Corkscrew road is one of Adelaide's more popular short climbs --more so now that the Tour Down Under has started using it! And besides, just HOW can you resist telling your mates that, "Yeah, I did The Corkscrew today." Just make sure you use a smug but nonchalant tone :)
I don't recommend riding up The Gorge Road out of town to get to the North end of Corkscrew road. That section not only has many blind corners and no shoulder but is also used by the petrol-heads on the weekend. It's better to go up Montecute Road and start at the top of Corkscrew and ride down it IMO.
Also that way you can stop on the switchbacks and take cool photos on the way down! Just take it easy on the descent around the turns as there's usually a bit of loose gravel on the bitumen.
You can probably guess how the road got its name.
Corkscrew Road connects The Gorge Road to Montacute Road and averages 7% over its 3.6 kilometre length. A lot of folks only start the climb just past the creek bridge. That section is only 2.3 km and 8% for an elevation gain of 200 metres. Nice, round-ish numbers!
The numbers for the screwy part (that blue circle in the above pic, DUH) are: 400 metres in length, 4 switchbacks, and 46 metres in elevation gain for an average of 11.5%.
Some serious numbers for sure; especially if you hit it hard. Make sure you take the wide way around each switchback so you'll "only" see 17% on your gps unit; I have NO idea how far into the 20's it'd be if you took the steep inside line.
When you are past the steep stuff and riding up to Montecute Road don't forget to look over your shoulder and think, "Hell yeah, I pedaled up that!"
Corkscrew is one of those climbs in the Adelaide Hills that always makes various Adelaide cycling Top Ten lists and for good reason --heck the name itself is enough! It is also one of those climbs that I consider only to as hard as you make it. Of course 8 months ago I would have died on the climb so it's a relative thing!
At the top you can turn right to go back down to Adelaide, or turn left and go exploring. Enjoy!
The Strava segment for the whole length of the road is right here.