Bowden Spur Road
|Bowden Spur Road|
2.237 miles km (2.2 mi)
|Average gradient:||9.19.1 %%|
|Elevation gain:||326326 m
1,069.554 ft m (1069 ft)
|Maximum elevation:||614614 m
2,014.436 ft m (2014 ft)
Bowden Spur Road is a steep, unsealed climb into the Kinglake Ranges. Unlike the windier, more popular climbs in the area - the main Kinglake climb and the Humevale Road climb - Bowden Spur Road heads straight up the hill, making for a challenging ascent.
Start of the climb
The Bowden Spur Climb starts on the road of the same name, a few kilometres north east of Strathewen and just after the turn-off to Rankines Road.
End of the climb
The climb ends just before Bowden Spur Road's intersection with Whittlesea-Kinglake Road, just where the road flattens out.
At a glance
- A very steep ascent on an unsealed surface.
- After a steep initial 500m the road flattens out somewhat for 500m.
- The section from 1km to 1.8km is the hardest part of the climb.
- The road flattens off completely between a right-hand hairpin (1.8km) and a left-hand hairpin (1.9km).
- It's a tough grind from 1.9km to the top but the road does flatten slightly towards the top.
Description of the climb
The initial 500m section of climbing is steep but not as tough as the following sections. After a brief moment of respite, the 800m from the 1km mark is a challenging pinch to get up, as you approach a series of powerlines that cross the road.
The flat section after the first switchback provides a welcome reprieve and some nice views into the valley below. Turning left a short time later begins the tough final section of the climb - a 1.5km stretch which saps the legs and will have you grinding away as you try to find a good line and maintain traction.
The climb flattens off somewhat in the closing stages as you approach the main road between Kinglake and Whittlesea.
Adjoining climbs/nearby climbs
Alternate start or finish points
There are a number of alternate ways of considering this climb. If you focus on the steepest part of the climb, you're looking at 2km at 12%. Another alternative is to consider Bowden Spur Road in its entirety as one climb, yielding 6.8km at 6.8%.
Take great care if you decide to descend this climb. While the surface is in reasonable condition (as of May 2015), there is some surface gravel which can lead to pinch flats. A better alternative is to descend the main Kinglake climb once you're at the top of Bowden Spur Road.
This ascent is achievable on a road bike with tough 23mm or 25mm tyres. Just pay attention to the line you take - avoid loose gravel - and your weight balance, so as not to lose traction or have the front wheel lift off the ground.
- Exploring Kinglake: Bowden Spur and other new roads - The Climbing Cyclist
|Average gradient||9.1 % +|
|Elevation gain||326 m (1,069.554 ft) +|
|Length||3.6 km (3,600 metres, 2.237 miles) +|
|Maximum elevation||614 m (2,014.436 ft) +|
|Start coordinates||-37° 32' 6.7632", 145° 17' 28.6476"Latitude: -37.535212|
Longitude: 145.291291 +
|Start location||Strathewen +|