Serpentine named among toughest climbs for cyclists

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one of Rothesay’s best known streets has been included in a new book for cyclists describing the toughest road hillclimbs in southern Scotland.

Serpentine Road, with a taxing series of twists and turns which make it a contender for the title of the world’s crookedest street, appears in The Cyclist’s Guide to Hillclimbs on Scottish Lowland Roads, by John McKendrick.

Mr McKendrick said: “The book aims to encourage more cyclists to rise to the challenge of road hillclimbing and provides them with the key information needed to tackle each climb. It would be nice to think that with the inclusion of the Serpentine in the book, more visitors will think about cycling on the Isle of Bute.”

The Serpentine climbs through 367 feet in 0.85 miles, at an average gradient of 8.3 per cent, and features no fewer than 14 hairpin bends.

Other contenders for the title of the world’s crookedest street include part of Lombard Street in San Francisco, which has eight hairpin bends in a quarter of a mile, Vermont Street in the same city and ‘Snake Alley’ in Burlington, Iowa.