Over the next few months our very own resident KOM assassin, Sasha Ivakhov, will be sharing with us his in-depth knowledge of the myriad of climbs to be found across Indonesia. In this first installment, he shares with us an accessible yet challenging climb just outside of Magelang. Take it away, Sasha....
One of the well-known climbs out of Magelang can be found on the route to Salatiga via Ngablak pass. You could consider it to be the default option if you would like to experience a typical Javanese climb of some 20km long.
The climb starts off the main road of "Magelang by-pass" as you cross the bridge, give a small push on the initial power step, and then settle in to a gentle 2-4% slope on the initial section (about 8km long) that can be tackled in the big ring. The first 5km fly by on fresh legs as you ride through the small village of Tegalrejo and the gradient begins to pick up in steps.
After the initial section it is a mix of short power steps of 10-11% gradient and longer 5-7% gradient stretches. The road surface is a bit bumpy forcing you to pick a smoother line and can upset your rhythm. At about the 12km point you are welcomed by smooth tarmac As the scenery changes around you as you leave the tree line behind and venture into the farm lands of the fertile slopes of mount Merbabu.
The gradient stays at around 7% and you will pass a couple of brief rolling sections. At the 15km mark you will pass a right turn to Ketep pass. Leave it for another day (to be featured in a future blog post) and continue uphill on the main road. Another couple of kilometers and the profile changes to rolling hills. Chances are you will have been climbing for over an hour by now, but press on for another 4-5km until the road turns firmly downhill. At this point you can congratulate yourself on a job well-done.
The total climb including the top rolling section is about 25km long, and the main body of the climb is 19km long. There are couple of Strava segments but none of them capture the climb in full though.
If you fancy a long day in the saddle, once you reach the top you may continue onwards to Salatiga and then loop back to the main road to get back to Magelang via the Semarang-Yogyakarta road. Alternatively, you could take one of the many minor roads down to the valley closer to Magelang (check my Strava ride for a short-cut via Grabag).
- Sasha (The Russian Assassin)
Click here for the full Strava ride.
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