Metres Climbed: 244
Avg Gradient: 4.7%
Road Surface: Variable
The Fearsome Sheoak Road. Doesn’t look so bad if you consider the stats above. That’s just because a good section of the climb is covered in 500m – at an average of 15%. Near the start of the climb, this ramp maxes out at 23% – making it one of the steepest sections in town. However, other than this really nasty pinch, the rest of the climb is quite enjoyable.
There’s not all that much traffic, because it’s quite a slow road – there are lots of man-made pinch points, where only one car can pass at a time. To start the ride, turn onto Sheoak Road from Upper Sturt Road/James road, or if you’re coming from that direction, off Belair road.
For about a kilometre, you’ll ride along a pretty flat, pretty straight road. It even goes down hill a little bit. I reckon it’s to lull you into a false sense of security. Don’t start to worry until you make a slight left hand turn, you’ll see the road rising up in front of you, and a sign “20%”
It’s time to enter the pain cave. Fortunately, it’s just 500m long. Unfortunately, this is up there with the most challenging 500m in the state. Once the road (finally) levels out again, you’ve still got some climbing to do, but it’s mostly pretty easy. You’ve got a couple of undulations, where you go down hill for a little bit, and then climb at about 13-14% for a couple of hundred metres. After this, it levels out to about 3% for the next kilometre and a half. Then you go up at 12% again, drop down a bit, and have one final climb up to the top of the hill. This one is about 300m long at about 14-15%, so hard enough, but nothing much compared to what you’ve already done.
You’re finished climbing at the intersection with Upper Sturt Road
Keep going to the left to reach Crafers and Mt Lofty, or right to go back to Belair. To do a real hard hill climb, start this ride by going up Old Belair https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/old-belair-road/ and finish it by going up to the top of mt lofty.