Average gradient: 8.4%
Elevation gain: 234m
Just because a climb isn’t long doesn’t mean it won’t leave your leave your legs screaming by the end. At only 2.8km in length, Inverness Road would best be described by the phrase ‘short and sharp’. Starting at its intersection with York Road in Mt. Evelyn, Inverness Road winds its way painfully into the Dandenong Ranges National Park, joining up with the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road a few kilometres downhill from Kalorama.
Inverness Road intersects with York Road in the outer-eastern suburb of Mt. Evelyn and it is at this intersection that the climb begins. If you are timing your attempt up this climb, start your watch as soon as you are on Inverness Road.
The end of the Inverness Road climb is designated by the letters ‘KOM’ (King of the Mountain) written on the road in yellow paint, just before the road’s intersection with the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road.
At a glance
- A short but sharp climb with a number of very steep sections.
- Take care on the narrow section from 1.5km to 2.1km — it’s just wide enough for a car.
- The last section of the climb is steepest — a nasty ramp approaching 20%.
While Inverness Road’s average gradient of 8.5% can be daunting for any cyclist, the climb provides sections where you can sit up and rest before hitting the next pain-inducing pinch. From its beginning at the junction with York Road, Inverness Road starts gently enough but at the 500m mark things get a little more challenging with the road maintaining a painful incline until the sharp left-hand turn around a kilometre later.
As you swing around the bend, the road narrows into a single-lane affair, shared by traffic from both directions. Be sure to take extreme caution while ascending and descending this section of the road.
After around 1.7km of climbing the road flattens out for about half a kilometre, giving your legs a much needed rest. After the brief respite, the road kicks upward once again into a painful stretch in excess of 10% gradient before, unbelievably, ramping up further. This last section, just before the left-hand turn into the finishing stretch, is the steepest of the climb at a gradient of around 20%.
Inverness Road can be accessed by the busy York Road and can be found around 1km to the east of the roundabout where York Road meets Swansea Road. If you are traveling east on York Road, Inverness Road is on the right hand side and is directly opposite the beige sign which reads ‘Kuranga Native Nursery & Paperbark Cafe – entrance 100m’.
If you are already in the Dandenong Ranges National Park Inverness Road is best accessed from the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road, around 4km up the road from Montrose, or 2.6km down the road from Kalorama.
If you are keen to see how your time up Inverness Road compares to other cyclists’, check out the Strava segment.