Old Forest Road (The Basin)

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Distance:  900 metres
Average Gradient: 11%
Elevation gain: 99 metres
Traffic: Light traffic
Terrain: Residential
Road Surface: Sealed

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

Any road that has the word “Old” in front of it tends to be steep.  They would have been one of the original roads used in an area and were replaced with more practical routes.  Or larger roads to accommodate modern day traffic.  Old Forest Road is a backstreet in the Basin which is just off Forest Road.  This is right next to the Dandenong Ranges most popular climb; the 1 in 20.  Old Forest Road you may have passed many, many times and not realised that there was an insane little climb heading past the Milk Bar.  The average gradient for this climb is 11% and given that there is a short descent in-between you can pretty much guess what you’re in for!

The climb starts at the intersection of Forest Road & Old Forest Road (right next to the Milk Bar).

Start of the climb

The first pinch is only 150 meters in length but averages over 12%. You’ll want to try and be in good shape at the top of this pinch before you hit the slight dip in the road.  Your legs will appreciated the respite.

You wouldn’t be at fault if you sh#@t yourself when you see the solid wall up ahead.

Old Forest Road is an incredibly difficult road to climb.  A sane person would wonder how its possible to get up this monster!  The road is so steep that you won’t be able to see the top until you’re well into the pain cave.  The next 200 meters the gradient sits just on the better side of 20%.  You’ll be hurting, and thankfully there’s a great view of Mount Dandenong to the left hand side of the road.  This may or may not help to distract you momentarily. The last 100 meters the gradient eases up, but you’ll most likely be digging so deep into the pain cave and gasping for breath you won’t notice.

There is a sense of pride being able to get up a climb like this. No matter your level of fitness you will be gasping for breath by the top.  Given how close it is to the 1 in 20, this climb is certainly worth a detour to add some extra vert into your legs.

You’ll find that most of the backstreets which join onto this road offer incredible challenges & it’s a great area to explore.  Please take caution on the descent as you can hit some incredibly fast speeds coming down and it is a narrow residential street.

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