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Leith Hill 8 months on...

prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 791
edited June 2015 in Road general
I've been road cycling for about 10 months now. After 2 months a friend and I went to box hill and unknowingly had leith hill on our route. I have a Triban 3 and felt like I was going to die going up it, had to stop twice, the first time for about 5 minutes and was in the lowest gear on the Triban's triple.

Yesterday was the first time we had been back. I was a bit worried I'd die again and find out that I hadn't progressed much over the last 8 months. I managed to make it up with relative ease and felt like I could have gone further, I didn't need to go to the third chainring at all and overtook about 10 people on the way up. Admittedly, they had been doing a sportive and I think they'd covered a lot more distance than I had before the climb, but going past the points where I had previously stopped felt so good!

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience as it's the first real benchmark I've had. I'm off to the Alps in the summer so I'm sure that feeling of near death isn't too far off again. :D
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  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    Top stuff, well done Prhymeate. I think cyclists generally to think of the improvements to come, which is good but often overlooks how far one has progressed. Now, do that bloody hill quicker, if you don't feel like you may need to hop off at some point then you are not going fast enough :twisted:
  • raymondo60raymondo60 Posts: 725
    Well done on the improvement - its another way to motivate yourself too. With regard to the riders you passed, that was likely the Wiggle 'Ups and Downs' sportive crew - the Standard route riders had covered about 72miles by then, the Epic riders about 95 (exactly 95 according to my Cateye) so deserve a little sympathy! Well done though.
    Raymondo

    "Let's just all be really careful out there folks!"
  • prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 791
    Cheers guys!
    Yea, I figured the sportive riders had covered quite a bit more than I had by then, so I did respect their efforts as I don't think I could have done the same.
  • Jon_1976Jon_1976 Posts: 690
    Well done!

    Its a great feeling to go back to a climb that has beaten you previously and kick its censored :D I need to go back to Rivington road and beat my nemesis.
  • lc1981lc1981 Posts: 820
    prhymeate wrote:
    II'm off to the Alps in the summer so I'm sure that feeling of near death isn't too far off again. :D

    I've done Box Hill a few times but never ridden Leith Hill. From what I've read about it though, you'll probably find the majority of climbs in the Alps not as steep - they just go on much longer!
  • I was on my way to Leith Hill on Saturday. Had planned the route on a regular road map and didn't know about the steep little censored at Crocknorth? road or something. I'd never heard of it. Only about 1km but when you're expecting a little pootle through the woods, it was a bit of a surprise. Then I got lost.
  • Steve236Steve236 Posts: 212
    Which way up did you go OP? I've never worked out if there is a consensus on a "classic" route up Leith Hill. I've done it 3 times, each different - once from the direction of Dorking up Boars Hill and through Coldharbour; once from the south up Etherley Hill and Abinger Road and also from the south up Henhurst Cross Lane and Anstie Lane.

    I've not done from the north up Hollow Lane and Leith Hill Road although my guess is that if there is a classic route its that one.
  • prhymeateprhymeate Posts: 791
    edited May 2013
    Steve236 wrote:
    Which way up did you go OP? I've never worked out if there is a consensus on a "classic" route up Leith Hill. I've done it 3 times, each different - once from the direction of Dorking up Boars Hill and through Coldharbour; once from the south up Etherley Hill and Abinger Road and also from the south up Henhurst Cross Lane and Anstie Lane.

    I've not done from the north up Hollow Lane and Leith Hill Road although my guess is that if there is a classic route its that one.

    I came from the south, past the parrot inn at forest green and up abinger road onto leith hill. Is this where I found out that's the easiest route to take? :lol:
  • A KIRKA KIRK Posts: 64
    None of the routes are overly easy, from ockley there are two main routes up sorry cant remember the road names although I should, one is slightly easier than the other.

    Cold harbour lane is just evil long and boring, route through westcout is again boring, there is no easy route to the top of leith hill
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  • HouseMunkeyHouseMunkey Posts: 292
    I was on my way to Leith Hill on Saturday. Had planned the route on a regular road map and didn't know about the steep little censored at Crocknorth? road or something. I'd never heard of it. Only about 1km but when you're expecting a little pootle through the woods, it was a bit of a surprise. Then I got lost.

    Funny that someone should mention Crocknorth. My girlfriend lives in Kingston so a few weeks ago I finally went on my pilgrimage to Boxhill and took Crocknorth in on the route later on, it's a right steep little censored isn't it! Ranmore was fairly tough and the view from the top of Boxhill was unreal. I'll have to look into this Leith Hill as well for a future ride.
  • Steve236Steve236 Posts: 212
    prhymeate wrote:
    Is this where I found out that's the easiest route to take? :lol:

    No! As mentioned, there are no easy routes up. I think generally the routes from the south are steeper and shorter, those from the north are less steep but are longer.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Ah Crocknorth Road, that litle censored of a hill. I remember my first club ride a year ago, setting off from Guildford heading towards Box Hill. I was thinking about how hard the zig zag road might be, then we went up Crocknorth. With weak legs and a 42-28 gear I just couldn't make it, had to stop. Its still quite a challenge but just think it gets easier after the bridge.

    Leith Hill is quite nice I think, 3 main routes up it in my book:
    - Heading South East via Hollow Lane/Leith Hill lane from the A25. A long climb but not so steep. Quite doable.
    - Heading South West from Dorking via Coldharbour Lane. A longer route this especially if you turn at the "top" to come "down" Leith Hill Lane since there is another up hill section that's quite steep. |The route up ColdHarbour is steeper than the other route in places.
    - Heading north via Abinger Road, again quite steep but not too long.

    There are of course other routes including Tanhurst Lane which is censored of a road, a really [email protected] surface with a river running down it.

    The only decision then to take is whether to come back via Whitedown or Barhatch Lane!!!
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  • drlodge wrote:
    There are of course other routes including Tanhurst Lane which is censored of a road, a really [email protected] surface with a river running down it.
    Amen to that. I freely admit that I can't actually get up that in one hit on the road bike - not enough go to do it seated, and standing up ends in instant wheelspin and demonstration of why adequate standover clearance is a Good Thing. Descending it is a matter of technique, with said technique being neatly summed up as "pick a different route, descend that".
    Mangeur
  • CXriderCXrider Posts: 141
    Have been cycling for about 6 months now and decided the time was right for a trip to Box Hill.
    I downloaded a route which included Leith Hill, which I had heard about it.

    I did do it without stopping but it was very tough and I was seriously puffing. Box Hill was relatively easy.
    I could never have done Leith Hill , even as short back as a month ago, as my progress is rigorous.

    Actually, you can read about my time on the hill on my blog:

    http://www.RideToParis.co.uk
    Pedal to Paris blog at http://RideToParis.co.uk
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    You should try the Leith Hill Octopus - 8 different ways to get up (and down) it :lol: I did, the sheer exertion brought on a bought of Bell's Palsy! I was fully recovered about 4 months later.

    http://leithhilloctopus.s3-website-eu-w ... /index.htm

    octomap.png

    By the way, Tanhurst Lane, previously called "Officially the worst road in Surrey" has been re-surfaced and its absolutely superb. Its quite steep but a lovely way to ascend this hill.
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    CXrider wrote:
    Have been cycling for about 6 months now and decided the time was right for a trip to Box Hill.
    I downloaded a route which included Leith Hill, which I had heard about it.

    I did do it without stopping but it was very tough and I was seriously puffing. Box Hill was relatively easy.
    I could never have done Leith Hill , even as short back as a month ago, as my progress is rigorous.

    Actually, you can read about my time on the hill on my blog:

    http://www.RideToParis.co.uk

    Next time you do that route up/down Leith and want a bigger challenge, peel left at Abinger Common to take Abinger Lane, turn right at Raikes Lane which gets you to the A25. Straight over and up Whitedown :lol::lol::lol:
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  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Oh Crocknorth! How on my first club run there I galloped away from the group, curious as to why they were going slow saying 'see you at the top' before turning the corner and sinking.

    Had to dig in on that occasion! :lol:
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,216
    Some sprint up the first part of Crocknorth and as Pete says, it then really hurts. best to getinto a rhythm and spin up the 250 to 300metres of tough gradient, then click up under the bridge and power through ( by power i mean huff and puff and grunt and groan up it!)

    Abinger has some sharp bits but is regarded as being one of the easier ways up Leith. the dullest way is coldharbour. the best way is the Leith hill road way from Forest Green. by best i mean most punishing.
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 725
    Come and join me on the Legs of Steel in September - 10 climbs in the Dorking/Cranleigh area in 50 miles. I missed the gold standard by 10 minutes last year :x
  • CXriderCXrider Posts: 141
    Not very clear, but this is the route that I took:

    box-leith-ride-14th-may.jpg

    Not sure if that is South, North or whatever road... I was just focusing on surviving! :?

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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    That's the route heading south west, up Coldhabour - its the longest route up and most challening IMO. The route down is nice and fast, and it makes quite a pleasant route going up Leith Hill too.

    The @100climbs route is from the South, its shorter but steeper at the top - Leith Hill Lane.
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  • brettjmccbrettjmcc Posts: 1,361
    Just out of interest, which is the way RL100 went up last year?
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    brettjmcc wrote:
    Just out of interest, which is the way RL100 went up last year?

    The @100climbs route from the South
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  • alex222alex222 Posts: 584
    drlodge wrote:
    You should try the Leith Hill Octopus - 8 different ways to get up (and down) it :lol: I did, the sheer exertion brought on a bought of Bell's Palsy! I was fully recovered about 4 months later.

    http://leithhilloctopus.s3-website-eu-w ... /index.htm

    octomap.png

    By the way, Tanhurst Lane, previously called "Officially the worst road in Surrey" has been re-surfaced and its absolutely superb. Its quite steep but a lovely way to ascend this hill.

    Planning to tackle the Octopus later in the summer with a few mates. Looking forward to the challenge.

    Plus one from here for the Whitedown recommendation, a nice steep climb.
  • CXriderCXrider Posts: 141
    drlodge wrote:
    That's the route heading south west, up Coldhabour - its the longest route up and most challening IMO. The route down is nice and fast, and it makes quite a pleasant route going up Leith Hill too.

    The @100climbs route is from the South, its shorter but steeper at the top - Leith Hill Lane.

    Ah, cool. Ha. Nice to know my first experience was about as hard as it gets. It was fairly relentless and I did want to get off a couple of times but perservered.
    Though I prefer long steep climbs to those short ramp things, where they are sooooo steep it seems almost impossiblew to get up them. There are a couple of routes around shere, alternatives to riding up Newlands Corner, which have a very steep ending. They are very tough.
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Newlands Corner isn't steep from either direction, do you mean Combe Lane? Coming from the other side is Staple Lane which is quite a nice climb, then fast down Combe Lane. That's the route of the Olympic road race. Or try Green Dene which is longer and not so steep, then down Staple or Combe.

    Another long/not so steep route to the top of Ranmore is Critten Lane, but the road surface is sh1te to say the least. Also Ranmore Road from Dorking, that is long (a mile?) and about 10%, quite a drag! the other climbs to Ranmore - Crocknorth, White Down and Ranmore Common Road are short/steep.
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  • CXriderCXrider Posts: 141
    drlodge wrote:
    Newlands Corner isn't steep from either direction, do you mean Combe Lane?

    Yeah, I find that tougher than going up the main road. Its the climb at the very end which is very steep.
    Then it's downhill all the way to the Lotus garage.
    Pedal to Paris blog at http://RideToParis.co.uk
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    CXrider wrote:
    drlodge wrote:
    Newlands Corner isn't steep from either direction, do you mean Combe Lane?

    Yeah, I find that tougher than going up the main road. Its the climb at the very end which is very steep.
    Then it's downhill all the way to the Lotus garage.

    Yes it is steep at the end, you need quite a low gear. That was the place my heart rate reached its highest - 187 and I had to concentrate not to pass out as I meandered into Staple Lane. That left hairpin and be tricky with cars in the road as you really want to sweep right to take the long way round.

    Your route would have been to follow Combe Lane then left into Shere Road, its nice along there.
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  • CXriderCXrider Posts: 141
    I've done the same route 3 times now and it has not got any easier weirdly.
    I say weirdly as other hills are getting easier as I generally improve.

    I can only logically assume its the length combined with the many gradient changes and they way it seems to have a few stages.
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  • mm1mm1 Posts: 1,101
    Went up Leith Hill first on what was probably my 2nd or third clubrun in 1976; jeans, plimsoles (cheap ones from Woollies, not even green flash) and a bike that weighed a ton. Doubt I could beat my 16 year old self up it now. Used to have our club hill climb up Ranmore, the name still makes me shudder.

    Does anyone know the climb from Kingsley Green to Marley Common / Haslemere, used to live over the top of that - total swear fest every time I've ridden up it!
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