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Cycling Rowen YHA, Wales.
Ride only 1.2 miles but gain 765’ at 12.6% average grade.
This climb is a beast for the last nine-tenth’s of a mile, which average a stunning 16.6%.
When we asked Simon Warren (100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, UK) to list the hardest 10 climbs in Wales, he named Rowen YHA as #6.
Parking in the small town of Rowen isn’t hard to find. There is a well marked public restroom available for changing as well. Unknowingly, I parked in a local’s “assigned” spot, but he said it was no problem. He told me he had lived in Rowen for 54 years! They enjoy a slow way of life in Rowen, by the looks of it -- and on the climb you’ll likely be going pretty slow too.
The best views come to from the midpoint where you can look down at the valley and see the mix of green fields and villages. I’d recommend if you want an intensely steep, and short kicker to add to your ride.
Photos do not do justice to the extreme grade of this climb.
Segment on the steepest part of the climb - a quarter mile at 22%.
The gradients are just incredible and for three-tenths of a mile at the start, it is a granny gear climb to the top. At the summit is a small and well-kept youth hostel.
Looking back down the road from the finish.
Finish at YHA Rowen.
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