Mills Hills…..a road and CX sportive just for you


Sometimes an idea pops in your mind, rolls around, hides in a corner for a while. Then just when you’re not expecting it, out it comes and starts dancing about. Well that’s what happened just a short while ago.

I’ve known Mark Walsh for years, we first met in Wenesledale as he organises the triathlon there, you may recall it’s also where I first met Jo Carritt in my Wonder Woman pants. I guess the pants made an impression on him too as he’s always greeted me with a cheery smile. He’s also the guy who organises Coniston Old Man triathlon amongst other things

Ali and I have been wondering about organising a cycle event for a while. As you know we’ve spent some time chatting with the Bradshaws from they get everywhere and have such enthusiasim for our sports, it was enevitable that at some point the minds would meet. We thought between the three parties that we could put together something really special. I hope we have.

So the emails began to flow as fast as the ideas. How to create an event for everyone, and make sure that they all leave with a big smile from a great day. The date was chosen 14th October 2012, Mills Hills was born!

It was decided that we should run two road distances and a CX. The Bradshaws jumped on it with top tips and a photo shoot on part of the CX course. Whilst Mark began setting up the online entry and web page.


I sat down with the maps and began to plot. Mills Hills is to be based in the heart of Calderdale, for those of you who don’t know the area, it’s rather hilly and full of mills, often interlinked with steep cobbled pack horse routes. It also sports the longest continuous incline in England, Cragg Vale. Then Mark had his master plan! Putting the timing mats out on Cragg Vale! The event is being run from Mytholmroyd Community Centre less that half a mile from it. What fun!


Plotting the road route was fairly easy…..the CX however was a little more tricky, for those of you who know me or have seen me try to ride off road you’ll know how funny that is. I’m a roadie through and through, but I’ve watched the Three Peaks and done plenty of fell running so I began to plot some old school CX. Then I thought I’d better test it with some real CX riders. Oh and borrow a bike!

Chipps from Singletrack magazine came to the rescue! So I borrowed his Kinesis Pro6 ‘Green Pee’ and his girlfriend Beate for the day! Dave Fishboy came along too having just built himself a new Cotic X.


I was a bit scared I must say! They both knew what they were doing, Beate not only races CX but rounds up her sheep on one too! You’d never guess she was so hardcore when you look at her beautiful wares

 Still I felt fairly safe, I’ve never jumped on a Kinesis and not felt safe….and this one is BLING! It’s got Reynolds carbon wheels with disk brakes and…..yes and….Di2! 


The route I had plotted had 1000′ climb per 5 miles, they both looked at me like I’d just landed! Thankfully Chipps and I take the same frame size and once I’d got the hang of the gears we were off, straight up the cobbles! Chipps has the bike set up to race, so if you’re thinking of entering I’d maybe think of some lower gears! Still with the aid of a half way ice-cream we all survived….a few route tweaks and the land owners permissons and I’ll post the route up.


It’s a bit old school!


And I returned both Green Pee and Beate with nothing but soggy toes 🙂


All is good, now I just need to go and test the road route I’ve written…….



Entry is now open, with a £5 Mills Physiotherapy voucher for each entrant (handed to you as you on the day), not to mention the chance to win some Morvelo and Kinesis goodies with the hill climbs……


Keep reading as there’s more details to come.



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