Cycling Uphill for the Axe Valley Team

PUBLISHED: 09:36 15 November 2020 | UPDATED: 09:36 15 November 2020

Richard Gorst Taking on Some Brutal Hills

Richard Gorst Taking on Some Brutal Hills


Axe Valley Pedallers are ending this year with some punishing hill-climbing events, and first off was Richard Gorst, who managed selection for the National Hill Climbing Championships, held this year at Streatley Hill in Berkshire.

Taking on the Dartmoor DevilTaking on the Dartmoor Devil

The course was short and sharp over a distance of 0.8 kilometre with an average grade of over 13%. This is a prestigious event and Gorst was pleased to be selected after a number of other successful hill climb results and, out of a limited entry of nearly 500 elite cyclists, he produced a storming 55th place result.

Gorst then organised the club’s first ever local hill climb championship with three separate rides over three weeks, using Seaton Down Hill, Colcombe Castle Hill, Colyton and finally Sector Lane, Axminster. Final results saw first places going to men’s seniors Jimmy Richards, women’s seniors Sue Hodgetts, veterans Neil Miller, senior veterans Lawrie Poole. Well done to all participants and to Colyford Filling Station Cycle shop and cafe for giving prizes to category winners.

The vast majority of events during this year, including sportives, charity rides etc were cancelled, but six Axe Valley members took themselves over to Dartmoor on a typical wet day in late October and completed the route of the Dartmoor Devil, a normally very challenging annual event ride only for the fittest. This included some brutal climbs, as well as wonderful scenery over a total distance of around 70 miles.

Also during the year, there have been a number of mountain biking events and also time trials with David Gray producing some notable ride times.

Despite the lockdown and the restriction of maximum of six riders together, the club has managed to maintain its “inclusiveness” policy by having rides for the Friday Flyers, the Wednesday Wibblers, the Monday Mavericks, the evening Glow Worms, the Coffee Club, the evening Chain Gang, and a monthly ladies ride.

Regrettably, the normal club monthly Sunday rides didn’t take place due to restrictions, when as many as twenty-five riders would head out for a good leisurely event.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Midweek Herald