Rowville - Skyhigh

Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby mexicanmagic » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:59 pm

Hi Guys, Just taken up cycling in the last few months and have really enjoyed it! I've got a vintage Univega Conquest in mint cond. as well as a Fuji Sunfire 2.0. Been doing Rowville-Beach Rd and Rowville-Carrum quite abit but want to tackle MtDandenong (Skyhigh) perhaps this weekend. I ride to the 1000 steps using the local track twice a week - should I just continue up the Tourist Rd to Skyhigh or is it better to take the 1:20 route? Also which bike would be better suited. I find my road bike is ok but I've got lower gearing on the Fuji. Regards, Joe
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by BNA » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:41 pm

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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby Gassy » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:41 pm

first time i'd take the 1-20. just follow forest rd around from FTG to the basin and go up there. go down the tourist rd (devils elbow) on the way home. after a while you'll be fine to tackle the tourist rd. 1-20 should be ok on the road bike. enjoy!
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby Gerry.M » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:54 pm

+1 What Gassy said.

Also, have a look at this site for a comparison of the two.
http://theclimbingcyclist.com/climbs/
The links on the left show you the two climbs, the 1-in-20 and the Devils Elbow (Tourist Rd)
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby mexicanmagic » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:45 pm

Thanks guys, that link is good - looks like the 1 in 20 approach is easier - correct?
Last edited by mexicanmagic on Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby VRE » Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:03 pm

mexicanmagic wrote:Thanks guys, is the climb easier from the 1in20 approach ?

Yes, it is. The first 2km of the Tourist Rd from Upper Ferntree Gully up to Sassafras has a 10% grade, but after that it settles down to approx. 5%. The 1-in-20, on the other hand, averages about 4.3% grade all the way up to Sassafras, so "1-in-20" is a slight exaggeration :) .
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby djw47 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:41 pm

The 1 in 20 is relatively easy, probably the easiest ascent in the Dandenongs, it has a 1.5km false flat in the middle which helps. Go at your own pace and keep the wheels turning and you'll get to Sassafras no probs. After that it's a steady uphill to Olinda, a slight descent to Mt Dandenong village then it kicks up again to Skyhigh once you turn off the main road. The last 100-200m up to Skyhigh is a killer though!
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby clackers » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:08 pm

djw47 wrote: The last 100-200m up to Skyhigh is a killer though!


The view on a clear day is worth it, though! :smile:
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby mexicanmagic » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:30 am

Thanks guys! Gonna give it a go this weekend with my upgraded wheels which I just bought - if anyone passes a Blue Pinarello fp1 with full campo wheels and gear that's me - say hello! Hope I get to the top. Cheers, Joe
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby danny the boy » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:17 pm

Do you have to pay to enter Sky High on a bike? Only went up that bit once and saw a guy in a toll booth so dont bother anymore.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby clackers » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:29 pm

I wave and ride past them. Never been called out.

The weather will be great this weekend for a beer afterwards.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:49 pm

danny the boy wrote:Do you have to pay to enter Sky High on a bike? Only went up that bit once and saw a guy in a toll booth so dont bother anymore.

no I never have

I plan to be there around 7:15 tomorrow morning. I have to be home by 8 to take the kids to auskick
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby kb » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:14 am

There's a sign. Bikes and peds are free. From memory motorbikes are $2 and cars are $5. I think it used to be more expensive back when they were rebuilding.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby andione1983 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:33 am

Think I might give it a crack tomorrow first time too..

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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby mexicanmagic » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:18 pm

Pleased to say I did it!! But I was absolutely spent when i got there. I did find the 1in20 hard but gee the ascent up Ridge rd was a killer. If the 1in20 is the easy way up I would not have made it up the Tourist Rd. Coming down was fun!!!
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:32 pm

best bit of climbing is coming down

1:20 is the easiest ascent, probably followed by the wall.

I havent done them but I think devils elbow is steeper than the ascent from montrose, but its a longer climb from montrose

after you do it a few time you get better and so does your ability on the flats
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby kb » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:37 pm

yarravalleyplodder wrote:I havent done them but I think devils elbow is steeper than the ascent from montrose, but its a longer climb from montrose


I tried Inverness Rd on Friday. Fun. It's a shorter way up to Kalorama but has a couple of pinch points - both in the sense of single lane and steepness.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby cyclotaur » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:31 am

All you ever wanted to know about the 1:20, but were afraid to ask ...
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby Dimis » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:25 am

Congrats in the ride.
Sounds like you had fun.
I have found climbing to be the best way to improve one's cycling strength and endurance.
I can ride flats all day (eg beach rd) and not feel the benifits I feel after a climb.
Problem for me However is that my gearing is such that climbing hurts. :-(
53-39 & 11-23.

Time for a new rear cassette.
I'm too weak to push those sort of gears up hill.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby mexicanmagic » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:40 pm

Thanks mate, to be honest I really did not enjoy the ride but did enjoy the sense of achievement when I got to skyhigh. Had thoughts of turning when I got to the Cuckoo and actually stopped on Ridge Rd for a breather. Before last X-mas I weighed over 120Kg, was totally inactive and on a serious path to an early end. To be now 85kg and riding up to skyhigh and doing the 1in20 in 28min approx 6 months later is a very big achievement for me.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby macca33 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:22 pm

Dimis wrote:Congrats in the ride.
Sounds like you had fun.
I have found climbing to be the best way to improve one's cycling strength and endurance.
I can ride flats all day (eg beach rd) and not feel the benifits I feel after a climb.
Problem for me However is that my gearing is such that climbing hurts. :-(
53-39 & 11-23.

Time for a new rear cassette.
I'm too weak to push those sort of gears up hill.



I am a heavier bloke and was running 39/53 & 12-25 - just changed to 12-27. The jury is still out for me - sure it is easier climbing, but not quite as quick - I tend to 'rest' a bit on the easier gear. By that, I mean, I was pedalling 12-25 at, say 70-85rpm, but only go 75-90rpm with the 12-27, so do not get the most out of the easier gear. Mind you, I'm only talking 4-7Km climbs at 4-6% average (some pinches at 20%+ though).


BTW - good job mexicanmagic!

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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby djw47 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:02 am

yarravalleyplodder wrote:best bit of climbing is coming down

1:20 is the easiest ascent, probably followed by the wall.

I havent done them but I think devils elbow is steeper than the ascent from montrose, but its a longer climb from montrose

after you do it a few time you get better and so does your ability on the flats


The road from Montrose up to Olinda is much easier than the wall, it's longer but there are none of the real steep bits and once you get a rhythm going it's a pretty easy ascent. I did 3 ascents of Mt Dandenong on Saturday, 1 in 20, Montrose to Olinda, and The Wall and there's no doubt which one was the hardest of those 3! Not done it for a while, but the Devil's Elbow is harder than The Wall.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby djw47 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:33 am

mexicanmagic wrote:Thanks mate, to be honest I really did not enjoy the ride but did enjoy the sense of achievement when I got to skyhigh. Had thoughts of turning when I got to the Cuckoo and actually stopped on Ridge Rd for a breather. Before last X-mas I weighed over 120Kg, was totally inactive and on a serious path to an early end. To be now 85kg and riding up to skyhigh and doing the 1in20 in 28min approx 6 months later is a very big achievement for me.


Well done mate, 28 minutes is a respectable time. Everytime you go up the mountain it gets a little bit easier. And well done for shifting the extra baggage.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby cyclotaur » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:00 am

djw47 wrote:
mexicanmagic wrote:Thanks mate, to be honest I really did not enjoy the ride but did enjoy the sense of achievement when I got to skyhigh. Had thoughts of turning when I got to the Cuckoo and actually stopped on Ridge Rd for a breather. Before last X-mas I weighed over 120Kg, was totally inactive and on a serious path to an early end. To be now 85kg and riding up to skyhigh and doing the 1in20 in 28min approx 6 months later is a very big achievement for me.


Well done mate, 28 minutes is a respectable time. Everytime you go up the mountain it gets a little bit easier. And well done for shifting the extra baggage.

Absolutely. My first effort was around 27:30 over 2 years ago, but my best time is now 21:34, though I generally roll up pretty smooth around the 24 min mark and enjoy it every time. And I only lost 3-4 kgs in that time. If you have a bit more weight to come off then climbing regularly will certainly help, and your times will continue to improve.

With the 1:20, a lot of riders do it so regularly that they find ways to shave time off without exploding by breaking the ride into sections - eg. bottom to first tank, false flat, final 2kms etc - and tailoring the effort accordingly. Also riding conditions will have an effect on times. These days I tend to roll straight through to Olinda making it a longer climb overall, so I don't work too hard on the 1:20 itself. Then sometimes I'll head up to Skyhigh or, more often, I just ride across the back to Kalorama and enjoy the descent to Montrose and head home.

It's a fun challenge. Keep it enjoyable.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby Dimis » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:03 pm

mexicanmagic wrote:Thanks mate, to be honest I really did not enjoy the ride but did enjoy the sense of achievement when I got to skyhigh. Had thoughts of turning when I got to the Cuckoo and actually stopped on Ridge Rd for a breather. Before last X-mas I weighed over 120Kg, was totally inactive and on a serious path to an early end. To be now 85kg and riding up to skyhigh and doing the 1in20 in 28min approx 6 months later is a very big achievement for me.


Wow! That deserves a round of applause in itself.
Well done for pushing on. :)

In my experience it doesn't get any easier - you just go faster.

So with that in mind I offer this advise humbly.
If you are cycling for fitness, then keep your perceived effort to 6-7 out of 10.
Anymore, and your likely to associate it with pain and bad feelings, which is often the reason people quit - as its all too hard.

6-7/10 effort will see you enjoy the scenery and the achievement and keep on keeping on.
Keeping fit and in shape is a lifestyle and a marathon. Not a sprint.

Best wishes.
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Re: Rowville - Skyhigh

Postby djw47 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:03 pm

Dimis wrote:In my experience it doesn't get any easier - you just go faster.

:lol:
Wise words!
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