Whiteleaf is a strange little climb. It is steep but isn’t too long and there isn’t anything particularly distinctive about it. I felt I could have been cycling uphill anywhere in the country. Even the car park at the top didn’t have any views. There is meant to be a chalk hill carving close to the hill but I couldn’t see the damn thing despite trying.
Another climb and another car park that could be anywhere in the UK
Anyway, back to the climb. It starts off with a fairly easy gradient and the steep stuff doesn’t really kick in for real until you tackle a steep right hand bend. I had been lulled into a false sense of security by the easier lower part of the slope and attempted to carry too high a gear onto the steep section. That’s the reason why the video footage of this climb suddenly gets very slow and the breathing very laboured!
Once I’d managed to clatter down into a lower gear it was just a case of spinning my way up to the junction that marks the top of the climb and that’s kind of all I have to say about Whiteleaf. It was the final climb I had to ride in the South East and I guess I was hoping for something more dramatic or exciting to close off the region. Instead I got a low speed ride up a fairly dull piece of road.
Still, the positive thing is I was back on the road and heading home nice and early and got back to glorious Devon by mid afternoon. I would then have 2 days off before heading back to North Wales to finish off the climbs I had to postpone because of a pulled calf muscle. I’ve started editing the footage for the three Welsh climbs and they are certainly more…interesting but sadly for all of the wrong reasons. Watch this space.