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Rosedale Chimney Bank

Distance 0.9 miles (from the warning sign at the bottom to the sign at the top)

Max Gradient 33%, 1 in 3 in old money

Where do you find it?

If you live near Pickering or Kirbymoorside you have a relatively easy flat journey to Rosedale. If you live in the Teesside area you will have already travelled at least 20 miles and have climbed over to Castleton from the A171 Moor Road and then up Blakey Ridge to Rosedale Head at around 1,400 ft. From here the easiest way is to take the road on your left down into Rosedale (this is before you get to the Lion Inn). Alternatively you could go a longer route via the picturesque village of Hutton le Hole and descend the Chimney before turning back up to climb it, not recommended!

A map of the climb can be found here.

Description

This is the one, the mythical beast that is ‘the Chimney’ or Chimley as Dave prefers to call it. Any pictures that you see of it will not do it justice but if, as Sean Kelly says, ‘you measure your effort’ and have plenty of low gears available it is within the compass of the average club rider, and I am very average indeed. The bottom part of the climb kind of ‘eases you in’ but soon it ramps up towards the first, right hand, hairpin, I chose to take it very easy up this entire section and engaged bottom gear more or less straight away as I didn’t want to risk a duff gear change on the steepest section. You are then faced almost immediately with a left hand hairpin, swing to the right hand side of the road here if traffic allows as it will smooth the gradient out a little. If you are feeling good at this point that’s great, if not oh dear! I felt okay but the next bit of the climb goes straight up like a wall and is the steepest section. Grit your teeth get out of the saddle and find what rhythm you can. In amongst the pain I managed a glimpse of the computer, 3.7 mph! If this section went on any further it would get really critical but it eases to about 15% as you get towards the old mine workings on your right and now you know you’ve conquered it. Try to enjoy the moment as you make your way up towards the warning sign at the top.

This is not a descent where you can let the brakes off. I came down this around 20 years ago after watching a tour of Britain stage in the days of Weinmann brakes (which weren’t really brakes as such, just a mild friction device which slowed you down gently on a slight slope) I nearly met my maker. The sheer steepness combined with the two hairpins make this a climb where you can’t allow any speed to build up, you have been warned!

Photos

The Start, nice and gentle until you turn left round the corner, then the pain starts!

The Start, nice and gentle until you turn left round the corner, then the pain starts!

Just after the second hairpin, it’s much steeper than it looks and it hurts like heck!

Just after the second hairpin, it’s much steeper than it looks and it hurts like heck!

The warning sign at the top, take no notice but try not to fall off.

The warning sign at the top, take no notice but try not to fall off.

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Paul – 10 ‘It’s the Chimney, it has to be a 10!’
  • Rob – 10 ‘A real handlebar snapper’
  • Ian – 10 ‘Soul destroying’
  • Dave – 9 ‘Tough’ (bit of an understatement there Dave, what would you give a 10 to out of interest?)

Gradients don’t get any steeper than this and with the steepest section just after the second hairpin you need to be confident that you can get up if you do the bottom ‘easier’ section at anything other than minimum effort. Once you are past the steepest section the remaining bit seems quite flat even though it’s probably nigh on 15%. I don’t mind admitting that I used a 29 rear sprocket on this climb with a compact on the front, Rob went up in 39×23 I think, but he is a Premier Calendar rider, and even he found it hard, which is quite reassuring for us average clubmen. I’ve been up a few claimed 1 in 3 climbs but this was steeper.

Interestingly when we gathered at the top to get a photo a lad drove up alongside us in a car. He said that he’d always wanted to do this climb and then proceeded to tell us that there was a steeper climb near Glaisdale as if trying to belittle our efforts. All I can say is I know that climb and it’s not true, the climb he is talking about is Caper Hill, which is a true contender for the hardest climb on the North York Moors, but it is only 20-25% max!

Note the ratings are :-

  1. Where’s the slope?
  2. No problem
  3. Big ring
  4. Spinning a gear
  5. It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
  6. Light up all the boilers!
  7. Handlebar snapper
  8. Licking the front wheel
  9. Dinner plate required
  10. Fetch a nurse!

Everest via Rosedale Chimney

A gent called Mike Metcalfe is going to be attempting to Everest Rosedale Chimney Bank at the weekend – he needs to do 50 reps without sleep.

He’ll be starting around 06:00am on Saturday 23rd and going until he’s finished

If anyone is out that way, or fancies building a ride around it, Mike would love you to pop over, support or even do a few reps with him.

He’s doing the challenge to support Alzheimer’s Research UK & Rosedale Care home so it’s a great cause.

Mike would also be very grateful if you could spread the word (just share this page for example).

Donations can be made via the following links

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mike-Metcalfe3

https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/everestingrosedaleforrosedale

Many Thanks.

Social Ride – Chimney Challenge

This is advance notice that the next social ride is planned for Sunday, 10 May.

It’s the Chimney Challenge on Rosedale Chimney Bank.

There are further details in the event flyer.

Heygate Bank (Rosedale)

Distance 0.81 miles

Max Gradient 25%

Where do you find it?

It’s a long haul to get here if you live in the Teesside area and you will have already have travelled at least 20-30 miles to get to the foot of the climb. What’s more you will probably have already hauled yourself up the climb from Castleton to Rosedale Head or if you really like to suffer you may have taken in the Westerdale Climbs (Artist’s Cottage, Hob Hole and on to Rosedale Head) It could be worse though you could be doing the Chimney! The most obvious way to get here is to take the descent from Rosedale Head via Bell End Farm. Once in Rosedale itself take the left turn, you can’t get this wrong as there’s only one.

Description

One way to psychologically prepare yourself for this climb is to ride to Rosedale with the intention of climbing the Chimney, then at the last moment give yourself a reprieve on the condition that you do this climb instead! You’ll still be in for a tough time though. The climb starts gently as you go past the 25% sign, then you go under a wonderful canopy of trees, it steepens here but is quite manageable and would be really enjoyable if only you hadn’t seen that sign to remind you of what lies ahead. I would recommend that you don’t push too hard on this section even though you might be tempted. Once out of the canopy the really steep section looms into view with the road taking a sharp left, here it gets really tough and seems to match its claimed 25%. It goes on for long enough to get you blowing, just keep going though as the relative pleasures of a 6-8% gradient lie ahead when the road goes left and crosses a cattle grid – always great to bounce over when you’re winching you way up a climb! Just when you thought that’s it another section kicks up at around 18%, but then it’s over, you’re on top of the moor now and a great view unfolds. If you look to the west across the valley this offers a great view of the sliver of tarmac that is the legendary Rosedale Chimney climb and all its horrors!

It makes sense to carry on now and combine this with a great ride over Hamer Moor and Glaisdale or Egton High Moors to make a great North York Moors day out, there will be a few other climbs to negotiate though, whichever way you go.

Descent

This should be an enjoyable descent through the trees to the village once you’ve cleared the steeper top bit unfortunately the road surface is now very poor and potholed so you need to keep your wits about you

Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of 5)

Another sheep based climb, especially at the top, Dave wasn’t here but I think he’d give it a:
SheepSheepSheepSheep

Photos

Start of the climb

Start of the climb

The road now really starts to go up, the steep left hander is in the distance

The road now really starts to go up, the steep left hander is in the distance

The final section up to the top, the end bit is steeper than it looks, probably 18% or so.

The final section up to the top, the end bit is steeper than it looks, probably 18% or so.

The final section up to the top, the end bit is steeper than it looks, probably 18% or so.

The final section up to the top, the end bit is steeper than it looks, probably 18% or so.

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Paul – 7. The second hardest way out of Rosedale and a real test. Typical North York Moors climb, low gears needed and as always with climbs get the pacing right and it will be much easier.

Note the ratings are :-

  1. Where’s the slope?
  2. No problem
  3. Big ring
  4. Spinning a gear
  5. It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
  6. Light up all the boilers!
  7. Handlebar snapper
  8. Licking the front wheel
  9. Dinner plate required
  10. Fetch a nurse!

Blakey Bank

Distance 1.16 miles

Max Gradient 20%

Where do you find it?

Finding it is no problem, you simply drop down into Farndale, the physical effort to get there though is another matter. The most logical way to get there if you are going to include it in a ride from Teesside is to ride up towards Blakey Ridge from Hutton le Hole (treat yourself and do the Chimney first) and after about a mile take the second road that branches off left from the main road which is marked Farndale. Another option would be to take the earlier left which heads towards Gillamoor, although this takes a little longer. Both roads are hard going and far from flat as you make your way to Church Houses and the start of the climb. As you drop down to Church Houses have a look to your right to see what awaits you if you like to be intimidated. There is a sign that directs you to Blakey Bank, no going back now!

Description

The second big climb on the gruelling Ryedale Rumble Sportive. The climb starts just outside Church Houses at a little stone bridge, you can join the climb a bit higher up near the 20% sign by taking a road that cuts the first bit out but this is cheating! The surface is really poor on this early easier section, then as the surface improves the road just gradually gets steeper to around 10% or so until you reach the junction.

This next section is steeper still, maybe 15% or so until it flattens off a bit as you approach a cattle grid, this is when the climb really starts, and there’s no real let up until the top, so reach into your suitcase of courage and grit your teeth! The next section meanders upwards at around 18-20%, you may also have to meander between sheep, I had to and this doesn’t help matters, but it does provide a momentary distraction from the slope. When you get to the end of this steepest section (which is quite long) the next section, although not as steep, is still demanding, maybe 15%, and this goes all he way to the top and despite the fact that you know that you’re going to make it this somehow doesn’t help. I had 65 miles in my legs by this stage in the ride and was praying for the end to come, which thankfully it does at the junction with the main road.

The climb is also exposed for more or less the whole way, so is affected by the wind. As a reward for your achievement you can now look back down from the top of the climb at the view into Farndale which is magnificent. Also the Lion Inn is only half a mile along the ridge if you want a great place to stop and savour your efforts.

Descent

Another descent that I’ve never done, I suspect that it would be a brakes on job for the most part with the steepness and the bends and the bottom is badly surfaced so I would think that it wouldn’t be too enjoyable.

Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of 5)

Sheep all around on the steepest section above the cattle grid, another sheep hotspot so:

SheepSheepSheepSheep

Photos

The road that leads to the base of the climb

The road that leads to the base of the climb

The road starts in anger around about here

The road starts in anger around about here

But the real pain is from here on in

But the real pain is from here on in

The top, I would agree with the sign whether you’re going up or down it!

The top, I would agree with the sign whether you’re going up or down it!

Our Ratings and Comments

Paul – 9. Long and the top section is tough all the way, I’d done Boltby Bank earlier on in the ride and although Blakey is not as steep it is harder in my opinion, especially as it doesn’t just end after its steepest section. Not quite as hard as Caper Hill or the Chimney but close, third hardest on the site. I just put it in my lowest gear at the 20% sign and left it there for the duration, again if you’re over geared it will be a very unpleasant experience.

Note the ratings are :-

  1. Where’s the slope?
  2. No problem
  3. Big ring
  4. Spinning a gear
  5. It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
  6. Light up all the boilers!
  7. Handlebar snapper
  8. Licking the front wheel
  9. Dinner plate required
  10. Fetch a nurse!