On one of the cycling forums I frequent (I know, I know), someone described Crowcombe Coombe as a right @~%^!
The answer is very much in the detail - as you head towards Crowcombe, you just see this massive hill to your right looming out of the distance. Then, as you get into Crowcombe, at the start of the climb, you just see this hill heading up steeply ahead of you.
It is always ominous to do a hill that has a run-off section for runaway vehicles. Not only that, but this climb had the obligatory cattle grid, the 1 in 4 signposts and never really let up at any stage on the climb.
I like it when a climb ticks all the boxes.
Made even more challenging by the fact I have been struggling with a cold and was full of snot, a pounding chest and sore lungs even before I started!
The road itself is smooth and a pleasure to ride up - a big difference from some, however it is all at 20 - 25% it seems (you know that it is a hard, hard climb when the road "levels out" to 15%!)
I must put an ad in here for the Carew Arms - the pub at the bottom of the hill in Crowcombe. It is a "proper" pub. We went in with the dog for a quick drink and so Mila could have a feed and we ended up staying for a couple of hours. Dead friendly clientele, great bar staff, good beer (well, I had to treat myself) and Hobbs himself was treated like dog royalty, fed biscuits and given a lot of affection by everyone in there (and Latch(?) the spaniel who was v well behaved). It was a lady's birthday in there and she was good naturedly drinking the cocktails that were being passed her way and it was a real wrench to drag ourselves away - could happily have spent many an hour in there.
Pub seemed thriving and a BIG thank you to Fraser Comry who very kindly made a donation to us. Much appreciated and thank you very much indeed.
Climb the hill and have a beer.
Garmin here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/151007135
Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umd_DeRf-tk
Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100hillsforgeorge/sets/72157629675829489/