Kentish Killer 2011

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 by Tim Bell in Cycling Training around London, UK Cycling Sportives, UK Cyclo Sportives

Winter Training

I developed a real phobia about riding in cold, wet conditions last November. Having taken part in a rainy La Fuga ‘club run’ into the Surrey Hills without enough clothing, then got onto the wrong train while shivering uncontrollably, the final leg of my ride back home exposed some old knee problems and kept me off the bike for a month.

Picture of Tim riding the Kentish Killer

Use the Force

The physio told me I had a dominant right leg and needed to do some weights to stop riding around in circles, so I set about becoming a gym monkey for a while and it did the trick. When my friend Andy suggested we ride the Kentish Killer I was glad of the motivation for some winter training, and signed up along with 550 others. Registration closed too long before the event, which will be bigger next year. Training consisted mainly of post-work hill repeats in north London and longer weekend trips into Essex. After taking on the Etape 2010 in my first year on a road bike, I was aware you can’t cheat distance and was careful to build up endurance gradually – I didn’t want any more involuntary periods off the bike because of the wobbly knee.

Kentish Killer

All I knew about the KK was 74 miles and some hilly terrain, which sounded pretty appealing. Having agreed with Andy that we would skip it if rain was on the cards, the forecast was unpleasant but not quite sufficiently so. A little over half the registrants turned up for the rollout at Brands Hatch motor circuit, an easy place to reach with great facilities. Setting off in a group of about 20 cyclists I immediately took a wrong turn and rode about 2km along the short course before Andy got my attention. I think the organisers could have made this more obvious but nevertheless take (almost) full responsibility… sorry mate.

A picture of Tim and Andy riding the Kentish Killer 2011

Schleck and Contador go toe-to-toe

Having got back on the right route, I was looking forward to inspecting the Garden of England but the forecast of white cloud would more accurately have been freezing fog. Visibility was terrible and all I could pick out was the occasional eccentric house name (Knatt’s Landing?!) and the sinister eyeballs of various villagers. Suddenly Kentish Killer took on a whole new meaning. But I liked what little countryside I could see and the route suited me pretty well; a few short, sharp climbs and a distance that was just about in range. Nothing appeals to me more about these events than the waging of undeclared wars, and we found our unwitting antagonists in two members of the Norwich ABC. I’m not sure what it was about them, but they both seemed to ride angry – one Alan Partridge joke too many perhaps. Anyway it was with great pleasure that we discovered their times were well outside ours, despite Andy complaining of ‘brittle legs’ with about 1/3 of the distance to go. We were both just over 5hrs, and would probably have come in just under had I not gone the wrong way at the start. I’ll be back.

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