Climb number 72 in Simon Warren’s excellent book, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, is The Rake in Ramsbottom. It’s given an 8/10 rating in the book. I plotted a ride that diverted from my usual Grane Road loop to take in this hill and chalk up my seventh climb from the book.
The weather was overcast when I set off, and chilly too considering it’s bloody August! By the time I returned the heavens had opened and I was drenched! The ride to the Rake was uneventful apart from the fact that my Garmin was playing up – claiming it had no saved routes even though I could see them when it was hooked up to the Mac. More on some Garmin hints and tips in a later post. I started up the climb and the road quickly becomes around 15% gradient for a while and then swings 90 degrees left and flattens out. At this point I was thinking “is that it?” Then the road turned right into a section that looked like the ramp from Mow Cop! This section is marked as 25% on the sign at the start, and even has a handrail on the wall for pedestrians! Although my heart-rate was maximum at this point I felt relatively comfortable, especially when the road flattened to a “mere” 20% gradient. It was still very tricky – the road surface is very poor so you have to concentrate on line rather than just slogging upwards! The hill is only about three-quarters of a mile and was over fairly quickly. I’m not sure I’d rate it an 8/10.
The rest of the ride took me (very, very soggily) back onto my normal Grane Road loop. I tried to really attack the remaining hills to get some training in, hitting max heart-rate a few more times. Interestingly, GPSIES reports this ride as having a ClimbByBike index of 55.43 which is seemingly quite benign (by way of contrast – the Tan Hill Challenge had a ClimbByBike index of 210.04). This is a method for rating climbs – click the links for more information.
Overall, a very good ride, if a little damp. Enjoyed the Rake – not sure what hill to tackle next!
Ride stats : 32 miles, 1hr 59m, average speed 16.1mph, 1873ft ascent, 1598kcals