Some hill climbs boast a long and colourful history, some have gruelling gradients that are talked about in revered tone throughout clubrooms the length & breadth of the country, whilst others claim to have the richest prize list in the UK. Well, the Bec C C Hill Climb can claim to have all three of those, plus, and it’s a big plus, as it has probably the most enthusiastic hordes of spectators that will ever be found at any Hill Climb event including the Nationals if comments from past riders & spectators are anything to go by!
The The Bec CC Hill Climb event is ‘only’ 54 years old, the course might not be as challenging as some of the big northern climbs, but Gary Beckett and his organising team feel pretty confident in saying their event sets the bar for atmosphere.
The noise and enthusiasm that the spectators bring to the slopes of White Lane, near Limpsfield, Surrey is something to behold, and many competitors comeback year on year just to get the ‘buzz’ from the shouts of the spectators urging them onward and upward in their lung bursting efforts to record a good time when they cross the line.
The Bec CC are unashamedly proud of its reputation for organising a good event for the supporters, as well as riders, and its ability to draw a wonderfully enthusiastic crowd to witness the competitors efforts.
It’s been described as the ‘Carnival on the Climb’.
The big day
White Lane (known as Titsey to Bikies) , nr Limpsfield, Surrey .
Be there, make some noise, or better still ride the event. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
As well as info via the Bec Website, Garry Beckett the organiser can be contacted on 07802 898 259, or via email at Garrybeckett1@aol.com which obviously at this late stage would be the most efficient path to take.
This year, those very nice people at Tandridge District Council have once again granted the Bec CC a fully closed road for the event, and the Council’s Chairman, Councillor Glynis Whittle will be coming along to witness her first Hill Climb, as well as present the prizes.
The council have also very generously donated some cash to the event, and are informing local press and media in an attempt to help the event attract other interested parties other than just cyclists, whilst also trying to enhance the event for future years. Their valuable input is much appreciated.
PA system updates
The course will again have a very efficient PA system along its length to keep all the spectators informed, and the job of being on the Mic is being hotly fought over this year by the McCrossnan brothers Anthony & Martin, and virgin Hill Climb commentator and Cyclevox colleague of the brothers, Brian Smith.
Tea and cakes
The famous ‘Café du Bec’ tea stall, will once again be stacked with cakes, sandwiches, teas, coffees etc. to keep the hungry supporters (and riders) in fine fettle. Although this year the Marquee will be a little further down the hill (amongst the trees) instead of its more traditional finish line siting. This is mainly to try and free up some of the congestion of so many hungry and thirsty spectators blocking the views of the timekeepers who work hard to record an accurate time.
Organiser Garry Beckett has struggled to finance a fully cash prize list (which has been possible in previous years), mainly due to personal economic pressures, as has beset a lot of us! But with the generous help and support of several sponsors, the £2,220.00 prize list of past years is set to be enhanced to somewhere in the region of £2,500.00!
1st prize will again be a massive £1,000.00 – which is not bad for less than two minutes effort on a 700 yard course, and the team prize for (a bona fide, CTT registered) team of three will again be £900.00
Other prize categories; 2nd Cat, 3rd Cat, Junior, Veteran, Ladies, beating of event record and Lantern Rouge will be in product or equipment format. At this time, Gary can confirm prizes will definitely be no less than in previous years.
‘Big’ Dave, who runs Sharman Building, a Bec CC ex-bikie who takes on all forms of building work including high quality extensions and loft conversions. He is also a very gifted joiner so check his website out.
Ron Keeble, MD and owner of Gem Hygiene also now has a company called Gem Composites, which is importing and supplying high quality Carbon Wheels and components under the edge label which have been ridden by many top pro tour riders this year.
Grant Young, owner of Condor Cycles, London has very generously donated some equipment to the prize list. Visit the website to view all the goodies they have available.
As has Simon Mottram, MD and founder of Rapha (who are so much more than just a clothing company) by adding to the list of event benefactors.
Finally, for those of you who have never seen White Lane and wish to get a preview of the course, a short video of the organiser walking and (in between catching his breath!) describing the course can be found here. There is also a short YouTube video of the race from a couple of years back.
Once again the postal service has thrown a spanner in the works and delayed several entries. Some may well be languishing in a dark corner of a sorting office never to be seen again! So if you have entered and your name (or your clubmates) is not on the ‘received so far’ list on the Bec Website, it means the organiser has NOT yet received it SO PLEASE CHECK, to avoid any disappointments.
Also if your entry is sent by the ‘Registered or signed for’ services, please remember that Gary has a day job too and may well not be able to collect from the sorting office due to time constraints and the limited opening hours of the local branch.