Two-wheel tor­ture tai­lored to or­der

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS SHAN­NON

Welling­ton cy­clists pun­ished by the re­gion’s hills can now find out which climbs are the tough­est, thanks to an en­durance coach’s cal­cu­la­tions.

Ger­rard Smith has spent the last three months cy­cling many of Welling­ton’s hills in a bid to chart the gra­di­ents, lengths and dis­tances of the climbs that make cy­clists suf­fer most.

Mr Smith, who runs a per­sonal coach­ing busi­ness for en­durance ath­letes, said he de­cided to map the re­gion’s moun­tain­ous routes be­cause they were a vi­tal part of train­ing for cy­clists and triath­letes.

‘‘When it comes to pre­par­ing for an event you want to be able to sim­u­late the ter­rain that you will be rid­ing on as much as pos­si­ble,’’ he said.

‘‘You can do a race re­hearsal and know that if there’s a par­tic­u­larly big hill at a point in the course then try and do the same when you’re rid­ing around Welling­ton.’’

Mr Smith col­lected the data us­ing a power me­ter at­tached to his bike, be­fore cal­cu­lat­ing the gra­di­ents by di­vid­ing the ver­ti­cal in­crease by the hor­i­zon­tal dis­tance of the climb.

Lo­cal cy­clist An­drew Mackay said the list was a good re­source.

‘‘It would be awe­some to know the gra­di­ents in Welling­ton that you can ride up and com­pare it to the Tour de France,’’ he said.

The trek up Broad­mead­ows has the high­est av­er­age gra­di­ent, but Mr Smith con­sid­ers Old Porirua Rd in Ngaio Welling­ton’s tough­est climb.

It is 1.3km in length, with 134 me­tres of ver­ti­cal climb­ing at an av­er­age gra­di­ent of 10.7 per cent. How­ever, one part of Man­garoa Hill Rd in Up­per Hutt has a gra­di­ent that reaches 20.5 per cent.

It does not quite match the Tour de France’s famed Alpe d’Huez (13.8km with a ver­ti­cal climb of 1120 me­tres and av­er­age gra­di­ent of 8 per cent), but Mr Mackay said he found Old Porirua Rd to be ‘‘a good one’’.

‘‘It’s re­ally steep – I wouldn’t want to do that one too of­ten.’’

Fel­low cy­clist Lee Evans said that, based on his ex­pe­ri­ences rid­ing the hill, he agreed with that sen­ti­ment.

‘‘It’s not a hill that I’d re­com- mend to any­body.’’

The routes Mr Smith has rid­den and recorded are the most com­mon climbs in the Welling­ton re­gion.

The list is avail­able on his web­site,

Tough climb: Lo­cal cy­clists An­drew Mackay, left, and Lee Evans tack­ling one of Welling­ton’s many hills. PHOTO: KRIS SHAN­NON

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