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Mow Cop - Is it all it's cracked up to be?

whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,398
edited May 2010 in The bottom bracket
I've seen all the hype for Mow Cop on the website for the Cheshire Cat. I've seen that it's apparently a beast, and was wondering if it's going to be worth me fitting a compact rather than my 39x26 current bottom gear.

However, I have just looked at it on mapmyride.com, and it suggested that the gradient was only around 20% at the steepest point, and then only for a few metres. The average gradient seemed closer to about 12-15%, and around 2km long. If so, it's not the monster I was expecting...

Anyone who's ridden it: Just how tough is it? I intend to head up and recce it before the event, but forewarned is forearmed...

Posts

  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Depends on you and what you are used to I suppose. It's nothing like Hardknott Pass or even Winnats. Admittedly I took the bottom section fairly easy having been told it was a beast further up, but when you reach the really steep but it's short enough to power up out of the saddle. I'd have it down as comparable to Rowsley Bar in the Peak if you know that.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,398
    Well, my usual training hill is around 1 mile long, at an average of about 10%, with sections up to around 17% (Stile Cop Road on Cannock Chase) and that's not a particularly hard climb. I also have a few short sections up to 20% that I race up in the middle of the cassette as they're short enough to take out of the saddle.

    Sounds like it should be fine for me then. Thanks.
  • BMCCbryBMCCbry Posts: 153
    I did the Cheshire Cat last year and didn't think Mow Cop was as bad as it had been made to sound. Went very slowly from the bottom of the climb and had no problems. There are much worse hills in other sportives, e.g. Cleeve Hill in the Circuit of the Cotswolds. The majority of people walk up that, but I wouldn't say the majority were walking up Mow Cop last year.
  • davbaydavbay Posts: 60
    I live about 3 miles from Mow Cop (Congleton) and have never cycled up it yet. Reading your question makes me want to try it. I've driven up it plenty and yeah its pretty steep but distance wise its not far.

    Think I'll give it a go soon - let us know what you think.
    Anyone else ride a Schwinn?...
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I've done it on a 39 25 when unfit and heavy, it's not as bad as the cheshire cat people make out at all.

    It's not easy either though. The worst bit is just seeing the 25% bit up ahead because it's arrow straight.
  • the one time i tried it i couldn't get up it, although that was after mistakenly going along with the fast group on the club run (the ride was meant to be flat) and having spent a lot of energy in the process.

    i've not been back since, but i've ridden up tougher climbs since then.

    the cat and fiddle is similarly not as bad as non-locals make out, even if you go up the old road.

    as far as the cat goes, i'd be more concerned about tackling the cloud having just done mow cop after nearly 100 miles…
    riding on my bicycle, i saw a motorcrash…
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Mow Cop isn't that bad at all.

    It's massively over-hyped by Kilotogo ("the UK's foremost cyclosportive organiser" according to their website, although interestingly they have toned-down the hyperbole on there a lot since they published a new website a couple of weeks ago - I laughed out loud when I first read it, it was so over the top :lol: ) and also massively overhyped by Mark Harding on cyclosport.co.uk

    The 'killer mile' term comes from a running race up the hill, run since the 1970's
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7367327.stm : some decent footage of the hill, you can see what you'll be cycling up
    Running up it fast would be hard : I think the current record is 6:12 - think on that when you're cycling up it...

    Yes it is about a mile from the level crossing at the bottom to the top.
    At the bottom you can't see what's coming, it goes round a bend under trees fairly steeply - if you attack this hard and blow up, you'll regret it...
    Instead, pace yourself up this bit until you come out from the trees and you can see what's coming - it eases off a lot and runs up between fields, then gets to some houses and then there's the final 100-150yds which is the 1:4 bit - yes, this bit is steep, but it's straight, it's a good surface and easy enough to power up because it's so short...assuming you've paced yourself up the lower stages.
    There were a few people walking up it on the Cheshire Cat last year, but I think because you can see it coming they'd out-psyched themselves and decided they couldn't do it.
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    as far as the cat goes, i'd be more concerned about tackling the cloud having just done mow cop after nearly 100 miles…

    I think you mean last year's route Alex ?
    - down into Congleton, up past the Bridestones ?

    Kilotogo also hyped the Bridestones as being tough last year, but to me the tough one is just after Congleton, through the lights and zoom downhill under the viaduct then there's that climb up the other side, eventually finishing at that farm with the wooden giraffes, lions, zebr, etc :shock:

    Different route this year : goes over the top of Mow Cop and down past Biddulph, up and over to Rudyard, through Wincle and Danebridge, up through Macc Forest to Lamaload, down through Bolly
    - yes, I'm not bothered by Mow Cop, I'm more concerned about Wincle & Danebridge. Macc Forest isn't so bad but then there's that climb out of Wildboarclough upto the Cat&Fiddle road which I hate, just seems to go on&on and my thighs burn...

    Yes, much tougher stuff on the Cat than Mow Cop
    - whyamihere, yes, I'll be doing it on a compact...
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    andy_wrx wrote:
    Macc Forest isn't so bad ...

    thats because they've gone the easy way! cheshire cats? pussies more like!! :)
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • JC.152JC.152 Posts: 645
    The Lyme hillclimb up Mow Cop was really good last october. The climb is hard but the 25% section that everyone knows is coming isn't that long and you could get caught by 2 blokes at the top if you were really that close to collapsin by the top.

    I've found the photos from it as well http://suejones.fotopic.net/c1598095.html (i'm in blue and white stone kit) I hadn'e even seen the climb until that morning only heard the stories like people on here have but ended up with Juv+Jun prize 8)

    The record was broken last time by Jim henderson in a time of 4.36 on his 12pound climbing bike :twisted:
  • ElganeshElganesh Posts: 143
    BMCCbry wrote:
    There are much worse hills in other sportives, e.g. Cleeve Hill in the Circuit of the Cotswolds.

    I'm relieved now as I used to live in Cheltenham and had to go up Cleeve Hill plenty of times.

    Is it as bad as the Old Bwlch to Penbarras and Moel Famau though? I know I struggle on this having not managed to climb it without getting off once yet.
    FCN = 4.5 Roadie, hairy legs, half a beard (say goateeeeee!)
  • de_sistide_sisti Posts: 1,191
    BMCCbry wrote:
    . Cleeve Hill in the Circuit of the Cotswolds.

    Cleeve Hill aka Bushcombe Lane is the first climb (after less than 2 miles) in the
    Cotswold Corker (105km) audax (14 Feb this year).

    I've done it in the Circuit of the Cotswolds too, after several miles in the legs and it's just
    as difficult.
  • BMCCbryBMCCbry Posts: 153
    Elganesh wrote:
    BMCCbry wrote:
    There are much worse hills in other sportives, e.g. Cleeve Hill in the Circuit of the Cotswolds.

    I'm relieved now as I used to live in Cheltenham and had to go up Cleeve Hill plenty of times.

    Oooops, don't want to lull you into a false sense of security. It's the Bushcome Lane route up Cleeve Hill I'm referring to...
  • BMCCbryBMCCbry Posts: 153
    Elganesh wrote:
    BMCCbry wrote:
    There are much worse hills in other sportives, e.g. Cleeve Hill in the Circuit of the Cotswolds.

    I'm relieved now as I used to live in Cheltenham and had to go up Cleeve Hill plenty of times.

    Oooops, don't want to lull you into a false sense of security. It's the Bushcombe Lane route up Cleeve Hill I'm referring to...
  • ElganeshElganesh Posts: 143
    BMCCbry wrote:
    Elganesh wrote:
    BMCCbry wrote:
    There are much worse hills in other sportives, e.g. Cleeve Hill in the Circuit of the Cotswolds.

    I'm relieved now as I used to live in Cheltenham and had to go up Cleeve Hill plenty of times.

    Oooops, don't want to lull you into a false sense of security. It's the Bushcombe Lane route up Cleeve Hill I'm referring to...

    I haven't lived down there in almost 5 years. Is that the one going up through Woodmancote past the pub?

    edit: just checked on streetmap. I know the one now. I figure if I can make it up the Old Bwlch (eventually), I'll make it up Mow Cop.
    FCN = 4.5 Roadie, hairy legs, half a beard (say goateeeeee!)
  • McBain_v1McBain_v1 Posts: 5,237
    Well I have to say that having read all of these posts and knowing that I am going to be trying this ride on a 39/27 I am getting more than a little worried :oops: There is every chance that I might do a sideways flop on some of these other climbs that are being mentioned so everyone had better watch out :shock:

    What do I ride? Now that's an Enigma!
  • G-WizG-Wiz Posts: 261
    Trying this at the weekend. Should be fun after 4 weeks off the bike.

    Has anyone who's ridden the likes of Winterfold or White Down in the Surrey Hills ridden this one as well? Any idea if it's better or worse?
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    No need to be worried, it is overrated, it's only 25% for a very short bit, the rest of it is only like 12%.

    I'd be more worried about the cat and fiddle over Mow Cop lol.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    G-Wiz wrote:
    Trying this at the weekend. Should be fun after 4 weeks off the bike.

    Has anyone who's ridden the likes of Winterfold or White Down in the Surrey Hills ridden this one as well? Any idea if it's better or worse?

    With easy gearing and/or fresh legs you'll be fine - with 50 fast rolling/hilly miles and a double it'll be more testing (for example) - just depends on what your circumstances are - you'll probably be fine on a compact. The last bit is like being on a leg press machine at the gym - just take it slow/steady, out of the saddle, "one push at a time" - you'll be fine.
  • wickedwicked Posts: 844
    I have never done Mow Cop but there are plenty of 20 -25% beast's around here as anyone who did the Wild Edric last year will testify.
    These steep hills are not really a test of climbing ability but more a suffer fest where power and the ability to take the pain for a short time is paramount. We saw this with Contador in FW, he is the best climber in the peleton by some margin but Cadel Evans was able to power past which will not (probably) happen in the tour.
    It’s the most beautiful sport in the world but it’s governed by ***ts who have turned it into a crock of ****.
  • benjboybenjboy Posts: 258
    Its Mow cop get over it :twisted: ..
    Keep the chain tight all the way.
  • G-WizG-Wiz Posts: 261
    Did it yesterday, it's pretty much the same as some of the steeper Surrey hills but a little longer. Felt a bit shaky at the top, but after 4 weeks off with a virus it wasn't as bad as I'd thought.

    Awesome view from the top. I drove the missus up on the way home today and discovered there's an equally stunning view over the other side from the ruin if you make the effort to get up there.

    Well worth ticking off the list if you ever get a chance.
  • stokey1964stokey1964 Posts: 454
    andy_wrx wrote:
    as far as the cat goes, i'd be more concerned about tackling the cloud having just done mow cop after nearly 100 miles…

    I think you mean last year's route Alex ?
    - down into Congleton, up past the Bridestones ?

    Kilotogo also hyped the Bridestones as being tough last year, but to me the tough one is just after Congleton, through the lights and zoom downhill under the viaduct then there's that climb up the other side, eventually finishing at that farm with the wooden giraffes, lions, zebr, etc :shock:

    Different route this year : goes over the top of Mow Cop and down past Biddulph, up and over to Rudyard, through Wincle and Danebridge, up through Macc Forest to Lamaload, down through Bolly
    - yes, I'm not bothered by Mow Cop, I'm more concerned about Wincle & Danebridge. Macc Forest isn't so bad but then there's that climb out of Wildboarclough upto the Cat&Fiddle road which I hate, just seems to go on&on and my thighs burn...

    Yes, much tougher stuff on the Cat than Mow Cop
    - whyamihere, yes, I'll be doing it on a compact...

    Im from Stoke and that run past the wooden zebras etc is part of our normal training run

    from there we drop down to the Macc road and then into Rudyard back to the top of Biddulph Moor

    One of my favourite runs


    Simon
  • G-WizG-Wiz Posts: 261
    Any of you guys got a map with some of these on, or some decent routes you can link to?

    I'll likely be up there again later this year, I've heard that Mac forest is pretty good so that's already one I'll be having a look at.
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