Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Little Italy

Within about an hour's ride of Adelaide, there is a somewhat unknown climb, commonly referred to as 'Little Italy'. I don't know where this name came from, but it seems to have stuck.

Little Italy is one of the coolest climbs in the Adelaide Hills. Its relatively short, but quite steep in places. It starts in the bottom of a valley near a creek, and weaves its way up the hillside with a beautiful view of the valley below.

The road itself is actually called 'Burdetts Rd'. Here's how you get there.

Ride up to Norton Summit, and go straight ahead at the town, towards Ashton. Just before the hill up to Ashton, take the left hand turn down Marble Hill Rd. This will dip down, and then climb up a bit. After the little climb, you will come to a road on your right called Pound Rd, turn down there.

As you descend Pound Rd, it will bend to the right and turn into 'Knotts Hill Rd', this is all good.

Now I want to make something clear: be careful on this descent! It starts off innocently enough, but there are some nasty off camber corners that can catch you out towards the bottom. Really, I don't want you to kill yourself, so  please take care the first time you ride down here. In winter there can be moss growing on the road too, which makes it extra slippery.

When you reach the bottom of the descent, you will cross over a concrete bridge, at which point you need to start braking pretty hard, because just around the corner you will be turning right onto Burdetts Rd (a.k.a. Little Italy)!

The climb itself goes up the side of the hill, then weaves its way past a few houses. It kicks quite steeply towards the top, and then levels out as your ride past an orchard on your left. It will probably take you about 10 minutes or thereabouts.

When you get to the top of the climb, you will find yourself at the town hall for Basket Range, on the main road to Lobethal. If you turn left here you can continue on to Lobethal, if you turn right you will go back up to Ashton. Both are very nice options.

I have ridden this loop many times and count it amongst my favourite rides in the Adelaide area. Its a pretty hard climb, so its good training too!

Here's a photo I took while riding up Little Italy one morning during the winter (hence the greenery):


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