Let’s face it – hill climbs can be tough. And Canobolas is a challenge – the main Mount Canobolas Road climb of just over 5.5km averages over 7% incline, but this is a little deceiving as there is actually a 1.5km stretch mid climb that is pretty flat – the rest of the climb is around 10% incline.
So why tackle it? Why not? And then head back down to Agrestic Grocer for lunch.
Getting to the climb
Heading out of Orange, Pinnacle Road offers great scenery as you head up into the hills. Passing Orchards and farms, it is increasingly obvious that you are approaching areas that get snowfall during winter – based upon the chosen house names (eg “Snowline”).
Whilst we did not do the walk ourselves, the route passes the walk to Towac Pinnacle, which does offer some pretty good views according to locals. It needs to be climbed on foot, unfortunately.
There is little to say, other than if you can get past the first major climb, you’ll be fine. Split by a flat mid-ride, this is where it is possible to rest a little and take in a little of the view. The climb recommences passing Old Canobolas Road (and also the snow gate), which is where you could choose to bail out if you are really feeling done. You will note that the Komoot I recorded goes to the top and then descends before climbing back up – this was to reconnect with other cyclists.
Here at CyclingGravel, we actually think a steep descent can be less fun than the ascent – there is nothing fun about sitting on the brakes and carefully making sure there you are ready for each corner’s unexpected issues – eg loose gravel or pot holes. For this reason we chose Old Canobolas Road for the return trip – it is a gentler descent than heading straight back down the main road but not by much! Compared with the climb, though, the return provides different views (farmland vs forest). After this it is a rapid return to town on Cargo Road – a fairly well trafficked route that nevertheless generally has good verge.
Having made it back to town reward yourself with a nice meal and perhaps a drink. We visited the Agrestic Grocer – highly recommended.