I have only ever climbed Norton Summit Rd. Not sure why, maybe I've just been a bit sheepish and followed the herd.
Is Old Norton Summit Rd a harder climb? I drove down it on Wednesday, and it looked a lot prettier in places, and a lot harder to climb.
Will my skinny little legs get me up that hill? Should I pre-book an ambulance? Or at least a masseuse?
I always get the impression that the motor traffic is faster and more frequant and less patient on ONSR
I used to ride it when i was younger. from memory, it's not too bad, except the last km or so when the gradient is a little on the extreme side. As a more direct route, it tends to be faster to get to the hotel, if that matters to you ;)
Personally, i think Norton Summit Road is a nicer ride with better scenery :)
I used to always cycle up the Old and then down the New. The Old being shorter and thus quicker to the top (but steeper in parts) and the New being longer and more fun to be had cycling down. Of late the New is the generally recognized bicycle route up and the Old being steeper is faster to cycle down - that's fun!
The Old has a couple of tight points but if you use your wits you can normally dodge any nasty car passes but then most any road can have nasty car passes.
The New is very scenic to cycle up, going down of course I tend to focus more on the road so I don't normally take in much of the spectacular views. Naturally there is only one way you will know - give it a go!
The New road (above the Morialta Gorge) is a more even gradient and is "owned" by the cyclists. The views are better and the traffic is is nominal.
The Old road is a more dangerous steeper climb with plenty of cars, there are trucks that work even on weekends because there is a mine on the side road at the bottom. The cars use it by preference because it is shorter and therefore faster. I often ride down it for the same reason but climbing it isn't on my list.
The Old Road is narrower and there isn't a real bike lane either, you need to just hug the verge and hope you given room.
I really like Old Norton and find it a bit tougher then regular Norton. I only ever do it eraly on sundays when traffic is minimal. I get the feeling lots of cars take it to avoid the bikes on regular Nortons.
Want a real challenge? Take old Nortons turn right onto Horsenell gully road then turn right onto mc beath for a nice little dirt switch back climb then left onto coach keep going till the top. Will need a CX bike for the dirt bit at this time of year, i might be doable in summer on the roadie. i did it on wednesday and it put some pepper in the legs for sure.
you might "easily" (lol) ride the hill on a roadie from the front, just go up the The Norwood Parade and keep going straight at the roundabout http://app.strava.com/segments/911511
and just because we are talking about the New Road, the tough version goes up Coach House Drive