Climbing, love it or hate it, is an imperative part of your cycling training. Aside from a serious workout on your legs, grinding up the side of your local hill helps to dramatically increase your power and anaerobic threshold. At times ascending can be tough and frustrating, however it can also be extremely rewarding. Over the next few weeks, we’ll bring to you the Noosa Hill Climb series. Blessed with fantastic roads, stunning scenery and minimal traffic, the Noosa Hinterland on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is a haven for cycling. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most challenging climbs in the area:
Black Mountains Cudgerie Drive is a fantastic 1.7km long training climb. Named after the Cudgerie trees that line the road and with an average gradient of 6.4%, the hill provides its fair share of beauty and challenges.
Commencing at an elevation of 105 meters above sea level, the ascent is approached from Elm Street to the north. After navigating a tight round about, there is a gradual climb up a leafy esplanade. The first section of the ascent passes through wooded acreage estate before levelling out above the tree line. At this point the road cuts through an expanse of open fields and country cottages, overlooking Yurol State Forest to the north. As you push on to the final ascent, the road reaches gradients of up to 11%. Your reward for reaching the top at 191 meters will be magnificent views towards Pomona and Mt. Cooroora.
Cudgerie Drive has its own segment on Strava, simply named Cudgerie Drive Climb, providing plenty of opportunities to test yourself against the best that have conquered the ascent. At the time of writing, 501 riders had tackled the ascent on Strava, with the fastest time recording an eye popping 3.28 minutes.
Cootharaba Road is a fantastic climb and one of the most challenging in the Noosa region. Used in the 160km Noosa Ultimate Sports Festival Sportive and recently ridden by the nations best U19’s at the National Championships, Cootharaba offers a challenge for riders of any ability. Although the road ascends for over 6km’s, the Cootharaba climb proper lasts for approximately 3km’s. The road gradually climbs through open woodland and Teatree forest before hitting a serious incline at an elevation of about 90 meters. The asphalt then takes a sharp turn towards the heavens with the final kilometre hitting gradients of up to 21%. The climb leaves its best to last with a serious pitch just before the summit and an elevation of 176 metres. From here, there is an undulating cruise across the plateau, with fantastic views to your left of the World Heritage Great Sandy National Park. The road then dips down to the left with jaw dropping vistas of the Noosa Hinterland opening up before you.
Black Mountain is my most favourite climb on the Sunshine Coast. Starting in the town of Cooroy, the 6.5 km journey to the top of Black Mountain is sure to surprise many. This little used training route is text book, with a gradual ascent for several kilometres before a tear jerking final 500 meters that slaps you in the face and has you begging for mercy. Surprisingly this route is one of the hidden gems of the hinterland, with only 22 riders attempting the climb on Strava. Departing Cooroy along Black Mountain road, the road climbs gradually through vintage farmland for several kilometres. After a tight left hand turn, the road joins Black Mountain Range rd. The climb then follows this road for 500 odd meters, before taking a hard left onto Eungella Drive. The final push to the summit of Black Mountain is laid in front of you as you veer to the left on Eungella and reaches gradients of up to 22%. All that stands in front of you and the best views the Sunshine Coast has to offer is a 500 meter wall that seems to go on and on. I often time trial this route and by the time I hit the white letter box with 250 to go, I am absolutely spent. However, it all seems worth it once I reach the top at 304 meters and appreciate the views from possibly the highest rideable road on the Sunshine Coast.
Learn to love hills and they’ll love you back.
Haydn Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org