Metres Climbed: 118
Avg Gradient: 2.5%
Road Quality: Excellent, then Mediocre
This Climb is very similar to Waterfall Gully https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/waterfall-gully/ and Aldgate Valley Road https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/aldgate-valley-road/ in that whilst it’s not very steep, you need to work hard if you want to go fast, and it’s very scenic. The climb can be divided into two parts – the first part has a near-mint condition road, and is an absolute breeze to ride on. The second part, the final kilometre and a half, is pretty rough and bumpy, and is like climbing along a narrow laneway.
To start, turn off Old Belair Rd, onto High Street, and then immediately onto Brownhill Creek Road
Unfortunately, the streetview cars didn’t go up the road, being a dead end, but here’s the start of the climb. The first three kilometres are fantastically smooth, slightly uphill, with a couple of dips, and a couple of slightly steeper parts. For all of this, the average is about 2%, and it never really gets difficult.
Once you pass the turn off to Tilleys Hill Road the second part of the climb begins. This is a little bit more difficult – averaging about 3%, and the road is far rougher.
After a while you’ll pass a couple of signs saying ‘last turnaround spot’ and ‘local traffic only’. Keep on going, the road narrows a little, and basically becomes a single lane. You’ll finish the climb at a dead end, with a turnaround space. I suppose the sign earlier was lying. The only option here is to turn around and go back down the hill, but I suggest you turn onto Tilleys Hill Road on the way back, for a far more challenging climb.
Metres Gained: 101
Avg Gradient: 2.6%
Road Quality: Average
A bit like Aldgate Valley Road https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/aldgate-valley-road/ this one isn’t a particularly steep hill. The road is pretty narrow, and there’s some traffic – mostly people driving up to the top of the gully so that they can walk to Mt Lofty. This is a good hill for efforts though – it’s consistent, and lets you push a pretty big gear if need be. To Start the climb, Turn left off Glynburn Road onto Waterfall Terrace, and then immediately right. It’s pretty well signed.
The climb is really quite steady the whole way up. The first 500m or so are a little easier, at maybe 2%, and then there’s one trickier bit, which briefly hits 7%, followed by a short downhill. From then on it’s pretty much 2.5-3% the whole way up. You’ll pass Chambers Gully Road, which is unfortunately blocked off, at about half way, and you reach the end when you go through the gates to the carpark.
That’s pretty much it. An easy little climb in between Greenhill Road and Mt Osmond. It’s very pretty, and getting a good time is quite hard, but if you just want to tootle, it’s an excellent choice. Similarly, if you need something to turn the legs over, between harder climbs, this is a good one.
Metres Climbed: 76
Avg Gradient: 5.6%
Road Surface: Average
Arkaba Road is a really convenient climb if you want to go from Aldgate to Stirling, but don’t want to deal with the traffic of Mt Barker Road. Start along Mt Barker Road, turn right after going under the train tracks, and make your way up this suburban street to Old Mt Barker Road.
This one goes the entire length of the road, and can be divided neatly into two parts. The first part, about 800m long, averages 10%. After that, the road levels off, drops a little, and keeps going at around 3%. 800m at 10% sounds like a fairly hard task, but you can quickly get into a rhythm, and it’s not bad.
As I said, you’re finished when you reach Old Mt Barker Road. To get to Stirling or Crafers, turn left up the hill and follow it to the intersection. To go out towards Uraidla and Carey Gulley, follow Old Mt Barker Road to the left, then turn right down Rangeview Drive https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/rangeview-drive/
Metres Climbed: 145
Avg Gradient: 11.5%
Road Quality: Mediocre
Short, Sharp, Nasty. Kensington Road is one of a host of steep little climbs along the hill face between Greenhill and Norton Summit Roads. Whilst not as long as Coach Road or Coachhouse Drive/Woodland Way, Kensington Road has one of the longest sustained ramps in town. The road is pretty poor quality, with old tarmac riddled with cracks, but frankly, you’ve got other issues to deal with. Making it to the top also rewards you with a fantastic view over the city, if you’re not slumped over your handlebars trying to catch your breath. Start the climb once you make it around the roundabout that intersects Penfolds and Kensington Road.
The first part of the climb is pretty easy. You get to spend about 300m at around 6%. Of course, with an average gradient of 11.5%, that means that the rest of the climb is going to hurt, and it does. As soon as the road takes a turn to the right, it starts getting steeper. For the next 900m, you’ll be climbing at an average of about 13%, with a sustained section of about 15% at about the 700m mark. After this you’ll get a short respite (only 10%) for about 50m, before the climb ramps up to 13% again for the final couple of hundred metres through the turns. My advice is to take a wide line around the turns. If you go on the inside, you’re likely to hit gradients in excess of 25%, and nobody needs that kind of suffering. The climb ends at the end of the road, as you reach the lookout.
If you’re recording with Strava, go up to the top parking bay, because if you only go to the bottom one, it may not record the segment as completed, and this would be sad. I’ve heard tales that if you have a mountain bike or cyclocross bike you can continue through past the lookout along McBeath Drive, but if like me you have skinny road tires, it’s back downhill from here. The road is noticeably smoother one the downhill side, having been quite recently paved.
Metres Climbed: 51
Avg Gradient: 6.9%
Road Quality: Average
This is really just a connector climb, but if you’ve just climbed up the main Greenhill Road climb or Mt Lofty, it’s a pretty worthy little hill. There is a bit of traffic, but it’s not too bad – nothing to stop you from riding it. For want of a better starting point, you actually get a pretty flat run for the first part of the strava segment, but the climb starts in earnest about 100m after the road turns to the left, and it’s pretty noticeable. This flat bit means that the Avg Gradient is fairly unrepresentative.
The Climb hits about 10% during the first 250m, at an average of about 8%. After that, it gets a little bit easier, and the second half of the climb is more like 7%. It’s all over quickly enough though, and you’re all finished when you get to the intersection with Range Road.
From here you can turn left to go towards Basket Range, right down Parish Road into the Picadilly Valley, or go on a little further towards Deviation Road. Or even just keep following Greenhill Road out to Balhannah.
Thanks to Street View for taking photos whilst I was more interested in riding my bike.
Metres Climbed: 95
Avg Gradient: 6.1%
Road Quality: Good
This little hill between Hahndorf and Bridgewater provides plenty of opportunity for hurting. It starts off pretty easily, and then gets steeper and steeper, topping out at around 8.5% at the top. The Climb is on Mt Barker Road, just after the Roundabout where it intersects with Onkaparinga Valley Road. Start as you pass under the freeway.
The first 400m are pretty easy, going from 1% to about 5%. As the road takes a big right hand bend, it’ll start going up to about 7%
From here you climb through scrub and outer Bridgewater, and the gradient keeps going up, eventually steadying at about 7% but getting noticeably harder before topping off at around 8%. The climb finishes as you enter the township proper, as you pass the car dealership.
Once you finish the climb, you’ve got a bit of a descent, but if you’re planning on getting back to town, you haven’t finished climbing yet. You can turn right as you pass the oval, and climb up towards Carey Gulley, or continue towards Aldgate, where you have all kinds of options to climb.
Metres Climbed: 81
Avg Gradient: 5.1%
Road Quality: Mediocre
This is one of my favourite little climbs in the Blackwood area. It’s a tiny winding road without much traffic, that has a couple of pinches, even if it’s not all that steep. Like a lot of the nearby climbs, this is pretty quick, and good for repeats. The climb starts where Coromandel Parade turns left into Craiglee Drive, but confusingly, when you turn off to the right, you’re also on Coromandel Parade.
The Climb is pretty easy to start with, with an average of about 3% for 500m. After that, you go round a corner, and then it quickly jumps up above 15%, for all of 50m. It evens out back to around 6%, where it stays for a while, before another jump up to around 10%. After this, it flattens out again, and you finish at the intersection.
I tend to use this one as a connector hill, turn right at the roundabout, and you get a nice easy, dead straight run back into Blackwood, from where you have many options.