So we've recently relocated from the flatness of London to the never ending hills of Northern Ireland. The NITP live half way up the town of Rathfriland, a small community situated right at the top of a steep hill so whatever way I go, I have to cycle back up one of these ascents just to get home!
Our first offering of Rathfriland is Castle Hill (no, there is no castle but apparently there was in the late 16th century!). It's one of the quieter ways up to the town but maybe there is a reason for that - a lot of clutches have failed perhaps?! Once you pass the gorgeous house with the sunken trampoline (yes, we house stalk!) on the right, the climb begins. It's 3 ramps and they come quite quickly one after the other so you do really have to try to find a rhythm on these brutal kicks rather than kick on straight away. The surface is very good for the first 2 ramps which helps with any traction so this is where you will make some good time.
The last ramp will take you past the Fire Station but you won't be hosed down as it's a part time base but there is a few cafes in town to check out. Our recommendation is the quaint and small shop of Vera and Ernie or pop next door for a local delight of an ice cream from Grahams - Nutella all the way!
Castle Hill, Rathfriland BT34
Average Gradient: 11%
Max. Gradient: 19.2%
NITP PB: 2.33
NITP Torture Score: 9/10
NITP Pedal Point: Fresh legs, fresh legs, fresh legs! As soon as that road starts to rise, you have 3 wicked ramps all hitting around 20%. The only silver lining is that it's short but do this with some mileage in your legs and you're gonna need that ice bath back home!