Arthurs Seat Climb

It was a cold spring morning in Rye. I woke up in the dark asking myself, “are you sure?” Despite I had readied my cycling gears, getting out of bed for a ride was never easy. The Mornington Peninsula has been a cycling friendly region, cyclists are welcomed and tolerated (yes imagine you are driving behind a big bunch riding at 30km/hr along Point Nepean Road) to ride at anytime of the day. I wanted to start early as I always enjoy riding in the morning, free from the traffic.

I walk quietly towards the living room, with fear of waking up my kids, put on my gear in the dark, turn on the bike light and off I went. I rode along the relatively flat Point Nepean Road with a tail wind on my back, towards Sorrento. You’ll have difficulty finding a better stretch of road for a warm up ride, cars free in the morning, with the sun slowly emerging from the horizon. It was sunrise when I made it to Sorrento. I had a little stop near the Searoad Ferry pier before I turned around for the major objective of the ride, The Arthurs Seat climb.

Brief stop near the Searoad Ferry pier in Sorrento.

For the fit cyclists, the Arthurs Seat climb is steep but short. One climb is never enough and many of them do loops as part of their training. It is a very popular climb for obvious reasons. The climb itself is very well documented, therefore I won’t repeat here.

It is however not just another scenic cycling challenge, but also a monument in Australia road bike racing. For many years the Arthurs Seat climb had been featured as a stage in the Herald Sun Tour. World class cyclists like Simon Clarke, Stuart O’Grady, Bradley Wiggins, Simon Gerrans and recently the Tour de France winner, Christ Froome, had all been sweating along this climb. During a race day, cycling fans and spectators would be gathering at one of the many hairpin turns along the climb, cheering for their favourites.

I took my time riding towards Dromana before I started the climb. I still needed my legs playing with my children in the afternoon, so climbing once was enough.

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Stopping at one of the lookouts along the climb, with Port Phillip Bay in the background.

At the top I was rewarded with a good view, and of course the descend. If you know what you are doing, descending the Arthurs Seat is a joy. On a dry day in good conditions, there are many hairpin turns to test your skills.

I ended the ride with an easy stroll back to the cottage, time for coffee and of course a dip in the hot tub.