One year, one hundred climbs. 76 down, 24 to go. The end is in sight…

I’m now more than three quarters of the way through my attempt to climb 100 iconic hills, bergs, kops and mountains on my bike in 2017.  It’s been amazing fun so far, and I’ve ridden a huge variety of different types of hill and mountain with some great people.  The hardest?  Well it took me six tries to get up Bristol’s Vale Street, the steepest residential road in the UK – but I was on a station hire bike and my leather shoes kept slipping off the pedals.  I guess Corkscrew Hill outside Manchester should also qualify.  Wet and roughly cobbled, none of our group made it more than a couple of metres up the 45 degree slope before falling off.  It is not included in the honour roll below.  As a region, I found that the hills of the Lake District were both consistently brutal, and the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  I can’t believe I made it to my mid 40s without ever properly visiting this area of the UK – go!

By now you probably know why I’m doing these climbs.  Unbelievably, after only six months, Cascaid has already raised over £1.37 million for Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and has doubled its target to £2 million for 2017.  This now seems very achievable.  You can read about some of these efforts and the work of CASCAID and Cancer Research UK on the link below.  I’m especially blown away by former M&G marketing guru Anne-Marie McConnon and team’s effort to row the Irish Sea from Wales to Dublin, which they did in heavy seas a couple of weeks ago.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that even £2 million doesn’t go far – research is incredibly expensive.  But survival rates from cancer have doubled from the 1970s, and Cancer Research UK is targeting a 75% survival rate by 2034, in particular by trying to improve the chances of those with pancreatic and lung cancer where the outlook is currently poor.  Just two weeks ago CRUK announced the results of a large scale trial in prostate cancer, which showed a 37% improvement in survival rates.  The money that you have kindly donated so far will make a difference.

http://www.cascaidcharity.com/

Cascaid’s fundraising page is now the most successful ever on the Virgin Giving platform, earning a “thumbs up” from Richard Branson himself last week.  My fundraising page is linked below.  Many thanks to all of you who have already donated.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=JimLeaviss&faId=772830&isTeam=false

I promised that if I raised an extra £500 then I’d shave my legs.  You donated, and I am now silky smooth.  I thought it might help me to a PB on Dark Hill in Richmond Park this weekend, but it turns out the aero impact is not as significant as I had hoped.  Silky though.

A few thank yous.  So as a reminder, I’m cycling up famous climbs featured mainly in Simon Warren’s excellent series of books called things like “100 Greatest Cycling Climbs” and “Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs”.  Simon has very kindly helped me to plan some routes.  The books are ace, buy them!  Thanks to everybody who has ridden with me so far this year – I’ll do a full rollcall when I’m finished, but the company has been invaluable.  Thanks also to Will Masi at Nuffield gym, and Athlete Lab at Monument for getting me in a state to get up the hills. Finally thanks to my family for support car services, and for tolerating me disappearing for a morning or two when on holiday.  I promise it was coincidence that our trip to Bruges took place at the same time as Paris-Roubaix.

You’ll find the evidence of climbs on my Strava feed, and here’s a link to a ride I did in the Lake District, seen as a flyby on the brilliant Relive website.

Here’s the list of all the climbs that I’ve done so far:

  1. Swain’s Lane, London
  2. Muswell Hill, London
  3. College Road, London
  4. Chinnor Hill, Chilterns
  5. Kop Hill, Chilterns
  6. Whiteleaf, Chilterns
  7. Kingston Hill, Chilterns
  8. The Peak, Hong Kong
  9. Mount Austin, Hong Kong
  10. Mount Butler, Hong Kong
  11. Deepwater Bay Road, Hong Kong
  12. Mount Davis, Hong Kong
  13. Combe Lane, Surrey
  14. White Down Lane, Surrey
  15. Box Hill, Surrey
  16. Barhatch Lane, Surrey
  17. Leith Hill, Surrey
  18. Coldharbour Lane, Surrey
  19. Britwell Hill, Chilterns
  20. Dudley Lane, Oxfordshire
  21. Combe Gibbett, Berkshire
  22. Streatley Hill, Berkshire
  23. Whitchurch Hill, Oxfordshire
  24. Chalkpit Lane, Surrey
  25. White Lane, Surrey
  26. Toy’s Hill, Kent
  27. York’s Hill, Kent
  28. Hilltop Lane, Surrey
  29. Kattenburg, Flanders
  30. Volkemberg, Flanders
  31. Molenburg, Flanders
  32. Leberg, Flanders
  33. Berendries, Flanders
  34. Valkenberg, Flanders
  35. Ten Bosse, Flanders
  36. Kanarienberg, Flanders
  37. Oude Kruisberg, Flanders
  38. Oude Kwaremont, Flanders
  39. Knokterberg, Flanders
  40. Paterberg, Flanders
  41. Blowingstone Hill, Oxfordshire
  42. Dragon Hill Road, Oxfordshire
  43. Whichford Hill, Warwickshire
  44. Edge Hill, Warwickshire
  45. Mirador de la Creuta West, Mallorca
  46. Formentor Lighthouse, Mallorca
  47. Mirador de la Creuta East, Mallorca
  48. Pepperpot, Mallorca
  49. Coll de Femenia, Mallorca
  50. Coll des Reis, Mallorca
  51. Sa Colabra, Mallorca
  52. Coll de sa Batallia, Mallorca
  53. Miland Hill, West Sussex
  54. Harting Hill, West Sussex
  55. Harting Downs, West Sussex
  56. Stoner Hill, Hampshire
  57. Down Lane, Isle of Wight
  58. Newlands Hause, Lake District
  59. Honister Pass, Lake District
  60. Whinlatter Pass, Lake District
  61. The Struggle, Lake District
  62. Kirkland Pass, Lake District
  63. Vale Street, Bristol
  64. Oakridge Lynch, Gloucestershire
  65. Bear Hill, Gloucestershire
  66. Owlpen Hill, Gloucestershire
  67. Forcester Hill, Gloucestershire
  68. Swiss Hill, Manchester
  69. Brickworks, Manchester
  70. Blaze Hill, Manchester
  71. Pyms Chair, Manchester
  72. Cat & Fiddle, Manchester
  73. Hollingbourne Hill, Kent
  74. Boxley Hill, Kent
  75. Castle Hill, Kent
  76. Vanity Lane, Kent

What’s next?  Kent and East Sussex still have a few hills left for me, but before I finish I want to get up to the Derbyshire Peak District, I want to ride up a hill in Calverton which I could never get up on my Raleigh Grifter as a schoolboy in Nottinghamshire, and I think I should tick off some of the Yorkshire hills that featured in the Tour de France a couple of years ago.  Thanks for all of your support.  Here’s a picture of The Struggle near Windermere.  An awful hill.

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