Cheddar Gorge is a 3.5Km hill climb from the village of Cheddar up through the impressive rock of Cheddar Gorge to the top of the Mendips. Cheddar Gorge is about 15 miles South West of Bristol, just off the A 38
- Climb from 50m to 210m – height gain of 160m. (from bottom of village is 20m) but climb proper begins as you start to exit the village.
- Average Gradient 4.5%
After a gentle climb through the village of Cheddar, the road begins a sharp rise through several hairpins cut into the rock face. Here there are sections of 16%. After 0.6mile, the gradient levels off and becomes a gentle 3-4% for another 2 miles to the summit. When racing it is important not to overcook it on initial steep section.
Hill Climb Profile
from West DC
2007 National Hill Climb championships – Cheddar Gorge
Cycling up Cheddar Gorge in 2007
In 2007, the National Hill Climb championship was held at Cheddar Gorge. That year I had not done much racing, only having time for 1 hill climb. I finished 7th only 6 seconds behind third place. Because it is quite a long climb, it is important not to overcook it on steep section. I really rode within myself on this first section. This was difficult because you are motivated in a hill climb championship and also there was a big crowd on the lower steeper section. However, as the gradient levelled out, I was able to lift my chain into the big ring (53 teeth) and really lift the pace. Then it was a matter of holding on to this pace for the next 4-5 minutes.
- James Dobbin Arctic Shorter Rochford RT – 06:51.5
- David Clarke Blue Sky Cycles – 06:57.6
- Matt Clinton mikevaughaun.co.uk – 07:08.5
- Jim Henderson Southport CC – 07:10.3
- Geoffrey Beetham Retrobike.co.uk – 07:11.7
- Danny Axford Arctic Shorter Rochford RT – 07:12.6
- Tejvan Pettinger Sri Chinmoy CT – 07:14.4
- Ian Stott Blackburn & Dist. CTC – 07:23.6
- Adam Pinder Blackburn & Dist. CTC – 07:27.1
- Ben Pochee Bike & Run London
Descending Cheddar Gorge.
The descent is also quite fast with quite a few hairpins. You will probably soon get stuck behind cars who travel much slower on the descent.
Towards the bottom, the gradient gets steeper and the bends sharper.It can be exhilarating throwing your bike around the corners, but be warned you may lose your line and end up on wrong side of narrow road into on coming car.
Burrington Combe makes a better descent as there is less traffic and less hairpins.
Descending Cheddar Gorge during Wessex RR
View from top of Cheddar Gorge