable air of weariness as shoppers milled around looking for bargains in the leftovers of the Boxing Day sales. It hardly felt like the build-up to a big NYE party, so it's probably just as well that this was a fly-by visit.

After a quick slalom descent through the shoppers, I turned the bike round and rode back up again. One thing that's for certain over this past year is that riding over cobbles has not gotten any easier, although at least on my CX bike there was a bit more traction and shock absorption along the way.
Climbing Michaelgate

Weaving through the shoppers
The Finish Line! Appropriately on 'Steep Hill' Road...
With that, the challenge was completed. 100 Climbs for 2012 was over, and definitely time to crack open the champers.

*Time for the 'little black dress' Oscar ceremony speech*

A quick check of the stats shows that it took just over 3,500km of riding, and 200,000 feet of climbing to get to this point. And more importantly, the fundraising totaliser shows nearly £1,200 raised for Sue Ryder care and specifically the Manorlands Hopice - so a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this cause on my behalf. Thanks, also to Selene, my parents, grandparents and everyone who put me up over the course of the year: couldn't have done it without you! Finally a big thank you to all who've ridden with me over the year, and put up with unnecessarily undulating courses, some of the 'suspect' road surfaces and route choices, the miserable British weather (especially this summer), and my tendency to sprint for signposts/the top of hills without warning!

Right, now where's that second 100 Climbs book got to?

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