butser hill, petersfield
Ok, so we didn't really fully realise how lumpy Little Lumpy was until it actually hit us full on ride day! The Queen climb of the day came in the form of a narrow one lane track which you were given the chance to recon down before going back up 30 odd miles or so later so you knew if the brakes were burning on the way down, the legs would definitely be burning on the way up!
Nestled quietly on the side of the A3, this hill can be tackled from 2 ways up. If you want the main course and not the starter, tackle this hill via Harvesting Lane. It starts off relatively mild, some of you strong guys and girls might not even drop it into the small ring at this point but after a good few hours and many hills in our legs at this point, think we all dropped used the small ring. The guys we rode with on LL were strong cyclists and quietly competitive because we had all broken up on the climb. Chris with his high cadence shot off whereas the rest of us found our own rhythms and marked each other's cards.
The climb really gets going when it starts to bend to the right. The surface is a little rough, it would be so much easier with a smoother tarmac instead of loose gravel but thankfully, no potholes really to write home about. I had Daz in my sights and the daddy Nick Boyle whose name in Latin stands for 'pure power' and although the gradient hits the mid teens, it stays there allowing you to focus on your pedal strokes as the elevation ticks over.
I slowly passed Daz who gave me a shout of encouragement (I think! lol) and I narrowed the gap to Boyle. Unfortunately, I ran out of hill to actually overtake him but that was a silver lining as the second half of this climb is a real grind. Like I said, there were no sudden kicks or ramps but the gradient holds near the 16% mark for a good while so you either embrace it, find the right gear and hold your cadence or...walk it!
Butser Hill, Petersfield, GU32
Average Gradient: 4.9%
Max. Gradient: 16.9%
NITP PB: 9.02
NITP Torture Score: 8/10
NITP Pedal Point: If you don't recon this hill or at least know what you're in for, Butser will bust you. It's a gradual ascent until that road bends and when it does, it's crucial to find the right gearing and cadence. I mean, just look at that red on the graphic, do you want to be in the big ring for that?! Didn't think so!