Baw Baw

Baw Baw

Postby whenin_rome » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:14 am

Hi everyone,
Did a ride around Noojee from Drouin yesterday and now Im keen to ride Baw Baw.
Just want some advice on exactly just how hard this climb is....
I ride Macedon southside quite a bit and I find this a challenging climb but if someone how knows both these climbs could compare them thatd be great so I know just how fit I need to be to get up it!
Ive heard the road up Baw Baw is pretty dicey as well

Cheers

Josh
Do as the Romans do!
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by BNA » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:44 pm

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Re: Baw Baw

Postby slipsam » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:44 pm

I've ridden Baw Baw, but not Macedon.

From looking at the write ups on The Climbing Cyclist the Baw Baw climb is both longer and steeper (9.1km (AT) 5.4% vs 12.5km (AT) 7.7%). Also, the last 6.5km at Baw Baw averages close to 12% :shock:

But if you are doing the Macedon ride regularly you should be fine to give it a crack. I did, and from what you've described was probably less fit than yourself. Whats the worst that can happen? You get off and have a break? I did a couple of times!

The road surface is not too bad. Just be very careful on the descent. Very steep and can be slippery if any moisture around.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby Jono L. » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:21 pm

^^ What he said. You'll be fine.

Although it is definitely a lot harder than Sth Macedon.

Enjoy!
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby clackers » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:43 pm

Yes, the steepest bits of south Mt Macedon are only a for a few hundred metres (one after the shopping centre).

I wouldn't have thought it and Baw Baw have much in common, to be honest.

Why don't you do Donna Buang instead? It's closer, for starters.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby VRE » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:25 pm

Baw Baw is considered to be a hors categorie climb. I've done it once, using a road bike with the lowest gear being 34/28. During that ride, I saw other cyclists zig-zagging across the road because they didn't have a low enough gear to ride in a straight line. Lovely climb, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just be very careful descending, and apply your brakes intermittently, or alternate between front and rear, so your wheel rims don't get too warm.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby whenin_rome » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:51 pm

Thanks for the tips
Id be disappointed if I had to stop on the climb.
Got a mate that lives in Drouin so we decided after riding to Noojee on the weekend we'd give it an honest crack
Donna Buang a good climb as well?
Ive got to do some serious training up Macedon, which already puts me in my place
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby whenin_rome » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:01 pm

Donna Buang looks nowhere near as hard as macedon or baw baw
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby VRE » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:05 pm

whenin_rome wrote:Donna Buang looks nowhere near as hard as macedon or baw baw

Donna Buang's definitely easier than Baw Baw but harder than Macedon, mainly because Donna Buang is about 1100m climbing with average 6.5% grade while Macedon is about 500m climbing on the eastern side at 5.5%. However, the Donna Buang climb has a fairly consistent grade (although slightly steeper in the middle, leading up to Cement Creek), and I don't find it particularly difficult compared to others. I can't rate the Donna Buang scenery highly enough - definitely do this climb sometime soon :) .
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby clackers » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:39 am

whenin_rome wrote:Donna Buang looks nowhere near as hard as macedon or baw baw


What? It's more than a thousand metres of ascending and is probably a Category One climb.

Much harder than Macedon, but of course easier than Baw Baw or Hotham.

As VRE points out, the scenery is so beautiful there's actually a treetop walk for tourists not far from cement creek.

I've ridden it from the dirt road side, tree ferns everywhere, the summit was covered in snow, then descended into Warburton on the bitumen for a hot pie at the bakery. :smile:
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby slipsam » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:46 am

Definitely recommend doing Donna Buang. Scenery and views are fantastic. I did it at dusk about 6 weeks ago and the wildlife was amazing.
Saw only one car for the whole ride, but several lyrebirds, echidna, wombat and wallabies. One of the most enjoyable rides I've ever done.
Certainly not as hard as Baw Baw, but at nearly 17km averaging 6.5% it's no pushover.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby toppity » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:11 am

Baw Baw is hard but heaps do it. Get the gearing right and off you go. Having said that I've never tried it :D . However I will be holding a flag and waving racers around a corner in Neerim on Sunday's Baw Baw classic. Riding up it is one thing, racing up it another entirely. Glad to be holding a flag to be honest.

One thing I do know is that some of the local riders do not like coming down as it is so steep. Not one for carbon clinchers I think.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby whenin_rome » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:38 pm

Great will definately give Donna Buang a crack one day
If you ask me what makes a climb hard its not the distance of the climb nor the metres ascended; but the gradient
When the gradient changes frequently its hard to get in a rhythm
South side of macedon has really steep gradients which I didnt think Donna Buang had, when I looked at climbingcyclist.com.au
Alton Rd up Mt Macedon is even harder IMHO
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby warthog1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:06 pm

I've done Donna and Macedon. Macedon is steeper, I rate it a bit harder than Donna just due to steepness. Donna is pretty gentle all the way up.
+1 the beauty of Donna.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby VRE » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:21 am

warthog1 wrote:I've done Donna and Macedon. Macedon is steeper, I rate it a bit harder than Donna just due to steepness. Donna is pretty gentle all the way up.
+1 the beauty of Donna.

Well I guess whenin_rome will just have to do Donna, then make up his own mind :) . Although I've ridden up Donna 7 times, I've only done Macedon once, so I'm hardly an expert on it. I rode 90km from Parkdale (SE of Melbourne, and about 20m elevation) to the Mt Macedon township at 500m elevation, uphill and with a headwind all the way, and was still surprised to find the climb up to the summit easier than I'd expected.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby wizdofaus » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:23 am

If anyone's thinking of taking on any of these the weekend after next (20-21), I'd be interested in joining. Might be signing up for the Otway Classic on the 20th though...
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby pawnii » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:33 am

I melted my carbon clinchers descending Baw Baw. 2 other guys blew up tubes on Al clinchers.
Luckily no one came off.

Beautiful climb
Expensive day


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Re: Baw Baw

Postby VRE » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:32 am

pawnii wrote:I melted my carbon clinchers descending Baw Baw. 2 other guys blew up tubes on Al clinchers.
Luckily no one came off.

Beautiful climb
Expensive day


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I was using a road bike, but with aluminium braking surfaces. I took it easy, though, taking 20 minutes to get to the bottom, and never allowed my speed to get to the point where I had to do any major braking.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby pawnii » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:43 pm

i was going as slow as i possibly can. it was a 40 degree day and it happened in the first 2kms.
It wasn't a cheap carbon clincher either. Enve 45 classics.
lucky they replaced them under warranty.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby VRE » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:08 pm

pawnii wrote:i was going as slow as i possibly can. it was a 40 degree day and it happened in the first 2kms.
It wasn't a cheap carbon clincher either. Enve 45 classics.
lucky they replaced them under warranty.

Awesome effort, then :shock: . I did it when the temperature was in the low 20s, and there's no way in hell I'd ever ride up Baw Baw on a hot day.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby ausrandoman » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:17 pm

Comparing Mt. Macedon with Baw Baw, my impression is that the steepest bits of Baw Baw are steeper than the steepest bits of Macedon plus the whole climb of Baw Baw is longer.

One difficulty with reading comments here is that people rarely give a bench mark for their performance. Are you an A grade scratch rider or a casual recreational cyclist?

I do the Alpine Classic Extreme in 11 to 12 hours. I ride up Macedon in 34 x 28. I used 20 x 28 and 20 x 25 on Baw Baw. That is not a typo. One of my road bikes is set up for severe climbs, with a twenty tooth chainwheel. I use it for gradients steeper than about 15%.
Nobody younger than <del>27</del> 28 has experienced a month cooler than the 20th century average.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby RobertFrith » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:51 pm

Simon does Baw Baw;
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby warthog1 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:00 am

VRE wrote:Well I guess whenin_rome will just have to do Donna, then make up his own mind :) . Although I've ridden up Donna 7 times, I've only done Macedon once, so I'm hardly an expert on it. I rode 90km from Parkdale (SE of Melbourne, and about 20m elevation) to the Mt Macedon township at 500m elevation, uphill and with a headwind all the way, and was still surprised to find the climb up to the summit easier than I'd expected.


I don't know, you've ridden Donna more than me and I've also only done macedon once. That was just my impression, neither seemed that bad anyway.
I'd love to have a crack at some of those bigger climbs. :)
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby clackers » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:09 am

warthog1 wrote: That was just my impression, neither seemed that bad anyway.
I'd love to have a crack at some of those bigger climbs. :)


Baw Baw and Hotham await you! :-)

So far I've only done Macedon, Donna, Buffalo and Buller. I wouldn't put Macedon in the same category as the last three.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby Uncle Just » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:57 am

Good vid and all riders doing that climb can learn from him.

Such as:
A) it's very hard and unrelenting ie nowhere to ease off
B) a climb comparable to an Hors categorie o/s, so give it respect
B) ride a compact
C) don't go out too hard
D) stay focused

Personally it's not a climb I like, imo there are better, enjoyable climbs in the Vic alps. It's a very fast, always hard on the brakes descent too, so be warned.
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Re: Baw Baw

Postby macca33 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:15 am

In other news, there is a record number of entries for the Mt Baw Baw Classic this Sunday and it will be a fantastic race. I'm glad that I'm not one of them though - too hard for my skills / fitness!

cheers
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