A short route up the side of the Golden Valley near Stroud
A technical and emotional note about the reasoning behind these blogs.
The map of the route (on Bikely) up the hill. The climb goes up the side of the Golden Valley from the west end of Chalford. It's dominated by the lower slopes that have a sharp slope. The road, called Old Neighbourhood, twists it's way up. The path, our choice, just goes straight up the side.
A few stills from the video. The first is at the junction with the A419 at hte bottom of the hill. The roadsign on the left warns of a 12% slope, but that's by the road and we're doing the steeper path!
This is a bit beyond halfway along the path. The leaves are starting to get thicker on a slope that's hard to ride when clean. This path starts at an impossible slope and just gets steeper. For the stats freaks, it averages 15.2% (673m-312m=361m distance with 143m-88m=55m gain) with the last 46m going up 10m to give 21.7%.
Finally, out of the top of the path and everything seems easy. Apart from it's still around 7% and drags on for another 1300m.
Yes, this is nothing like climbing the Alpes or Pyrenees, but does rate for the UK.
I did Plateau de Beille in 2007, which is one of the top rated Tour climbs. It’s 1220m up in 15.6km averaging 7.8%. That rates 150 on the widely adopted climb rating scale. On the same scale this climb comes in at 73. This is pretty high given it takes me around 5% of the time of the French ride. And, if you do the path, then shoot back down by road to the bottom and do it again 9 further times (thus taking half the time as Plateau de Beille), the rating is 152!
And finally, the video. It's cut in two places for adjustment stops. At first my gears needed to be checked to get to the very bottom ratio and then the weather changed sufficiently by the top requiring some camera protection.