Location: Spout Hill
Height Gain: 94m
Average Gradient: 10%
Max. Gradient: 14%
Difficulty Score: 48
Table Position: =7th
Date of Attempt: 12th July 2012
I’m told that the entrance to Spout Hill is in the centre of the village and at the foot of the road is a monument of some description.
True to form you cannot miss Spout Hill, it sticks out like an appendage in a Nunnery, and stands almost as tall. At first I must admit to fancying my chances, in fact I admit to cycling toward the village duck pond in order to give myself a decent run up.
So setting off at the junction of Burrill Lane and Dale Road I give it some beans and race toward Spout Hill, wearing my idiocy on my sleeve. Once past the monument It’s not long before I’m in my lowest gear and facing up to what can only be described as a wall of road. Spout Hill is obnoxious, as I drive my 17 stones of weight on to each peddle stroke I *very* slowly ease past the houses built at the bottom of the hill and enter the cool shade of the woods, which the hill runs through.
The hill is relentlessly steep, I daren’t look back in case I have a dizzy spell. I keep going until I reach a short plateau or less steep section, but before I get my breath back I am once again crawling forward. Alas, my efforts are in vain, I struggle to unclip as the inevitable happens and I have to dismount. At first I am disappointed, but when I look down the hill at what distance I have achieved, I’m pleased I gave it a go.
Before long I’m back on my bike and trying to get some momentum going, but it’s tough as the road isn’t exactly well maintained and before long I pull over, exhausted with my efforts. It happens again for a third time, but I’m determined to finish the climb, so I cycle the final section until I reach a small asphalt apron at the top.
I’ve made it to the top of the hill, but I am absolutely shattered, my lungs are bursting out of my chest, my heart is racing and I feel like spewing. Although its taken three attempts, I made it to the top, but disappointment dawns as the road now becomes a track and is suitable only for mountain bikes, which brings its own little problem, how to get back down safely.
I get my breath back and position my hands on the drops, not to race down the hill, but to allow me greater control of the brakes. I begin to roll forward, before long I’m going too fast for comfort and the brakes are both at 50%, not that it makes any difference, it seems the only way down is to drop like a stone and hope for the best, so I did, it made the descent of Dale Road seem tame in comparison.
Spout Hill is a beast.
It makes Trundlegate seem almost routine.
It is also bonkers to think somebody actually built the road in the first place.
I have to admit that on the climb up Spout Hill a little part of my enthusiasm for cycling disappeared, I detest dead ends at the best of times, but it was the hill itself that beat me and right now I don’t ever wish to climb it again.
I figure that if Trundlegate has the nickname of ‘The Devil’s Chimney’, by definition that makes Spout Hill ‘The Devil’s A**e Hole’, because you don’t really want to go up it and once at the top the only way out is to go back from whence you came. Not a ride to be repeated any time soon.
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