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Hill measure !!!(4 posts)

Hill measure !!!Little Giant
Aug 27, 2001 6:52 PM
How do you grade a terrain(ride) to be hilly or mountainous ?
I was reading the post about the rec rider average speed.....
Can anyone shed some light ??
map with gradients?steveuk
Aug 27, 2001 7:24 PM
you could check a good scale map with gradients marked over the route, add up #all# the up changes in gradient eg every step up 10 meters and come up with a 'composite rise'. this obviously would be different from the total difference in altitude of start + stop points which would be zero on a circuit! The distance is also inportant so with this you could grade a ride like this - rise of 2,000 meters over 20 miles. then a mountain could be straight up so maybe rise of 2,000 meters over 5 miles. You'd then have a cat 4 for the undulating and a cat 1 for the mountain (same rise but over 1/4 distance). It's not going to be accurate to other peoples measurements but good for a local perspective! hope that helps:)
Hill measure - my $0.02PdxMark
Aug 27, 2001 7:53 PM
Maybe "hilly" and "mountainous" are better translated to elevation climbed over a given distance. A hilly 20 mile ride with 3500 feet of climbing can feel mountainous, and a 20 mile ride in the mountains with 1500 feet of climbing can feel hilly. So elevation climbed over what distance.... but splittling rides into 2 catergories is very hard...even TdF has 5 grades of climbs depending in part on where they fall in a day's stage - a climb possibly being assigned a different category depending on whether the climb occurs at the beginning or end of a stage

But, what the heck, here's my arbitrary guess at subjective "grades" for a ride that has a mix of flats and climbs and a minimum distance of 25 miles:

under 1000 feet climbing - flat
under 2000 feet climbing - good hills
under 3500 feet climbing - serious hills
under 5000 feet climbing - good climbing ride
under 7500 feet climbing - serious climbing ride
10000+ feet climbing - you'll be amazingly glad to top the last big climb

But for all that, one of my fav rides has a 3500 foot/14 mile climb... Is it "mountainous?" I don't know, it's just a good climb
Judgement versus hard numbers ...Humma Hah
Aug 28, 2001 7:26 AM
Here in Virginia, if we have a little 800-ft bump, we call it a mountain. To ride across it, we find a gap that's often no more than 400 ft. We then say the ride was "mountainous". This is the great lie in the term: you can ride in an area of mountains and never actually climb one.

In San Diego, the same amount of climbing would be a typical ride up an inland valley. The mountains there hit 6000 ft and you can get some real climbs in.

But folks in the Rockies would laugh. Except, the Rockies would only qualify as foothills in the Himilayas.

Sometimes, routes for organized rides will be published with total climbing, in which they add up all the UP climbing heights. I can also get this number from my altimeter cyclocomputer, or by tracing the route on DeLorme TopoUSA topo map software.

A 100-mile ride with 3000-ft or less of climbing would generally be considered a good beginner's century. Pushing beyond that will generally start generating some moans and groans. In the 5000-6000 ft range, most people will start to brag about what a difficult run it was.

However, to get any real bragging rights, you need to ride something like the Death Ride, about 16,000 ft of climbing in 120 miles.