One Tree Hill. 1.8 km @ 10%. My kinda scene. I’ve had this one high on my wish list for many years, but how could I justify driving 250 odd km to do a 1.8 km climb?
When I found at that my wives brother was getting married in the Grampians. I was secretly rubbing my hands together. We stopped into Ararat on the way up & I had little over an hour to ride. I headed out to Green Hill Lake. On the map it looked quite large and wet. In person it was a dried up river bed, but interesting to visit nevertheless.
I headed across to One Tree Hill, and on Strava I found a back road to get there. How I wished that I looked at it on Google view. The road was quite sandy and I was copping a fair amount of wheel spin. The road wasn’t steep, but it was a major grind. There were several sections where I almost came off when the wheels just span and I couldn’t move.
It was hot outside and having to work so hard to move really sapped a bit of energy out of me.
I was a bit tired when I hit One Tree Hill, and it was pretty hot, but it did not disappoint. Right from the outset the gradient settled a little over 10%. It was quite steep but the gradient was consistent and it was easy to get into a tempo. It’s hard to figure out what par is, but I thought I got this right. I was keeping the mobile towers up ahead in my sites. I figured that they marked the top of the climb.
The nearer I got to the mobile tower the more confident that I was that I would smash this climb. When I got to the tower I saw a driveway turn to the left which I thought would be the end of the climb, but noticed the road continued on. Uh-oh!
The gradient dipped down to around 8% and I picked up the pace, but a voice in the back of my head was screaming. “how much longer is this bloody thing?”. Soon the gradient went skywards again and my legs started to scream at me. I kept a high tempo, but could feel my legs giving screaming at me and my lungs were on fire. I just had to go into my happy place to get to the top. The last 200 metres pushed close to 15% & was quite tough to get across the line.
The views up the top were worth it & it was an amazing experience and very happy to have ticked this one off. I almost ran out of water. Thankfully this kind couple from the Barossa Valley gave me some chilled water to top my bottle up which was gold.
On wards to the Grampians now…..