Metres Climbed: 158
Avg Gradient: 5.6%
Road Quality: Good bitumen for the first half, then pretty rough/corrugated dirt for the second part
Traffic: Very Low, particularly on the dirt section. You might see a car on the bottom half, but probably not.
I’ve been riding a fair bit of dirt lately, there’s something about skitting about on thin tires that is really fun. Anyway, my latest offering is Sprigg Road, which connects Piccadilly Road and Mt Lofty Summit Road. This is a pretty easy climb, and also pretty beautiful. There are a couple of pinches over 10%, but mostly the road undulates it’s way up the side of the hill. Turn onto Sprigg Road from Piccadilly Road, and then start the climb when you reach the intersection with Lampert Road.
From here, the first half of the climb is pretty straightforwards. You’ll find yourself riding through perfectly manicured hobby-farms and vineyards, before entering into a eucalyptus forest. As you pass Ross Road to your right, you’ll go up a pretty steep section for 2-300m, hitting around 14%. After that it flattens out again, until you near the intersection with Gores Road.
From here, the road turns to dirt, and the average gradient becomes steeper. Whilst still undulating, the average is more like 7-8%, which coupled with the dirt can pose a challenge. I suggest turning over a slightly bigger gear than your normally would, and staying seated. This way you’ll maintain the maximum amount of traction. Sitting down is more important than a big gear, so change down before you stand up. There are some corrugations on the road around the inside of most of the corners, which you can either avoid or ride straight over. The climb finishes when you intersect with Mt Lofty Summit Road
From here you can turn left to go on up to the summit, or right to head towards the top of Greenhill Road.
Metres Climbed: 223
Avg Gradient: 5.5%
Road Quality: Dirt, mostly fairly well packed, but somewhat rutted and corrugated in areas
Traffic: Local traffic only, don’t be surprised if you’re passed once, do be surprised if you’re passed twice.
Blockers Road, starting in Basket Range, and ending in Forest Range is not particularly well known, and is quite a challenging climb. The first 600m or so are sealed, but most of the way you’ll be riding on dirt. I did it on 23mm tires, and was fine, but it would be more comfortable, and quicker on something a little wider, with a bit more traction. Starting at the intersection of Blockers, Merchants, and Wyes Road, you’ll jump straight into the first part of the climb, at about 8 or 9 %.
The first two thirds of the climb are really pretty easy. There are a couple of points at maybe 10%, but there are also a lot of flats, and some descents. All of this is made up for by the last third. Your first warning is a little rise, maybe 20m long at about 18%. Then, once you get past that, you’ll go round a decently sharp right-hander.
It’s not much to look at in the photo, but you’re looking at 18-19% on the outside of the corner, or something ridiculous on the inside. Unless you’re Philippe Gilbert and you’re launching an attack on the field, just don’t even go there.
Once you’re around the corner, the gradient levels out for a bit, as you ride along the ridge for a few hundred metres. Soon enough you’ll reach a collection of old Peugot’s. The cars, that is. There’s little to explain this, but they signify the start of the final ramp.
From here it’s pretty much 500m of pain. The last 600m average over 12%, but that hides the fact that you’ll hit 25%, and spend most of your time at around 20%. Being on gravel, you won’t be able to stand up easily without losing traction, so it’s pretty much a case of sitting down and grinding away.
You finish the climbing at the intersection with Mawsons Road, and turn right to go to Forest Range, at the intersection of Lobethal Road and Deviation Road, or left to explore more dirt on the way to Lenswood.
Metres Climbed: 64
Avg Gradient: 12.8%
Road Surface: Good
Gill Terrace is a good option to take if you’ve descended the freeway, but want to do just a little more climbing before going home, or alternatively, if you want to warm up before tackling Mt Osmond. At just 500m it’s over before you know it, but at an average of almost 13%, it’s nothing to be sniffed at. Start just below the bike path, on the freeway.
The first 150m, up to the corner at the top of the photo, are pretty easy – an average of about 6%. Then, as you go round the corner, you’re greeted by a wall. For the next 150m the average is about 16%, and there are spots where you’ll touch 20%. Of course, it’s only 150m, so charge away. After that, the gradient eases to about 13-14% for the final 200m of climbing. The segment ends at the switchback, and whilst it looks like the road keeps going up, you’ll find it surprisingly easy once you’ve gone round the corner.
Looking around on the internet, it turns out you can keep climbing a little way along what looks like a driveway – it’s technically still a road, so I’ll go an do that soon, and then update this post. Once you go around the bend, Gill Tce turns into Sunnyside, and you can ride accross the top of Beaumont towards Mt Osmond. When you reach a roundabout, go straight through, and turn right onto Sherwood Terrace to get onto the climb just as it turns nice, or go down a little further and turn onto Thirkell to start Mt Osmond properly.
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: 210
Avg Gradient: 7.9%
Road Quality: Good
This one is pretty steady, and pretty exposed. A sustained steep section through the middle means that Ackland Hill is a useful training hill. There is sometimes a bit of traffic, but it’s not too bad, and as the road is pretty wide and fairly exposed, nobody is going to sneak up on you. The Climb Starts as you turn off Main Road.
The first 600m go straight up at about 7-8%. The road veers to the left a little, and from here for the next 800m you’re into the steep section of the climb, at about 11% average. There’s no cover, the road doesn’t really wind around or anything, there’s just climbing. At around the 1.5km mark, the road makes another left-hander, and the gradient decreases to around 6%.
By the 2km point, the road is at about 3%, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were done. There’s one more steep section to go, at around 10% and reaching 13, but once you’ve taken this and made it around the corner, the road flattens out and you’ve finished climbing.
Follow the road onwards, eventually you’ll make it to Stirling, but first you’ll get to do some lovely riding through the hills. Or, if you’re keen, turn around, drop to the bottom, and start again.
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.