What is the steepest rd in Sydney?

Steepest Rd - can Lining up the posts settle debate ?

Postby wombatK » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:57 pm

fatherofmany wrote:My father lives in Greenwood Ave Coogee, it's an insane hill.

And closer to home Georgiana Terrace in Gosford (the bit that runs off Henry Parry) is just plain dumb, my car doesn't even like it in first.

I think Arden St North from Dolphin St, just North of Coogee beach, is longer and even more fearsome. The gradient doesn't really kick in til you pass Bream St.

If you want to check this out, don't bother looking in Google Earth for elevations, or looking them up on http://mapmyride.com - the SRTM3 data for elevations doesn't work very well around coastal areas or places where there are steep changes.

But here's a way you might be able to estimate road steepness. Turn the Google maps streetview (as per link above) using the 90 turn arrows until you looking at right angles to the road. If that's parallel to the gradient, look for the angle that vertical posts, such as power poles, make to the ground - choosing one that extends to car-roof level (where the google map camera was mounted). In the case of Arden st, there's a cutting with a fence that makes angle measurement a snap. I found it reaches about 12 degrees, or approx 21% (near what google streetview labels as 174 Arden St).

If you want some hill challenges, there's more north between here and Bronte Rd. Bronte Rd from the beach west to where Leichardt St joins it is also seriously difficult - averaging about 8% over 1 km, and streetview photo measurement shows a few places around 17% or so.

Another tough one is the hill just west of Waverley cemetery St Thomas St, Woollahra.

Anyone living around here would find plenty of use for granny gears. If you're not too sure if your heart is up to it, Prince of Wales Hospital is nearby and has an excellent cardiac unit. :D

Lining up posts on Greenwood Ave Streetview indicates a gradient around the 20% mark too, so yes, it is steep - but shorter than the Arden St or Bronte Rd climbs.

It's a bit like Cronin Ave, Penshurst also around 20% for about 120 to 150 m - my poor mum pushed myself and 2 siblings up and down this hill to get shopping from Hurstville when we were newborns, and from 2 years on I walked it regularly. The hills on the Hurstville side of King Georges Rd are also a fair climb.


34 Wattle St, Bowen Mountain is, however, far more fearsome than any of the above. Lining up the posts indicates it's around 20%, and I think that's steeper than any part of Bowen Mountain Road. What makes it more fearsome is that to get there you have to climb constantly from Richmond (about 14 km away) - and you're at an elevation close to 420 m.

However, it's 22km from the nearest cardiac unit (Nepean Hospital) and 14 km from the ambulance station :cry:. While it might be a great place to train Cadel Evans' successors, it could not be fairly considered part of metropolitan sydney :)
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by BNA » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:35 pm

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Re: Steepest Rd - can Lining up the posts settle debate ?

Postby Chester3 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:35 pm

[/quote]
I think Arden Street North from Dolphin St, just North of Coogee beach, is longer and even more fearsome. The gradient doesn't really kick in til you pass Bream St. [quote]

Not a lot of room either for cyclists and cars. I only did it once. That was enough. Now I use Beach Steet, which is bad enough.
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Postby scotty72 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:05 pm

Jumping in a little late.

But after a similar conversation with a mate of mine, I went out with my 305 to do the math.

Ryedale Rd. (23.5% max)

The roads around Calga are no where near this - but they are much bigger climbs.

The top of Kissing Pt Road at Turramurra is pretty nasty. It comes in at about 16% max, but it is the 3km climb before that makes this hurt.
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Postby RobS » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:14 pm

> Cronin Ave, Penshurst

I cut my cycling teeth in that area but I haven't been on that road.

What about Spalding Crescent in Hurstville Grove?

> 34 Wattle St, Bowen Mountain is

My cousin lives in that area. Is it actually safe to cycle on that road, the road is quite narrow and there's some blind corners. That whole section around Serpentine Ln and Wattle St looks fairly evil. So Wattle st is even worse?
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Postby lukas » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:25 pm

Cronin Ave ay.. will definitely sus out the gradient there as its just around the corner.

Its pretty much all hills this side of Hurstville, but mercifully short ones.
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Postby leximack » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:11 pm

if you want some steep hills, go ride with sandman in the blue mountains, he will hurt you real good :lol:
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Postby fatherofmany » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:57 am

Just googlemapped georgiana terrace Gosford and you can see it's steep but the streetview car didn't go up there... maybe it couldn't!

Henry Parry Drive in Gosford is a good long hill too, haven't got my protractor here at work but 198 Henry Parry Drive gosford and you can see footpath railings. OK so this hill has beaten me, but I'll keep trying, maybe one day when I'm fresh rather than having been out for an hour first.
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Postby dancindan » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:40 am

Hi all, new in here and not a very exp cyclist.

I find the curving hill on Queens Park Rd up to Charing Crossing pretty tough, short but steep and curves.
Arden St is pretty tough, agree it is dangerous due to traffic. You can take the road before Arden (away from the beach) and wind up, it ends through a little lane way whick is pretty steep at the end. I have a Cell Victor and use as many gears as possible!!!

Did Stanwell tops the other week, that was hard, I think after the ride there through Waterfall & Otford make it all that harder too.

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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:49 pm

Here's a photo of the steepest street in the world

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/962573
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Postby RobS » Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:44 pm

Check out these cool pics:

Search in google:

steepest street in the world

Take the third link www dot bspcn dot com

(sorry can't post links yet).
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Postby dancindan » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:58 pm

Ouch, great pics in there.

I suspect there are council reg's around this sirt of thing here though?
I used to live on the sunshine coast, never cycled it, but Somerset Drive in Buderim is a MASSIVE hill, steep and fairly long. The cars used to struggle up there. My old man owned a house 3/4 of the way up and when he was doing tri's I think he rode it a bit.

Killer though
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Postby bikie26 » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:56 pm

I drove from Yanko Rd pymble and through to where it becomes comenarra pwy, thornleigh and there were some killer hills. I wonder if anyone has ridden the entire length???
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Postby wombatK » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:55 pm

I have done a little work with my GPS on Bowen Mountain road yesterday, and found I need to correct my guesstimate above.

The mountain road is steeper than any of the other places mentioned. I used Oziexplorer to log points every 10 m, and found that the GPS accuracy was variable due to trees obscuring sats at various points. Nevertheless, the graph below shows the elevation profile, starting from 2 Bunya Cres, taking Bowen Mt Rd down to Grose Vale Rd, then coming back up the same roads to Bunya Cres and on to 1 Lieut. Bowen Rd (the highest point) - then back down via Bellbird Cres and Wattle St.

The graph includes 1 in 8 slope lines as a guide to the slope, and shows both the gradient over 10 m and averaged over 90 m.

Image

The climb is murderous averaging 1 in 16 (6.25%) over 5 km :roll: The worst part is around 20 to 34 Wattle, where it reaches around 1 in 7 (or 15%) and has a couple of 10 m stretches near 18%.

After a bit of googling, I found a number of rural councils have road standards that require slopes to be no more than 12.5%. Up to 15% is allowed on private driveways - but the indication is that anything over 12.5% is considered a big safety risk for public thoroughfares.

Estimating based on angle of vertical poles is obviously not very accurate. I expect that all the other examples I cited will turn out to be somewhere between 10 and 12.5% slopes. Still way outside my capability - I cheated by carting my GPS up Bowen Mountain in my car :P

RobS wrote:My cousin lives in that area. Is it actually safe to cycle on that road, the road is quite narrow and there's some blind corners. That whole section around Serpentine Ln and Wattle St looks fairly evil. So Wattle st is even worse?

By sight Wattle St seemed worst, and the GPS agreed. However, I did only one pass on Wattle St, and elsewhere there was considerable variation in elevation and gradient readings on successive runs (in opposite directions). It's plausible that the gradient is more like 12.5% rather than the 15% values I sampled. See this Google Earth Route for a full log of what my GPS saw - if you'd like to study the GPS samples closer and see how erratic they get.

Bowen Mt Road is quite narrow, has no shoulders, so it is pretty evil, and traffic was surprisingly unsparse for such an end-of-the-road township. I'd take my hat off to anyone attempting it - particularly if they ride all the way up from Richmond - it's pretty much a constant uphill climb.

Edited: 30/08 - added KMZ file.
Last edited by wombatK on Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby wombatK » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:07 pm

scotty72 wrote:Jumping in a little late.
But after a similar conversation with a mate of mine, I went out with my 305 to do the math.

Ryedale Rd. (23.5% max)

The roads around Calga are no where near this - but they are much bigger climbs.

The top of Kissing Pt Road at Turramurra is pretty nasty. It comes in at about 16% max, but it is the 3km climb before that makes this hurt.

Ryedale Rd is nasty, but i would be very suspicious of the 23.5% max. It could be an error due to insufficient satellites in its antenna's view. Does it tell you anything about the no. of satellites or VDOP ? Or did you notice how many meters you could read that value for ?
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Postby RobS » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:31 pm

Wombat, thanks for the post on Bowen Mt. The elevation profile spells it out.

I won't be visiting my cousin by bicycle in a hurry - I'd be quite sweaty by the time I got there!
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Postby bud » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:24 am

Princes Street in Putney is definitely the steepest. You can't see some of it as you look down.
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Postby bud » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:25 am

bikie26 wrote:I drove from Yanko Rd pymble and through to where it becomes comenarra pwy, thornleigh and there were some killer hills. I wonder if anyone has ridden the entire length???


Yeah I have. It's hard!
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Postby bud » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:28 am

dhat wrote:Rydale is steeper I think, but the hill is quite short. I'll go and measure the gradient and take pics on the weekend.


Try Princes Street in Putney. That is REALLY steep! I'd like to know the gradient
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Postby Wollemi » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:29 am

How come no-one mentions Old Bathurst Rd - Emu Heights to East Blaxland. You can even catch the train back down and repeat...
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Postby scotty72 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:35 pm

Wollemi wrote:How come no-one mentions Old Bathurst Rd - Emu Heights to East Blaxland. You can even catch the train back down and repeat...


Did that last Sunday.

Up to about 18% (more at the hairpins - absolute killers on 39/23 lowest)

Not the steepest I've done. but it is probably the steepest sustained climb I've done. It is very steep for a very long time. :(

It rises 223m in 1985 metres (more, but that is just the seriously steep bit) (AT) an average 11.25%.

Can't sbe accurate about the max etc. as I was going too slow (39 / 23 is just not low enough) and there were too many trees covering the sats.

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Postby geoffs » Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:47 pm

Image

This was a fun hill.
found another one on this trip that was 25% for most of the way but the last bit was 30%
Even with the weight we were carrying and the wheelbase of the tandem we couldn't get traction on the gravel road and had to push the bike up the last bit of the hill.

[/img]
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:03 pm

Geoff, where's that hill?
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Postby geoffs » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:16 pm

somewhere in tuscany most probably between Florence and Sienna
I've still got the maps that i used so I'll do an accurate route on bikely one of these days.
here is the link to the rough route that i went on.
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/geoffs-tour
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Postby rob e » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:19 pm

My lowest gear is 42 x 20 (cant access the 22!) i have no hope on any serious hills.........cant wait to get my Cervelo built with 39x27 :lol:
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Postby Boognoss » Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:20 pm

rob e wrote:My lowest gear is 42 x 20 (cant access the 22!) i have no hope on any serious hills.........cant wait to get my Cervelo built with 39x27 :lol:


:shock: 42 x 20?? I have 39 x 27 and even that is too high sometimes :oops: .
n = 3 for now

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