The Digital Cyclist

25 overlooked cycling climbs in and around Sheffield

25 overlooked cycling climbs in and around Sheffield

I wanted to share this twitter thread talking about some of the best but overlooked hills in and around Sheffield that you can explore, especially while riding solo and staying close to home during this lockdown.

This thread is an awesome compilation, some classics and a number of new roads that I’d not heard of before. So I’m republishing this here as it’s too good to get lost in the twitter feed!

This list was the handiwork of Colin Angus and a couple of minor alterations from me. Chapeau Sir!

This list was and is inspired by the awesome books by Simon Warren, looking at the climbs around Sheffield that he missed off in his books. So no Winnats, Mam Nick, Monsal, Beely etc.

Obviously, if you’ve not got the Top 100 books already you can support Simon’s work and buy the books here.

So without further ado here is the list of 25 climbs within 15 miles of the edge of Sheffield.

If you think of more let me know and I’ll happily add!

Top 25 climbs around Sheffield not in the 100 climbs books

No. 1 Sunny Bank

2900m @ 5.6% avg. 15.3% max Great climbs don’t always *have* to be steep. This is just glorious with an ever-improving view over the Broomhead and More Hall reservoirs. Magic.

No. 2 Jack Lane/Bank Side

1700m @ 9.2% avg. 16.3% max. A climb of two halves – a brutal start followed by a long grind to the top. New Mill Bank, up the other side of the valley from the same start is harder, but not as scenic.

No. 3 Canyards Wood

1100m @ 9.2% avg. 17.4% max. Starts gently enough riding away from the reservoir, then turns nasty rising up through the forestry plantations. Eases off for a bit, then steepens again at a glorious hairpin. A HAIRPIN! Magnificent.

No. 4 Wheel Lane

800m @ 6.8% avg. 15.7% max(???) Locating the start is almost impossible. Once you find it there’s a gentle start before, BAM, a wall of tarmac rises up in front of you. A few bends and then suddenly it gets EVEN STEEPER. A total bastard.

No. 5 Back Lane

1500m @ 10.8% avg. 26.8% max. I found this by accident one day and nearly died on the way up. Known as ‘The Bradfield Beast’ and with good reason. Comes between Woodfall Lane and Wheel Lane on the @TourofStrines route. Ouch.

No. 6 Blindside Lane

2500m @ 5.5% avg. 12.8% max. Finally a bit of respite. This is just a beautiful, quiet climb which opens out at the top to amazing views of Strines reservoir and that mysterious tower above it.

No. 7 Foxhall Lane

1200m @ 9.6% avg. 12.8% max. Barely out of Sheffield, this is the pick of several lovely little climbs out of the Porter Brook valley.

No. 8 New Road

1800m @ 7.0% avg. 10.4% max. Never easy, but never too hard. Try and enjoy the view as you struggle at the top. Best started from the bridge over the River Derwent for a little bit of added suffering.

No. 9 Birley Lane

1700m @ 8.7% avg. 16.3% max. Best started up Coggers Lane and finished up the top of The Dale, after a beautiful gentle descent through the woods (beware gravel), the section from the campsite to the junction above is a real battle.

No. 10 Shatton Lane

900m @ 14.3% avg. 23.5% max. For the true connoisseur of suffering, this is heaven. If the *terrible* road surface and brutal gradient doesn’t get you, the speed bumps on the final, near-vertical, ramp probably will. An evil gem.

No. 11 Cresswellpart Lane (Beast of Bradwell)

1400m @ 10.8% avg. 14.1% max. Just an almost straight line of pain. Shorter than Pindale/Siggate on the other side of the quarry, but a harder prospect nonetheless.

No. 12 Fiddler’s Elbow

2600m @ 6.7% avg. 9.7% max. It’s easy to view this as the route you take when you’re too tired to ride home via The Dale, but it’s much more than that. The views are much better and it’s a cracking climb in its own right.

No. 13 Abney

6800m @ 3.6% avg. 9.6% max. An entire hidden valley with just one road up it? Perfection. (and entirely passable by bike at the moment in spite of the signs)

No. 14 Leam Lane

1400m @ 8.1% avg. 13.9% max. Abney’s much less popular sister climb. This one is a fair bit steeper and features another fabulous hairpin. Carry on to the summit of Sir William Hill for the full tick though.

No. 15 Sir William Hill Road

2200m @ 10.0% avg. 17.3% max As soon as you turn off the main road you know you’re in for a battle. Never *quite* as bad as it threatens to be, it’s still pretty vicious, at least until you reach the junction with Leam Lane.

No. 16 Bradshaw Lane

800m @ 9.0% avg. 13.8% max. Often overlooked in favour of a descent of Abney, or return via Eyam, this is a lovely little drag up to The Barrel Inn and some glorious views over the Peak to the South.

No. 17 Farnsley Lane

600m @ 12.5% avg. 28.2% max(?) Be honest – you’ve never heard of this, have you? Give it a visit – you won’t be disappointed. A lovely surface, a decent gradient and it’s even rather pretty in the evening sun.

No. 18 Middleton Lane

700m @ 10.8% avg, 17.7% max(?) Starts steep. Then gets steeper. And stays steep for *way* longer than you want it to before finally depositing you, gasping, into the countryside. An absolute swine.

No. 19 Froggatt

1500m @ 8.1% avg. 16.4% max.
A classic climb any Sheffield riders will know. A good way to test your legs after a decent spin and head back home into the city, this is made even better by lack of traffic right now.

No. 20 Bubnell/Bramley Lane

800m @ 9.0% avg. 21.4% max. A short climb, but well worthy of your attention. Starts with a vicious ramp past the farm then runs on, and on, until you finally reach the summit and can roll down into Calver.

No. 21 Moss Road

900m @ 10.1% avg. 22.1% max. Very much a road to nowhere unless you bring fat tyres or a sense of adventure. Good fun though – starts gently enough, but the last 200m are tough!

No. 22 Horsleygate Road

2000m @ 7.3% avg. 12.0% max. Somehow this valley just seems to go on and on and on as you ride up it. You keep expecting the summit to appear at any moment, but it doesn’t until you’ve all but given up hope that it ever will. Great

No. 23 Unthank Lane

2600m @ 5.2% avg. 11.5% max. Another slightly obscure one, often shunned in favour of the less good Fox Lane. Can get mucky sometimes, but when clear it’s well worth the effort.

No. 24 Dobbin Lane

3000m @ 3.7% avg. 11.7% max. Surprisingly long for where it is, this is superb. From the initial near-hairpin, to the steepening past the farm and the final, easier, section where you can get some speed up.

No. 25 Crow Lane

900m @ 8.9% avg. 13.3% max. In an area where you don’t expect many steep hills, the drag up Crow Lane into Apperknowle is surprisingly tough, especially once you hit the village itself.

25 climbs map

Map of the 25 climbs

View a map of them all here.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=15czcWGNprCxdSd-cvELfur9KC-mLfiMN&ll=53.43774184061152%2C-1.4469175250976605&z=10

Distance vs gradient

And here’s a graph of the comparative awfulness of the 25 climbs. Beware of Back Lane and Shatton in particular…

Distance vs gradient of the climbs.

Do it all in one go you say…

Obviously, during lockdown this is a silly thing to do. Hell, even not in lockdown this is a silly thing to do, but hey, there’s a lot of silly people out there! A mere 216km long and 5000m+ of climbing.

We’ll see if anyone actually makes it around this route!

Massive Thanks

Again I want to make no claim to this list, that’s all down to Colin. Share the love and give him some kudos on the thread here.