Love em or hate em, hills are a part of cycling. They call your name, taunt you, entice you. I like climbing, but there was a time in the not-so-distant past where I would avoid any big climbs in favour of posting higher average speeds and more miles on the clock. These days I’m learning to love it when the roads head skywards. Like they say, the best way to get better at climbing is to climb!
This morning I set out on one of my favourite pre-work routes. It’s only 32km (~20 miles) but it is quite literally straight up the side of Mount Wellington, then straight back down!
Take two Cat 3 rated climbs, stack them on top of each other and you get this neat little ride. The vertical journey starts just around the corner from my office as I pass the Cascade Brewery and from here on in it’s climb, climb, climb! You soon leave the city behind and wind through rain forest, roadside waterfalls and into the mountainside forests that flank Pinnacle Road.
Always time for a quick photo on the side of Mount Wellington!
I don’t have enough time before work to ride up the entire HC rated mountain so I try to get as far as I can by 8:15am. That’s roughly 55 minutes of solid non-stop climbing, taking me just past the Springs to over 800 metres above sea level. This turning point gives me enough time to blast it back to the office. One day I’ll make it to the very top!
Winter is coming. Down to a chilly 3 deg C this morning.
Speaking of turning around, once you do it’s simply a matter of bombing it downhill into Hobart. You have two options here: Left back down the way you came (Strickland Ave) like Tony did earlier or straight ahead, descending the Huon Highway like a demon – one of my favourite descents! Forget about your brakes, this is a smooth sweeping road where you can easily maintain 50+kph on sections.
The views are great too, but only take your eyes off the road for a millisecond to enjoy them – watch out for wallabies and possums racing across the road around dawn and dusk!
A simple ride, simply up then down!
Coffee and cake after today’s ride was provided by Kombi Cafe. This funky independent cafe and smoothie bar used to operate out of a classic VW Kombi before taking up permanent residence in Battery Point. They serve up some of the most delicious home made treats you will ever find. Everything is gluten free and much of the produce seasonal and locally sourced.
Hobart – spoilt for choice with great climbs and great cafes.
Distance: 32 km (20 miles)
Elevation Gain: 830 m (2720 ft)
Av Speed: 22 kph (13.7 mph)