London-based cycling events team Rollapaluza have carved out a cult following with their hugely popular roller-racing rigs, bringing bike racing into pubs, clubs, schools and just about any indoor space you can think of. With the Urban Hill Climb they’ve brought their party atmosphere and highly inclusive approach – that perfectly reflects cycling’s growing popularity across age and gender – to the grand old tradition of the British Hill climb time trials, which go right back to 1887(!)* and are the season closers for the road bike racing calendar. The location for the Urban Hill Climb was one of London’s steepest hills, Swain’s Lane in Highgate, and there was a packed schedule with racers in all categories from veteran (over 40) right down to 9 years of age, and even a special one for cargo bikes who had a payload of 2 beer casks to cope with on top of the gradient! Velopresso were stationed at the top of the hill in Highgate Village, providing pedal-ground Perky Blenders coffee to the hundreds of spectators over the afternoon’s racing and plenty of loud encouragement to the racers during their lung-busting efforts. It was also the first event that our newest team member – Hester the rescue dog – has attended. Shy as she is, she was as big a hit with the public as the great coffee Lasse was making on the trike.
*Fact: the Catford Cycling Club’s hill climb up York Hill in Kent is the oldest continuing bicycle race in the world