Steepest climbs in Edinburgh – Roadie content

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  • Steepest climbs in Edinburgh – Roadie content
  • tpbiker
    Member

    Looking to find some reasonably long climbs in the Edinburgh area that I can do on the road bike, for training purposes. Kirkgate (the road up to Harlaw road)is the steepest I’v found so far, about a kilometer long and rises a couple of hundred feet, so not exactly the alps but tires my little legs out all the same.

    Any better suggestions?

    ta

    Arthurs seat, Drum Brae, there’s also an absolute stinker up near Threipmuir reservoir.

    This thread may help http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=1784

    mcmoonter
    Member

    A wee bit out of town, but the climb up from the A702 up to the Castlelaw firing ranges is steep. Get yourself out to the Lammermuirs, there’s a monster climb out there, the name of which escapes me just now.

    EDIT Harper Rig?

    petrieboy
    Member

    i used to live at the top of drum brae – didn’t half put me off doing road rides from home knowing i had to finish with that!

    intervals round Aurthur seat would be my choice

    druidh
    Member

    Kaimes Road
    Liberton Brae

    pixelmix
    Member

    If I’m doing an hour on the roadie, I sometimes use the Kirkgate to go from Currie to Balerno, then down to Kirknewton and back up to Balerno using Ravelrig Road. Only a few minutes for that climb but another wee stiff climb after the Kirkgate

    tpbiker
    Member

    thanks folks. Glupton, that link is useful, lots of the climbs are quite short though. A few laps round Authors seat then back via liberton brae is always good.

    watsontony
    Member

    Roadie content

    you mean darkside??

    kcr
    Member

    Redstone Rig is the Lammermuirs climb, but a bit far out of Edinburgh for regular training.
    There are no huge climbs near Edinburgh itself, so for training I would recommend repeated intervals on the local climbs. Arthur’s Seat as already mentioned. There is a short but stiff climb at Currie Kirk, used for hill climb competitions. There are some wee road ascents up behind Balerno.
    Further afield there are some good climbs between the coast and Haddington in East Lothian. West Lothian has the climb near Harperrig Reservoir on the Lang Whang (good for intervals on both sides of the summit) Kingscavil (recently featured on the Adventure show) and lots of short steep climbs in the Bathgate Alps between Linlithgow and Bathgate.

    I would recommend getting in touch with Edinburgh RC. Friendly club, with lots of people to point you in the direction of the best local climbs.

    I’ll second the ‘bathgate alps’…I didn’t know that that’s what they were called but I had several happy training rides around that area when I lived up there.

    You could also try this 40 mile (or so) training ride I used to like. Cross the Forth on the FRB, head west to the Kincardine Bridge and cross this, then make your way back east, passing through Kirkliston. There were a few tetchy wee climbs on the return leg as I recall…

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Not steep but around Roslin, Rosewell, Lammermuirs and the Granites are climbs you can grind up.

    AS is good but the climb is <30% of the lap (time wise). I turn left before the pond at the top and cut down through the streets – enough recovery to destroy the climb again stop me vomming on the next time.

    druidh
    Member

    No one has yet mentioned the fearsome Col du Climpy? Are you all wimps?

    Neil F
    Member

    Craiglockhart Avenue then up through the Braids, or turn right at the top onto Colinton Road and another healthy climb taking you eventually to Oxgangs Road. Then you can turn back towards the town and head down Comiston Road/Morningside. Or, do it the other way, Morningside is a bit of a climb too. There’s loads of hills round about there. 😀
    I’m knackered just thinking about them! 😳

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    that Drum Brae climb is good idea. Long, straight, fairly steep. I’d never do that and expect an easy ride – or interesting.

    What you really want to do is get yourself down to the borders. The road riding there is, in my opinion, better than the mtbing.

    tpbiker
    Member

    Good link druid! there is no way on earth that kirkgate is only 200 yards however!

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Goucester Lane is a no right turn on entry BTW. Ramsay Lane is one way I think too.

    >I’ll second the ‘bathgate alps’…I didn’t know that that’s what they were called but I had several happy training rides around that area when I lived up there.<

    +1

    Riders round these parts need to do them on their mtb’s 😉

    If you start in Lithgae you’ve got 700ft ish vertical to the high point some 8km or so up the hill or do one of the “sea to sky” rides the Clarion boys do from Blackness circa 10km / 1000ft.

    tpbiker
    Member

    Any route maps Blackmount? Bathgate Alps sounds fun!

    As Glupton says you need to head out of town for the “big” climbs. Sessions of The Swire will gets the legs burning (especially when it’s frosty/icy).

    Any route maps Blackmount? Bathgate Alps sounds fun

    Go to Linlithgow & head south to cairnpapple.Then over to Bathgate. Cross back again by turning left through Dechmont.

    miner29er
    Member

    Put some CX tyres on and from WoL at West Mill climb up to Woodhall Rd, then up Bonaly Rd, over the Ring Road and up Puke Hill to the fourth gate at the end of Phantoms Cleugh. It’s a 2-mile climb. Turn around, descend, and repeat until you spew. Good training.

    tpbiker
    Member

    miner, no idea where you’re talking about, is that off road up the pentlands?

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Dundas ST in the centre of town then continue up to the Royal mile is a good legburner, if you could incorporate that with Arthurs seat maybe.

    Yeah, you’l find the roads far quieter than any of the Edinburgh stuff.

    Good starting point is the more Westerly of the 2 main roads running South off Lithgae High Street (Preston Road) from there its easy to navigate to “The Knock” which is the highest road point in the Alps (shown just SE of Cairnpapple on the OS map.) From there make your way down to Bathgate, East to Dechmont then back over via Bankhead, Broomieknowes, Riccarton, Cauldhame and down Manse Road over the canal. Platform 3 below the station does a nice pint, there’s also a multitude of cake places on the High Street. If you come in from Queensferry / Blackness head via Old Philipstoun, Kingscavil, Wester Ochiltree. All pretty easy to make up as you go along. More here:

    alps

    Neil F
    Member

    Ecclesmachan to West Binny Farm, past Oatridge College, good wee challenge.
    Come out of Linlithgow towards Bridgend, good hill then turn off at the wee Church (Kingscavil?) Thats a killer hill, and it takes you up to Beecraigs area. There’s rarely any cars on that road.
    These are roads that I frequent when I feel like a good workout. I usually do a 15 to 25 mile loop from Broxburn.

    Yup that’s Kingscavil – there’s an annual TT up that (closed road) I think the record is just over the 2 min mark for the mile.

    30mph UP Kingscavil??!! Are you sure 😯

    I knew I’d have to check that 😉

    2:10 / 0.9 mile. Still bloody quick tho for that gradient…

    miner29er
    Member

    tpbiker: The first bit to the Bonaly Country Park car park is all tarmac. Then it’s mainly hardpack (some water bars). It’s a popular route in to the Pentlands for mountain bikers (although, I must say, you see more using it in descent). I’ve ridden it on a rigid mtb with 1.35″ CX tyres. It’s not what I call a true roadie’s climb, but it’s near Edinburgh, it’s steep, and do-able on the right tyres…and it hurts 😀

    I’ve been doing similar, and need quiet roads because my hill work is either over geared and therefore slow or max effort sprint up the climb/time to recover after it.

    Currie Kirk and Kaimes Rd seem best for closest to town and quiet. AS doesn’t really work for my training. On Sunday I did the wee yak and big Yak out Haddington way several times, over-geared. Big Yak is pretty good for that (actually, i’ve never done any worse training than doing the big yak over geared!) but no idea how steep it is, plus riding time there-back.

    Premier Icon gamo
    Subscriber

    Polton Road and The Cast between Loanhead and Bonnyrigg are always good for hill training.

    If you are a decent climber I really wouldn’t recommend the Kaimes Road climb. It isn’t a climb that polka dot wearers should even consider.

    This has nothing to do with my position on the Strava leaderboard 😉

    Premier Icon kennyp
    Subscriber

    There’s a wee street linking Stockbridge to Edinburgh’s New Town that is stupidly steep, and is cobbled too. It’s only about 100 yards long, but I struggle to think of anything steeper.

    Just outside Edinburgh there are good climbs up Polton Brae (I think it’s called) and also from the A7 up to Soutra Aisle. Down in the Borders the Swire is my favourite, especially climbed from the south. It just has a great feel to it.

    Overall though, Kirkgate Hill in Currie is the best for hill training.

    If you don’t mind going off-road, the fireroads at Glentress can be used to do some huge climbs, and could be done on a cross bike.

    Premier Icon robgarrioch
    Subscriber

    Laps of Kirkgate – past Harlaw – Balerno – ‘Exponential’ (Threipmuir) + repeat was about all the training I did for Bealach Beag ’09. Took 10 mins off time for the previous year though.

    There’s some reasonable ones around Penicuik; ex-regular loop used to take in Auchendinny – Leadburn – A701 – Macbiehill – Deanfoot Road (unclassified singletrack road, but quiet) – Penicuik (take 1st right junction) – Pomathorn Road (B6372) and back via Auchendinny again. Some nice hills, nothing massive, be easy to modify to lap the steep climbs a few times.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Kirkgate, but on an mtb- brutalise self up climb, turn left, roll gently along road, down poet’s glen, repeat. Gives you a bit of reward to go with your misery, rather than trundling down through balerno.

    tpbiker
    Member

    Yep the Kirkgate one is the one I usually do, but loads of great suggestions for me to explore further afield.

    Northwind – Poets Glen? Don’t know it. Is that left as you approach bend at top of road? Is it easy to find?

    The climb up to Theirpmuir would be a a good one via kirkgate/harlaw. When you get all the way up to the top of the road (ie past the carpark, down the wee dip and up the steep hill at the end can you turn left or is that someones driveway and you need to double back on yourself?

    druidh
    Member

    If you’re not cutting across/through the hills then you need to turn around and descend.

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