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The Road Less Travelled.

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If you cycle a bit, you’ll probably have your favourite route. You know, the one that you know like the back of your hand. We’ve got several of those.

Have you noticed that there’s a few small roads or lanes that you pass that you’ve never had time to explore ? Well no winter’s here and your best bike has probably been stored away what’s stopping you ?

Here are a few of our favourite climbs that are in our neck of the woods, that you’ll not find in the guide books.

Stanton Hill – 0.9 km, 8.9% avg, 26.9% max

Just off the main drag on the A6 between Bakewell on Rowsley, there’s a little lane signed for Congreave that’s just after the Youlgrave turning.

Cycling on the start of the lane it’s fairly flat and which lures you into a false sense of security. All of a sudden the road start’s rising and boom before you know it you are in your lowest gear tackling 25% plus hairpins.

Unthank 2.6 km, 5.2% avg, 18.2% max

Situated in the Cordwell Valley on the outskirts of Chesterfield, Unthank’s not the type of climb that you take your nice shiny bike on. It’s dirty, it’s got gravel, slurry, water running off it and the surface is sketchy in places, but these weaknesses add to it’s charm.

After a gentle climb past a few gentrified houses and a couple of farms, the road climbs up through some woodland full of native trees. After a while you pop out onto the top of the moors with view’s to die for.

Unthank Lane

Jaggers Lane 1.1km, 9.2% avg, 25% max

Jagger’s Lane is hidden away at the head of the Amber Valley. The roads surrounding this area are very popular with riders going to and from the Peak District, but few cyclists ever dip into the valley bottom. When approaching the bottom of the climb, all you can see is a wall in front of you and the knowledge that the top of the climb is somewhere up on the horizon. The route goes up and up and up, repeatedly trying to pull your lungs out and smash your legs. A word of warning though – the route can be very icy in winter as we learned to our expense trying to descend it last year.

A big thank you to Ben from Veloviewer for his help with this post and letting us use his fantastic graphics.

Remember to ride safe and share the road because life’s too short as it is.

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