The Urban Hill Climb comes to Swain's Lane on Saturday

At a loose end in London on Saturday afternoon? Fancy riding as fast as you can up the beastly Swain's Lane? Sign up for the Urban Hill Climb

Swain's Lane (Flickr/SarfLondondunc)

Living in the countryside often comes with the bonus of cyclists having a few decent climbs on their doorsteps, but London folk usually have to ride well out of the city to find a good ascent.

But central(ish) London can still host a pretty challenging hill climb event, with the Rollapaluza Urban Hill Climb seeing cyclists tackle the fearsome Swain's Lane on Saturday, October 1.

The climb in Highgate has gotten the better of even the best amateur cyclists with its average gradient of eight per cent over the 900m climb. It may not sound steep, but the sections of 20 per cent gradients ensure that ill-prepared riders will be chewing on their bar tape in no time.

Simply making the top without stopping is a good result for many riders on Swain's Lane, but the Urban Hill Climb will put the riders against the clock on Saturday afternoon.

There are a few places left to enter the race if you fancy a bit of pain this weekend, or you can turn up and line the side of the road for free.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.