Last year I posted a top 10 of Cambridgeshire climbs (Ok one of them was just across the Bedfordshire border, but we are fairly limited for choice in this county). Since then it has become my most viewed post and has given rise to a few discussions on and off the bike. One thing my post did do was to highlight a few gaps in my knowledge, especially around the south eastern part of Cambridgeshire. So, last autumn I started to plug that gap. I rode a few hundred miles around Cambridgeshire’s lanes and the result was a series of routes exploring the lumpier parts of the county.
I’ve now just about finished compiling my (almost) definitive list of Cambridgeshire climbs. I’ve split the climbs into two groups:
- The *ahem* big climbs: the simple criteria for these climbs is that the end point must be at least 30m higher than the start point. However, that does cover a surprising amount of variety and believe it or not, one climb is over 100m
- The short, sharp shockers: these climbs must gain at least 20m, however, to make up for their shortness they must be steep, with an average gradient >5% and maximum gradient >10%. Whereas the first group of climbs can be tackled in the saddle, these ones demand to be attacked with a leg burning, lung bursting out the saddled sprint.
I have used Strava segments to measure gradients and elevations. Having looked at various mapping tools they all seem to be pretty much the same. However, they don’t guarantee 100% accuracy and I have no intention of dusting off my A-Level geography field trip notes and manually measuring the climbs! Of course the other advantage of Strava is you see the record of other riders times.
Where possible I have linked to existing Strava segments, however, you may notice the figures may differ from mine. Some segments continue beyond what I think is the end of the climb, in which case I have recalculated average gradients and adjusted distances.
Now get on your bike…