Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

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londonbikerider
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Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby londonbikerider » 25 Sep 2020, 2:33pm

Hello.
The last few months I have not taken advantage of the "glorious" (that can be an opinion for many) weather for cycling, rather been busy with other activities. Hence I seem to have forgotten many of the local good lanes, and the ones with short and steep gradients.
The ones like Aston Hill, Kopp Hill and Bison Hill by the Chilterns are a good example. But there was a short lane, somewhere before St. Albans if I remember correctly, that is called "Stonard Road" and would go up to 18%. Would anyone be more helpful in this?
Many thanks!

andrewwillans49
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby andrewwillans49 » 25 Sep 2020, 7:27pm

I believe Bison Hill is in Bedfordshire, not that it matters. Nearby is Sundon Hill which is tougher. There is Chalk Hill at Baldock that's quite tough. Coombe Road near Royston is a challenge.
It depends on your location and how far you're prepared to travel. I like riding up hill and as I've ridden all the above whilst fit and unfit I can say that they're unique, each hill has its own individual character.

mumbojumbo
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby mumbojumbo » 25 Sep 2020, 8:27pm

Love the Chilterns.

drossall
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby drossall » 25 Sep 2020, 11:43pm

You definitely want to be in the south-west corner for steep hills. The best of the Chilterns is arguably outside Hertfordshire, in Buckinghamshire and beyond.

I rode over to a training day in Berkhamsted once. The climb back north east out of the town towards Potten End was quite fun; I was glad I had my triple with me. There are odd short climbs. There's one out of Baldock towards Weston, for example. A very short one east out of Much Hadham towards Stortford.

It's hard finding hill-climb courses round here. My club uses the only chevron for miles.

Norman H
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby Norman H » 26 Sep 2020, 8:51am

Where are you? As others have said only a small part of the Chilterns is in Hertfordshire and the best of the hills are to the south and west.

From Watford a ride out towards Chesham can be as lumpy as you like. There are a number of lanes that cross the Chess valley around Chenies, Latimer and the Chalfonts, all of which will test your climbing legs. Chesham itself is surrounded by hills and also has endless opportunities for challenging hills.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby The utility cyclist » 28 Sep 2020, 4:56pm

There's one near Preston just South of Hitchin called St.Albans Way that in places is around 10%, very narrow lane and oft strewn with tree debris this time of year.
The aforementioned one that comes off the London rd (formerly gt.North rd) it's actually Hatch Lane when the steep bit kicks in and chalk hills at the entrance off London rd.
You could also give the A505 a bash toward Luton from Hitchin, whilst not steep the fact it's a bit exposed to the weather can make it a bit of a slog, also being a dual it can make it a bit bracing in other ways :lol: Coming back you could be hitting 50mph at the bottom of the slope if the wind isn't into your face.

sjs
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby sjs » 28 Sep 2020, 5:38pm

drossall wrote:You definitely want to be in the south-west corner for steep hills. The best of the Chilterns is arguably outside Hertfordshire, in Buckinghamshire and beyond.

I rode over to a training day in Berkhamsted once. The climb back north east out of the town towards Potten End was quite fun; I was glad I had my triple with me. There are odd short climbs. There's one out of Baldock towards Weston, for example. A very short one east out of Much Hadham towards Stortford.

It's hard finding hill-climb courses round here. My club uses the only chevron for miles.


Some quite nice hills near the village of Preston near Hitchin, including one with an OS chevron. Also a very good pub there (the Red Lion) as a reward for a successful ascent.

[Edit: Should have read UC's post before posting]

drossall
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby drossall » 28 Sep 2020, 6:37pm

Preston is my back yard, and the chevron is the one I meant. But not quite like Christmas Common from Watlington, for example, or Britwell Hill :D

sjs
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby sjs » 28 Sep 2020, 7:45pm

drossall wrote:Preston is my back yard, and the chevron is the one I meant. But not quite like Christmas Common from Watlington, for example, or Britwell Hill :D


Hexton Road, from Hexton towards Lilley is longish (for round here) and steepish. And the roads out of that Lilley Bottom road valley on either side, but especially towards the south west are quite hilly. Good views of Luton airport as well.

Vorpal
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby Vorpal » 28 Sep 2020, 8:46pm

londonbikerider wrote:Hello.
The last few months I have not taken advantage of the "glorious" (that can be an opinion for many) weather for cycling, rather been busy with other activities. Hence I seem to have forgotten many of the local good lanes, and the ones with short and steep gradients.
The ones like Aston Hill, Kopp Hill and Bison Hill by the Chilterns are a good example. But there was a short lane, somewhere before St. Albans if I remember correctly, that is called "Stonard Road" and would go up to 18%. Would anyone be more helpful in this?
Many thanks!

There's a Stonards Hill in Epping, but it's not so steep. There are a couple of steep climbs around St. Albans, but they are mostly short & sharp; I can't think of anything up to 18%, but even though I used to cycle frequently in that area, I haven't done in some years. Waltham Abbey has a couple of decent hills, too. Mott Street might get up to 15%?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

drossall
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Re: Steep lanes in Hertfordshire

Postby drossall » 28 Sep 2020, 10:37pm

sjs wrote:Hexton Road, from Hexton towards Lilley is longish (for round here) and steepish.

Gravel Hill, yes. Or more often Grovel Hill, in my case. During lockdown, my club had a selfie challenge series because there were no club runs; ride to a nominated spot, take a selfie there and post it to Facebook. That seemed to take me up Gravel Hill several times.

Horn Hill in Whitwell, at the lower end of Lilley Bottom, is briefly steep of course.