Just in: 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs

A ton of testing tarmac for the climbers among you

by Dave Atkinson   May 24, 2010  

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs by Simon Warren

The nice chaps at Frances Lincoln publishing have just sent us a copy of their latest cycling tome, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs. Touted as "a pocket-sized guide to the 100 greatest climbs in Britain, written by a cyclist for cyclists" It's certainly piqued our interest here at road.cc towers.

Split into sections by area (curiously, there's no East Anglia section...) the book wanders round Britain and offers insight into the many spectacular ways of bursting your lungs that our small island offers. For each climb you get a short write up, a nice little gradient graph with points of interest marked out, a factfile giving you location and stats, and a lovely pic of some tarmac snaking away into the distance.

You also get a rating out of 10, which has been the cause of much discussion around the office. Swain's lane as hard as Weston Hill? Not in our book. Not that we bothered to write a book, so Kudos to ex Cycling Weekly designer and dyed-in-the-wool roadie Simon Warren for taking the time to make one we can argue over. Not much arguing that Hardknott and Wrynose get a 10/10, and there's an 11/10 too; can you guess what that is?

Obviously when you're limited to 100 climbs and you're looking to cover the country fairly there's plenty that miss out. We were surprised to see that the Gospel Pass didn't make the grade, and wherever you live you'll be bemoaning at least one that got left out. But that's by the by: It's a great little guide to some excellent climbs, and there's an I-Spy-style section at the back where you can check them off as you do them.

100 Greatest Cycling Climbs is released on 3 June; for more info head to www.franceslincoln.com

30 user comments

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This has just been delivered to my house from Amazon.. Itching to find out the killer hills round my end.

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
24th May 2010 - 14:52

7 Likes

11/10 - Great Dun Fell?

posted by bazzargh [144 posts]
24th May 2010 - 15:07

5 Likes

I might have to get that book, and loads of diesel for the car before leaving the fens to find them all...

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1291 posts]
24th May 2010 - 15:40

6 Likes

11/10 has gotta be Great Dun Fell.
If you endup at Centreparcs with the family then Great Dun Fell is only about 10 miles away....you know it'd be rude not too.

Unfortunatly I ran outta time and only made it 1/2 way up but christ what a climb. cant wait to hit it again with a little more time.

posted by mrchrispy [317 posts]
24th May 2010 - 15:51

4 Likes

not great dun fell... anyone else want a go?

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
24th May 2010 - 19:02

5 Likes

Porlock Hill?

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1083 posts]
24th May 2010 - 19:49

7 Likes

Ben Nevis? Tongue

Rookie rider

posted by dave6779 [36 posts]
24th May 2010 - 19:50

6 Likes

dave6779 wrote:
Ben Nevis? Tongue

You're getting warmer…

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4155 posts]
24th May 2010 - 21:14

5 Likes

Fringe wrote:
Porlock Hill?

Porlock 9/10
Dunkery (from Luccombe) 10/10

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
24th May 2010 - 22:31

3 Likes

I could cheat as I have the book in front of me, but it kinda spoils it Wink

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
25th May 2010 - 7:45

6 Likes

Been looking at OS map for new rides ahead of house move on Thursday - I imagine something that goes by the name of Steepness Hill pretty much does what it says on the tin.

Certainly from the map it looks like a short but very sharp kick - at a rough guess from the contours, one section has a 40m gain in something under 200m.

Might not have made the book, but it could become my personal challenge. Once I'm a bit fitter Thinking

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8405 posts]
25th May 2010 - 8:10

7 Likes

I imagine burrington combe, cheddar and virtually anything around here misses out. How about the pass over the hills in Wales, I forget the name but it is on the Welshpool-Barmouth road.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
25th May 2010 - 10:28

4 Likes

tony_farrelly wrote:
dave6779 wrote:
Ben Nevis? Tongue

You're getting warmer…

Glencoe?

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1372 posts]
25th May 2010 - 10:58

5 Likes

Bealach na Ba?

posted by adscrim [115 posts]
25th May 2010 - 12:39

5 Likes

adscrim wrote:
Bealach na Ba?

Oh yes. You must be right.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1372 posts]
25th May 2010 - 12:54

4 Likes

...and you are. congratulations! you win, erm, kudos. and some stickers. bung us your address and we'll throw 'em in the post... http://road.cc/content/contact-us

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
25th May 2010 - 13:44

6 Likes

Quote:
I imagine burrington combe, cheddar and virtually anything around here misses out

Cheddar's in, it only scores a 3/10 but it is a fairly easy climb except for the bit right near the bottom

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
25th May 2010 - 13:49

3 Likes

Oh, I thought the prize was a my choice of the Cube Litening or the Felt AR3! I do love stickers though.

posted by adscrim [115 posts]
25th May 2010 - 15:05

5 Likes

I'll throw in some energy bars too, to make up for the disappointment Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
25th May 2010 - 15:20

2 Likes

dave_atkinson wrote:
Quote:
I imagine burrington combe, cheddar and virtually anything around here misses out

Cheddar's in, it only scores a 3/10 but it is a fairly easy climb except for the bit right near the bottom

No arguments there, one turn thats slightly steep doesnt make it difficult. Was just wondering what round here would get close to qualifying.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
25th May 2010 - 15:21

2 Likes

Is the Devils Staircase on the mountain road to Tregaron in there? This is about the only climb I have a problem with. It's too steep!

Bwlch y Groes from the Lake Vyrnwy direction up a little lane was also quite taxing.

I live on the Blackdown Hills, some excellent short climbs (200 meter-ish). Riding in Wales is more fun though. The climbs are less generally steep and longer.

Did the A40 out of Llandovery in the direction of Brecon a few weeks ago. It's only a few percent but goes on and on for quite a distance...had a bit of a race up it with another rider

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [294 posts]
26th May 2010 - 10:50

4 Likes

Devil's staircase: 9/10
Bwlch y Groes: 10/10 Big Grin

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
26th May 2010 - 12:09

3 Likes

Pre-order placed on the strength of this review, and its relatively low price (less than 10p per climb.) Thanks for the tip-off.

posted by handlebarcam [530 posts]
26th May 2010 - 17:53

5 Likes

Quote:
I live on the Blackdown Hills, some excellent short climbs

i don't remember blagdon feeling very short 65 miles into the exmouth Smile

some steep old ones on the south side too as i recall.

talking of short climbs that are steep, we're pretty spoilt round here. this is our 'favourite':

http://tinyurl.com/verysteep

450m at an average of 20%, with the first 250m at an eye-watering 26%.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
26th May 2010 - 20:42

6 Likes

The only time I did the Exmouth Exodus I got lost in the lanely bit after crossing the A358 and climbed the Blackdowns from a different direction

A hill that seems long because of where it is in a ride is the A483/B4355 out of Newtown. That's during day two of the Bryan Chapman Memorial 600km. Goes up 300 metres in approx 8km

I think I'll commute home up Blagdon Hill tonight, haven't been that way for a while

vorsprung's picture

posted by vorsprung [294 posts]
28th May 2010 - 13:36

3 Likes

I bought this last week in Waterstones (Deansgate, Manchester) in an attempt to motivate myself into becoming a climber. A work colleague thinks my copy should be called 100 Greatest Cycling Walks.

So far, I can claim only the Cat & Fiddle, although both Winnats Pass and Mow Cop have claimed me.

I was all set to tick off Holmes Moss until I realised the book features the N to S ascent, whereas I've only done the S - N grind.

A good little book. Small enough to fit in a pocket. Great motivation comes in small packages.

Timbo13's picture

posted by Timbo13 [272 posts]
1st June 2010 - 15:26

3 Likes

My copy landed yesterday...already well thumbed....can tick off some already but did these over a decade ago so will just have to do them again....quite a few within riding distance of my base in the midlands...my riding buddies will love the challenges.... Thinking

posted by The Great Cornholio [69 posts]
2nd June 2010 - 7:49

7 Likes

Great stuff, I just love climbing down.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [989 posts]
2nd June 2010 - 8:35

5 Likes

Having purchased this book from Blackwells in Edinburgh I found it to be rather disapointing from a Scottish perspective. Fourteen climbs in the south east of england, but only seven for the most mountainous region of the UK? Scotland is almost dismissed with the statement that 'the majority of Scotland's roads stick to the valleys as there's no need to cross the mountains'. In reality Scotland does have its share of mountain roads. Those of particular note are the Bealach Ratagain (335m in 3.4km), Bealach Maim (287m in 2.8km) and my own favorite, the Bealach Feith Nan Laogh aka Polloch Hill. Never heard of it? This monster climb lies on an unclassified road between the village of Strontian and the Hamlet of Polloch circa 30 miles from Fort-William. 313m in 2.6km put it up there with the two big ones in the Lakes. It would appear that many of the climbs were chosen for their proximity to large centres of population rather than being hills of any particular note.

posted by mkirby [1 posts]
2nd June 2010 - 22:03

5 Likes

sounds like you need to write a 100 scottish climbs book. send us one Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7472 posts]
2nd June 2010 - 22:21

6 Likes