Five great secret gem cycling climbs
I spotted this new book Mountain Higher: Europe's Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs and had a flick through. There I spotted an epic bike climb that I have cycled three times (the Bealach na Bà in the Scottish Highlands) and many, many more that I haven’t heard about but now want to try. The book is the brainchild of Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding and it is sure to appeal to so many cyclists, from experienced riders looking for somewhere new and challenging to ride to newbie MAMILs (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) and MAWILS who simply want to ride somewhere different and exciting. Of course, there are still the other more legendary mountain passes and climbs to tick off, if you so fancy. These include many Pyrenean and Alpine climbs of the Tour to France. But if you have already ridden these or you prefer to get off the more-cycled trail have a read of Mountain Higher.
Five secret yet epic climbs for cyclistsBealach na Bà This fantastic Alpine-style climb is located in the far north of Scotland in a wildly atmospheric Scottish region of Wester Ross. It’s claimed as the toughest road climb in the UK and I have never ridden anything more challenging in Britain over such a distance before. There is an altitude gain of 616m over 10km to deal with and an average gradient of 6.5%, which peaks at 17.4%. Also check out eight must do bike trips Sustenpass Switzerland boasts many mountain road climbs and this one is long (very long) and steady. The road heads up 1,602m with an average gradient of 5.9%, to a peak of 2,224m Mont Tendre Another Swiss climb, this time located in Canton du Vaud, the Mont Tendre treats cyclists to a ride on the “highest tarmac road in the Swiss section of the Jura mountains”. There’s a climb of 875m to 1615m, with a challenging average gradient of 9.1%. Stalheimskleiva Then there’s Norway, home of yet more mountains. In Hordaland, cyclists will find Stalheimskleiva, which has a total climb of 228m and a maximum elevation of 278m. Ah, but you are thinking, how easy is that? Except the road has 13 hairpin bends over 2km with an average gradient of 11.4%, which peaks at a near-impossible 30%. The chances are you may need to walk and push on this road but you can then relish the views a little better! Coll de Cals Reis Majorca (Mallorca) is becoming ever more popular with cyclists (and walkers), especially with favourable weather much of the year. And one climb, in the west of the Spanish island that has to be ridden is Coll de Cals Reis. Rider start in the resort of Sa Calobra and ride uphill for 706m in just less than 10km. And there is a record to beat. Aussie rider Richie Porte did it in 23 mins 59 secs. Stunning! If you are heading to Mallorca with your bike why not check out our Hidden Malllorca Cycling holiday? We also wrote about top destinations for winter cycling. Buy the book Mountain Higher as a treat for yourself or a great Christmas present for your favourite cyclist.
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