Average gradient: 6.9%
Elevation gain: 225m
Don’t let the average gradient fool you: this is one of the most challenging climbs you are likely to do. Rising sharply out of the township of Belgrave, this climb has several sections in excess of 20% and will push you to the limit, regardless of your cycling ability.
The Terrys Avenue climb starts at the main roundabout in the township of Belgrave, 40km east of Melbourne.
The Terrys Avenue climb concludes at its intersection with the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road (C415).
At a glance
- A very challenging short climb with a couple of painfully steep ramps and two brief descents.
- The first 700m of the climb have an average gradient of 14% with a maximum slope of 20%+.
- From 700m to 1km the road is flat and from 1km to 1.6km the road actually descends.
- From 1.6km to 3km the gradient stays above 10% with a maximum grade of 20%+.
- From 3km to 3.1km the road is slightly downhill before a final 10%+ ramp to the top.
A warning to recreational riders – while this climb is short, it is extremely steep in parts and will prove very challenging for all but the strongest climbers. The average gradient might be only 6.9% but this climb contains one 700m section at 14% and a 1.6km section at 11%. If you are going to attempt this climb, be mindful of your own ability and consider whether the satisfaction of reaching the top is worth the pain of getting there!
It’s more or less impossible to ride the Terrys Avenue climb without having an idea of what’s ahead you. From its start at the main Belgrave roundabout, Terrys Avenue shoots up at an impossibly steep angle and disappears around a right-hand bend. This initial pinch is in excess of 20% gradient but luckily it only lasts for 50m or so.
After the initial pinch, the road settles into a comparatively pedestrian gradient of around 11% which is maintained until the 500m mark at which point the road kicks back up. For 100m the gradient sits at a punishing 15% before flattening out at 700m, giving you a chance to rest.
After 300m of nearly-zero gradient the road, now called Belgrave-Ferny Creek Road, actually descends. The road falls away for 600m, reducing the climb’s average gradient to something completely unrepresentative of the climb itself. At the 1.6km mark the road begins to climb again, doing so at a gradient beyond 10% for several hundred metres.
But it’s at the 2.2km mark that things start to get even more challenging. At a gradient of around 20% the road winds its way through the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the beautiful scenery most likely ignored in the face of lung-busting steepness. After 2.5km of climbing a more modest gradient of 10% returns but by this stage you are likely to be wishing for the end of the climb.
2.8km into the climb, the gradient increases again, punishing you until a slight crest in the road at the 3km mark. For 100m the road descends gently before bending left, climbing with a gradient of greater than 10% for the final 100m to the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.
The descent of Terrys Avenue should be treated with respect. While speeds in excess of the speed limit are well and truly possible down here, at least one rider has had a nasty fall on this descent in recent years and all caution should be taken to avoid further incidents.
The township of Belgrave is found at the end of Burwood Highway (C412), 40km east of Melbourne’s CBD. If you are riding from the city, Burwood Highway starts at the intersection of St. Kilda Road where it is called Toorak Road.
This climb can also be attempted after descending from the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road. The point where the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road and Terrys Avenue intersect is 6km north-east from Upper Ferntree Gully and 6km south-west from Olinda, both along the Tourist Road.
If getting to the top of this climb isn’t challenging enough for you, you could always try to set a good time as well. A Strava segment for this climb can be found here.