Coach Road

Distance: 2.4km
Metres Climbed: 233
Avg Gradient: 9.8%
Road Quality: Good
Strava: http://app.strava.com/segments/672271

This is a really tough climb. I’ve been avoiding it for a while, instead opting to do the easier Knox Terrace (https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/knox-terrace-coach-road-linked-climb/) but the other day I was feeling good, and I smashed out some difficult hills. Coach Road starts at the top of the Parade – after passing Penfolds Road, turn right onto Coach. There is rarely any traffic to deal with, as it’s a dead-end up a steep hill.

Coach SV 1

 

The first 300m or so average about 12%, until you go around the first corner. From there you’ll have a brief respite (about 5%), before the road kicks up into the first long, difficult section. For about 900m you climb at a pretty consistent 15% or so, with a couple of steeper kicks up to 17%, and for this part you really just need to grind it out.

Eventually you’ll reach a right hand turn, and finally get a bit of a rest. The climb’s not finished, in fact the hardest part is still to come, but for about 250m the road is pretty well flat, and even dips down a little. Use this as a chance to enjoy the view, and let your legs recover a little, because up next is pretty much a wall.

Coach SV 2

 

Once you pass McBeath on the right, you’ve got 250m at an average of 19%. Yep. 19%. It peaks pretty early, at about 24%%, and once you hit the top, you’ve almost finished the climb. The road goes on around the bend to the left, you go down a little, and then there’s a tiny little bit of climbing to the finish.

Coach SV 3

 

Apparently it’s possible to keep going through and link up near the top of Greenhill Road if you have a cyclocross or mountain bike, but I don’t, so I took a few minutes to recover my breath and let the heart drop to a reasonable rate, and enjoy the views from the top of the hill.

There aren’t a lot of options from here on out. The only way to go with a road bike is down. I hit 93km/h. It was terrifying. If you don’t want to deal with such a steep descent, turn left onto McBeath and right down Knox for a slightly windier, more technical descent.

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3 responses to “Coach Road”

  1. SteveK says :

    I remember hitting 112kph down here in 1998 as a junior U17….. and that was with tiny junior restricted gearing! Just get down low…and go go go!!

    The key is to take the corner at the top onto the main straight with no brakes.. set your self up with a wide line and carry as much speed as you can.

  2. noone says :

    Hmm, I’m pretty sure the speed limit is 50kph. Speeds like that make us all look bad.

    • Sam Young says :

      For me it wasn’t a case of gunning for a top speed, more of trying not to ride the brakes the whole way down. But you’re absolutely correct – ride safely!

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