Old Belair Road
Metres Climbed: 181
Avg Gradient: 8.9%
Road Quality: Mediocre
The Less popular cousin of New Belair Road https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/new-belair-road/ Old Belair Road is both steeper, and more heavily trafficked. In fact, the traffic on this one can often make it quite unpleasant, and I’d suggest you only bother with it early in the morning, or on weekends.
For all of that, this is an incredibly satisfying climb, in the same group as Mt Osmond or Pound Road. You’re quite protected from the prevailing winds, with hills all around. In fact the only wind you’ll get is a tailwind, and that if there’s a raging northerly. Start timing once you’re through the roundabout intersecting Blythewood Road
The first kilometre is really steady at about 9%. The road surface is fairly rough though, so it’s quite draining. Eventually the road will start to flatten out, and to your left you’ll see James Road. This is your one chance to catch your breath, and James Road is a worthy finish to the climb as well, particularly if you intend to go and tackle Sheoak Road afterwards.
But this time keep going past James Road, and the gradient ramps into the first of two steep sections. This one is just 100m at about 12%, as you go through the first switchback. It then levels off briefly through the second corner, before ramping up again for the rest of the climb. There are about 250m to go at 12-13% before you’re finished climbing at the intersection with Sheoak Road.
Luckily, you have right of way, and if you continue on to the right you’ll link up to New Belair, and from there you’ve got hundreds of options. As I alluded to, a better option might be to turn left, and go up Sheoak Road, or through Belair National Park. Both of these provide plenty of steep and interesting climbing.