Cycling Le Bons Bay Road
Ride 6.2 kilometers gaining 494 meters at 9.6% average grade.
This remote climb out of Banks Peninsula just south of Christchurch is the 5th hardest bike climb in New Zealand.
The climb begins by riding east on Le Bons Bay Road
at its intersection with Valley Road just past St. Andrew’s Church.
St Andrew’s Church (1960)
Just before the start of the climb.
“This beautiful little church is striking in its sufficiency and the rigour of its design. It has a sophisticated modesty, a quality which speaks not just of a simpler and perhaps more architecturally coherent time, but also of its architect’s principled renunciation of excess and clear focus on design essentials. The church is a wonderful exercise in the deployment of light and space; it is serious but never ponderous, and the disciplined material palette complements the design to produce a calm and quiet contemplative environment. The church at Le Bon’s Bay is an outstanding example of architecture in service to function.” New Zealand Institute of Architects.
Climb summary by PJAMM’s Brad Butterfield.
Le Bons Bay Road is on the opposite side of the ridge from Summit Road West. In contrast to the Summit Road, Le Bons Bay road is surrounded by thick foliage and the views only open up towards the top. The grades are absolutely brutal, particularly in the first half. This climb, being on the far side of the mountain and shrouded in tree coverage, has a peacefully remote feel to it. Le Bons, the town is really just a few old homesteads and a church, which was unlocked when I rode the climb in May 2022 and well worth a peek inside. Not much seems to have changed in Le Bons from when it was originally settled in the late 1800’s - early 1900’s.
Finish at the intersection of Le Bons Bay and Sumit Roads.