• This topic has 42 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by stany.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)
  • Technical climbs in the south-east
  • hyper_real
    Full Member

    I am enjoying and improving at technical climbs but I haven’t found many to practice on in the south-east. Of course there aren’t a lot of big climbs down here to start with, but of those that exist, few seem to be technically demanding. I like the kind where you have to manage your effort between picking a line, powering over roots and rocks, and running out of steam.

    • This bridleway between Holmbury St Mary and Pasturewood Lane is fun, watching out for barbed wire on one side  (https://www.komoot.com/highlight/1177455)
    • The “Blake Lane’s Climb” which I learned from the London-Brighton off-road route is a blast on a hardtail or gravel bike and easily my favourite route onto the North Downs. Gorgeous views too, the off-road rider’s Staple Lane. (https://www.komoot.com/highlight/988208)

    For Swinley I’m drawing a blank, all the main climbs seem to be fire roads, I’m sure there’s some good off-piste stuff around though. There must be some around the South Downs but all my experience so far has been non-technical.

    Perhaps I’m just not being creative enough and I need to be riding more stuff upwards that seems like it’s designed to be ridden downwards. With a risk of encountering someone bombing it down in the other direction :D

    10
    Full Member

    There were a few short techy climbs in the Sevenoaks/Wrotham area. I don’t know if I can find them on a map now as it’s been a good few years since I lived there. I’m sure there are some others here who can help though.

    Edit This area:
    https://www.komoot.com/discover/Tonbridge_and_Malling/@51.2904688,0.3085659/tours?sport=mtb&map=true&regionId=42028&max_distance=5000

    nickfrog
    Free Member

    Climbing the Lion’s trail from Steyning bike park to the SDW/Chanctonbury ring is a great technical and challenging climb.

    2
    bigdaddy
    Full Member

    If you know holmbury, the climb between the end of wet n wild and the start of crack pipe is a good technical, steep climb. Not long, but long enough!

    1
    JoB
    Free Member

    there’s a lot going up the north scarp of the South Downs that can be tricky

    the bridleway immediately to the east of Ditchling Beacon is almost impossible, and the one immediately to the west (Burnhouse Bostal) has a short steep section in it that needs the planets to align

    the one that parallels the A273 up the east side of Wolstonbury Hill is another one

    to be honest you could work your way along the length of the South Downs challenging yourself

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Hadleigh the wrong way?

    Seriously though, there must be loads of little woodland climbs  – used to live near Danbury in Essex and that will be full of rooty bits to power up.

    1
    Sui
    Free Member

    Have you done Gassons Farm climb it’s end of BKB to the left, that’s a nadgery one. Also, opposite Gassons is a steep climb back up to Holmbury., it runs to the right of alternative barriers if your looking up.

    Hindhead has loads of steep techy climbs.

    susepic
    Full Member

    The one that gets me is the fairly straight but unrelenting climb on the SDW from the Adur up Beeding hill. Is it properly technical – probably not, but the gradient and the pebbly chalk and ruts make it a proper barsteward. Only around 75 – 100m of ascent but you know about each one of them

    https://www.strava.com/segments/3710696

    You wouldn’t want to come down here just for that, but could make a SDW day of it with train down to somewhere on the SDW, and back up from somewhere else. And as JoB said up thread, any of the climbs and bostalls on the north escarpment of the downs will give you a proper seeing to

    5lab
    Full Member

    Burnt house bostal is properly techy in small amounts, and a leg burner the rest. I think I’ve only cleaned it once.

    The trouble is for the most techy stuff you need rocks, and there aren’t many around the south east

    1
    avdave2
    Full Member

    From Kingston village near Lewes up to the SDW if you take the right hand option. I actually managed it once and have never felt the need to try it again. The left hand option is pretty tough at the bottom but I’ve always managed it.

    unrelenting climb on the SDW from the Adur up Beeding hill

    I usually refer to it as Beeding Bastard hill. It’s also good to run up as well if you’re mad 😂

    zippykona
    Full Member

    This is interesting on an e-bike.
    IMG_2052

    3
    JoB
    Free Member

    unrelenting climb on the SDW from the Adur up Beeding hill

    the climb just to the north that finishes in the same car park but comes from Upper Beeding, affectionally known as Brick Bostal, is both steeper and technically harder, you can thank me later :-)

    zippykona
    Full Member

    And this I can’t even believe is a strava segment.

    Both on Reigate Hill.

    IMG_2051

    susepic
    Full Member

    Brick Bostal,

    Didn’t know the name, but did it the once while riding L2B off road. Quite a few ended up walking… No one that featureson my loops fortunately 😜

    1
    J-R
    Full Member

    You won’t find any long technical climbs in the SE, but living by the North Downs I enjoy their short punchy climbs.  One classic is the final approach to Leith Hill tower from the east up the Frontal Assault.  A GPS error makes it look flat on this Strava segment, actually it’s a short, steep but do-able ascent where you have to carefully pick  line over roots and around trees and gullys to the top of south east England:  https://www.strava.com/segments/12157921

    At the back of Headley there is the High Ashurst climb, short and quite technical: https://www.strava.com/segments/84747

    Nearby behind Denbies vineyard is Denbies Stinking steep, a quarter mile at 15% it’s do-able but always a nice challenge: https://www.strava.com/segments/15288393

    There are several good climbs on the north face of the North Downs, a few of which are:

    There are plenty of others, especially over on Pitch and Holmbury, some of which haven’t got a Strava segement.

    But finally as close as you can get to impossible without actually being impossible, is the brutal Honeysuckle Bottom sharp climb.  It’s over 30% and techy, so very few people have managed it,  At less than 200m it is too short for a Strava bike segment, so the running segment is shown here: https://www.strava.com/segments/6999856

    hyper_real
    Full Member

    Thanks for the great suggestions from everyone. I hope to try them all at some point. There’s loads of information about road climbs, books, top 10 climbs in Surrey etc, but seemingly nothing on the net about off-road climbs. Even though off-road climbs are more fun


    @J-R
    Your message is like gold to me, since North Downs is my closest stomping ground too, looking forward to trying these out. “Cyclists Dismount Climb” – I remember coming to the top of that before and thinking “nope”, and thought that “Cyclists Dismount” was a sensible warning on the map because it’s blooming steep, I didn’t realise that was the name of the climb!


    @bigdaddy
    Hopefully that climb is easier than the one on the South face of Holmbury that I foolishly attempted (https://www.google.com/maps/@51.1735415,-0.4199598,3a,75y,273.01h,76.53t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTe5kJ-mbLLkI3R1dSaVJPw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu). I got some distance up, lost momentum, hopped off my bike and it was so steep I found it challenging to walk either up or down it with my bike. For a moment I thought I was stuck. I can’t believe that’s marked as a bridleway!

    J-R
    Full Member

    thought that “Cyclists Dismount” was a sensible warning on the map because it’s blooming steep

    Yes, Cyclists Dismount was the name of the descent, based on there being a couple of council signs in the 1990s  advising cyclists to dismount. They are long gone now, but the name lives on in Strava.   I stuck a Strava segment on the climb about 15 years ago when I thought it might be feasible uphill too.

    grimep
    Free Member

    I’ve done one of those north downs routes (New Barn, not technical but quite a grind) but you guys must be proper masochists. It’s bad enough just grinding up the tarmac on Combe Lane. Coming down on the other hand, yes please 😁

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    There’s a short sharp one out the back of QE Park, going up to Ditcham Park School. I actually failed it on on my Ebike the other week (but in my defence I was looking round to see if my partner was ok! )

    nickc
    Full Member

    There’s more its fair share of vertiginous stabby climbs in the Chilterns if you go looking. None of them are massively long, but if you want instant Max Heart Rate with a nadgery bit and a bit of sick at the top while trying not to pass out.  It’s worth exploring

    1
    ribena
    Free Member

    the climb just to the north that finishes in the same car park but comes from Upper Beeding, affectionally known as Brick Bostal, is both steeper and technically harder, you can thank me later 🙂

    There’s also another climb starting from edburton road.

    Here’s a pic heading the other way. It gets steeper the other side of the MX track.

    grimep
    Free Member

    Here’s a pic heading

    Is that Chanctonbury ring in the distance? I’m usually on the other side looking back, but trying to avoid any more steep hills as I’m 3 hours in to the ride by then. Almost June and I’ve still not managed it- rain, mud, and SW trains engineering works throwing the spanner in

    nuke
    Full Member

    As a north downs local, some good ones there by J-R. Cleared the others over the years but cant recall ever clearing the Honeysuckle Bottom sharp climb…always had to dab as it does get so steep. L-R ascent is a bastard too but not sure if do-able at the moment; was a while back but was quite overgrown and I think with a tree across it last time I tried.

    Not as steep but I think worth a mention is Chilworth Gunpowder Works to St Marthas (Basically reverse start to Downs Link) as its getting pretty erode so some technical sections plus it then gets sandy once you got on to the main path up to St Marthas (hint: head north on the path into the woods after you gone through the wood barrier)

    https://www.strava.com/segments/13358894?filter=overall

    grimep
    Free Member

    I’m yet to see anyone attempt chilworth manor to st Martha’s, straight up following the water pipe from the reservoir. Know a guy who went down it- not something I’d attempt, I’m not a fan of A&E

    peekay
    Full Member

    Also on the North Downs on Whitedown just West of Westcott there is the absolute bastard grassy climb that takes you from the gate up to the pillbox at the top of what is known as the ‘4 Minute Climb’ .

    Technical in its relentless steepness and energy sapping grass surface.  The Strava segment is called ‘Whitedown Push Up’.

    grimep
    Free Member

    On one of my Surrey loop routes heading NE out of the Catteshall side of Godalming, on the trail going towards Bramley golf course (near Direct Cremation/ Unstead Park school on Google maps), there’s a short sharp lumpy section of hill that I reckon Danny McCaskill could get up. I tried it the first time and got about halfway before realising it was a pusher. Doable with a bit of dedication but I cba

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    51.512514, -1.112032 In the Chilterns.

    Gatehampton Mannor to Cockpit Plantation

    Hardly worth driving just to do it, but there’s loads of good XC riding in the area if you grab a  copy of the VP guidebook.

    There’s loads of potentially horrible climbs in the Chilterns but they’re very dependent on the ground conditions. Impassible in winter, foot deep horse hoof craters when it dries out, then billiard table smooth and easy if it’s a long/hot/busy summer.

    scaled
    Free Member

    There’s loads out in the woods around Godstone all along the scarp slope to titsey/tatsfield

    grimep
    Free Member

     known as the ‘4 Minute Climb’ .

    I know that hill. It’s either a sledge run in snow, a downhill run if you’ve got very good brakes, or where ramblers and dog walkers potter. Of the hundreds of times I’ve gone past the bottom I’ve never once had the idea of riding up it.

    Sui
    Free Member

    Zippkona has just brought back  horrible memories of that Reigate hill climb, it’s horrid , not ridden it for 20+years!

    Another one is opposite the Sawmill on Ranmore, will take you back up to wonderland as a shortcut.  Winter fold has got a couple of techy ones as well, not overly hard.  Climb out of XR3i is a shitter!

    suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    There’s quite a few on the Greensand way, designated as footpaths as they’re too tricky for horses…

    You might get down them, but up?

    bitmuddytoday
    Free Member

    I’ve not seen anyone get up that one opposite the sawmill near Wonderland Sui mentioned. Supposedly it’s doable. Every time I’ve tried I ended up wishing for really long chainstays to keep the front end down.

    Landrover is quite unpleasant as a climb

    There are a number of sandy chutes on Hankley Common to try out. To the south of Hindhead there’s a short sharp climb from Polecat Hill to the A287. Proper nose of the saddle job but I got it.

    bens
    Free Member

    There’s a bridleway section that runs n/w-s/e alongside secret santa in winterfold that would make a good techy climb. Lot aof loose stone and a few rocky steps. Been down it a few times but never up. My favourite part about it is that it’s neve even slightly similar to the last tie you rode it because the rain washes it out so badly.

    The climb on the by way heading north out of Shere is challenging in the dry and borderline impossible in the wet (for me, at least) green chalk is a slippery thing!

    I reckon with a bit of thought, we could make a murderous loop in Surrey Hills. They may not be big climbs but stitching them all together would make for a good ride.

    Says me, with my ebike.

    swanny853
    Full Member

    I’d say the two reigate hill ones are mostly difficult from being gittishly steep and chalky rather than technical.

    I’ll suggest the bridleway climb if you turn right from Wire in the Blood and then right again back up the hill. It’s not continuously tricky but the awkward bit comes when your legs are already feeling it a bit.

    grimep
    Free Member

    Another couple of potentials to tick off in the area, both are fairly easy compared to some of the uphill ski jumps mentioned above…

    One of my loops goes up Madgehole Lane just east of Shamley Green. You’re on an incline so legs are starting to burn a bit by the top. The last house on the left has scary looking guard dogs roaming free which often puts me off my stroke, then the track starts with a sharp right turn round the back of the barn and straight into an incline, not very steep but a bit snerdly. I think I’ve only ever managed to pedal up this smoothly a handful of times, if you put a foot down starting again is tricky. Last time I almost made it, looked down and saw a frog and lost it.

    When I come up the Madgehole route I usually come back down the B.O.A.T track to Farley Green. I’ve ridden it once in the uphill direction from Farley Green and decided I’d rather go down it in future. Its not steep but is definitely a hill, fairly long and will tire your legs, and it has technicals like a couple of steps to jump up, rocks everywhere, sand, ruts. Once at the top its a short hop across country to the Peaslake trail mecca if that’s your cup of tea. Used to get motorbikes attempting it but having seen bits of plastic lying around I think they’ve given up wrecking their bikes

    nickc
    Full Member

    Stoner climb.jpeg

    This little shit is also Chilterns. bastard steep at the foot of the climb, and dead straight so all your riding friends can see you fail,  as you get to the slippery turns mid climb you’re already breathing out of your eyeballs, and anything like pedalling balanced nuance has long left the building, it levels out towards the top, but not so’d you’d notice. Try not to be sick at the top.

    DrP
    Full Member

    the climb just to the north that finishes in the same car park but comes from Upper Beeding, affectionally known as Brick Bostal, is both steeper and technically harder, you can thank me later 🙂

    Oddly..I waaay prefer this one to truleigh hill.

    Not sure why… Maybe more interesting!

    DrP

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    I failed another one on my ebike yesterday! I never would’ve made it to the top in one hit anyway as there were 3 fallen trees across it. But one section was so steep, I just had to get off. SDW just north of Goodwood

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    @nickc been a while since I’ve been up that little b’stard but perfectly described 👍

    mccraque
    Full Member

    there’s a lot going up the north scarp of the South Downs that can be tricky

    the bridleway immediately to the east of Ditchling Beacon is almost impossible, and the one immediately to the west (Burnhouse Bostal) has a short steep section in it that needs the planets to align

    the one that parallels the A273 up the east side of Wolstonbury Hill is another one

    to be honest you could work your way along the length of the South Downs challenging yourself

    Bostal bashing the north face all the way from Lewes to Bramber became a thing in lock down. There’s loads of reasonably techy climbs. Ditchling to Lewes section is full of them.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 43 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.