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Monday survey...what is the biggest climb in your area?(69 posts)

Monday survey...what is the biggest climb in your area?cabinfever
Aug 12, 2002 6:59 AM
I live in Berkshire County, MA. I ride with a small group of friends. Yesterday, my uncle and I attempted to climb Mt. Greylock. The road leading to it climbs just over 2,000 feet in 8 miles. I know it is the highest peak in MA. I felt great and was really cruising up some of the steepest stuff, but my uncle tired out after about the first 2 miles (which are the hardest). I really wanted to finish that thing too! In his defense, it was 90 degrees, and we had ridden a ways to get there in the first place. Oh well, at least I still have it sitting out there as a goal. Maybe it will keep me motivated. Anyone have a similar beast in your area that you are eager to conquer?
Mt. Hamilton, 4,200 feetmr_spin
Aug 12, 2002 7:06 AM
It's a 20 mile climb of roughly 5,000 feet (it goes down in two places) starting just a few miles from downtown San Jose.
Mt. Evanslonefrontranger
Aug 12, 2002 7:09 AM
I have friends that ride from Denver all the way to the top, instead of just doing the "official" route starting in Idaho Springs. Not sure of the Denver - Mt. Evans mileage, but it's ~ 9,000 feet of climbing that tops out over 14,000 feet.

The biggest climb I've done so far out here is up South St. Vrain from Boulder to Lyons, through Raymond, south on Peak to Peak to Ward, then back to Boulder (look it up on a good topo map). The worst part is getting out onto Peak to Peak highway and thinking you are done. It gets worse, much worse. I think the top of the Peak to Peak section crests at around 10,000 feet.
Wow, nothing like that in the Northeast. (nm)cabinfever
Aug 12, 2002 7:37 AM
ehh, we have harder climbs,TJeanloz
Aug 12, 2002 1:51 PM
While I have a lot of love for the climbs in the Foothills of Boulder, particularly "super" Jamestown and Magnolia, I've always found riding in the Berkshires to be quite a bit tougher. The climbs aren't nearly as long, but are substantially steeper. One of my all time favorite rides is from my doorstep up to the top of Mt. Greylock and back- 100 miles on the nose, with some decent climbing in between.

The climbs in Boulder are just a case of setting into a rhythm and going at a comfortable cadence. There are climbs in the East that are a challenge to keep the front wheel down.
Peak to Peak rideColnagoFE
Aug 12, 2002 8:02 AM
That ride you described is good in reverse too. Ride from Boulder over olde stage (or lee hill if you are feeling strong) up lefthand canyon to ward and then take peak to peak to st. vrain back into boulder on 36 or for a little more mileage loop through hygiene or longmont. Suppose you could really make it epic and instead of going down st. vrain to lyons you could keep climbing to estes park and then back via us36. I don't think I've ever ridden anywhere that rivals the scenery on the Peak to Peak hwy. Just beautiful there.
Another variationjtolleson
Aug 12, 2002 8:16 AM
Which I do 1-2 times a season is over Olde Stage to Left Hand, then to Ward, then to Allenspark and return. The perk is you avoid the hot and dusty Hwy 36, but the climb BACK to Ward from Hwy 7 is a real booty kicker. We added up and I think this makes for just under 6,000 ft climbing.
did that one last month for the first timeTomS
Aug 12, 2002 8:47 AM
Actually at the same time that the ms150 ride was coming down st vrain. It was kinda strange, I felt like I was going the "wrong" way, like a salmon swimming upstream or something.

I didn't realize beforehand that peak to peak kept climbing and rolling from Raymond to Ward. I kept thinking, "ok, this just *has* to be the last uphill..." I did ok though, and felt a little better about how I was doing after I passed a guy who was going half my speed and breathing so hard he could barely talk.
the first time I rode itlonefrontranger
Aug 12, 2002 8:56 AM
I had moved from Ohio about 3 months previous, wasn't used to the climbing out here, and had no idea what we were getting into. A couple of Cat I guys talked us into doing it. My boyfriend and I bagged it at the Boy Scout camp, about 3 miles before the pizza place that's at the crest, and hitched a ride in a passing pickup (folks are pretty nice about that up there). We claimed it was the rain and small hail that forced us to quit, but I think they knew better.

Since then I've done it several times. It never seems to get easier somehow.

My first trip up Coal Creek to Wondervu was at the hands of another Cat I racer. You'd think I'd learn. Fortunately it was on his easy day, so he didn't care how slow we went. It didn't help my ego much that he was able to shoot an entire roll of film riding no-hands and/or circling back to figure out where I was...
Idaho SpringsPhatMatt
Aug 12, 2002 3:15 PM
I use to shoot a pistol match over there every year ion the 4th of july ... that is a major climb. Damn Beautiful country though. I live on the other side of the Rockies in Utah so I have my fair share but nothering like that. My knees hurt thinking about climbing that.

Ben Franklin BridgeSteve_0
Aug 12, 2002 7:22 AM
a .3 mile climb to a peak of ~150 ft msl.
Tower Rd. beach access rampAlex-in-Evanston
Aug 12, 2002 7:28 AM
Maybe 200 feet. Very steep. You can get a good workout if you do it 20 times in a row.

Tower Rd. beach access rampRayBan
Aug 12, 2002 11:54 AM
Alex is that road near Great Lakes academy? I think I remember a road like that when I did a crit there a few years back.
No, but I know the one you're talking about.Alex-in-Evanston
Aug 12, 2002 1:15 PM
It's longer, but not as steep.

In my area???biknben
Aug 12, 2002 7:29 AM
Unfortunately, I'm in central Jersey. I don't have any high mountains. The foothills of the Apalachians is all I have. I do plenty of hilly rides like this one but the climbs are short and steep.

The big climbs closest to me are Bear Mtn, NY (1,150 ft gain/4 miles) or High Point, NJ (1,300 ft/five miles).

My biggest to date is Okemo Mtn, VT. (2,350 ft/3.75 miles)
I'm not far from Okemo. I'll have to try it. (nm).cabinfever
Aug 12, 2002 7:51 AM
Maybe 600 feet in two milesPaulCL
Aug 12, 2002 7:41 AM
But lots of those hills. On a 50 mile ride, it would be difficult not to face at least 4 or 5 of the 1-2 mile steep hills. The hill to my home (which I have to ride at the end of every ride) is 375 feet of climbing in .75 that makes the grade 375/3960 or 9.4% average. Right?
I'll take your word on the grade calculation. Looks right. (nm)cabinfever
Aug 12, 2002 7:50 AM
Try Alpine Terracelonefrontranger
Aug 12, 2002 8:43 AM
It's in Mt. Lookout, just off the 5-point intersection at Linwood / Delta Ave, behind the cinema. It goes west to Edwards Rd. It's hard going east, near impossible going west. 1/4 mile of the steepest climbing I've ever found.

Back when we lived on Liberty Hill, my Weds. night hill repeat workout was to do Cliff Drive backwards (the direction the Nationals ran). We'd ride Eden Park Drive downhill past the conservatory, turn left down Martin, then turn up Cliff, climb up to the fire tower and drop back down onto Eden. My PR for repeats up Cliff was fifteen reps. Another fun one was to go down Martin, UP Hill St all the way to the top, turn right and go past the theater, down Eden Park Drive, repeat as many times as you can.
OOH up Mt. AdamsPaulCL
Aug 12, 2002 11:14 AM
Pain, agony, bleeding from the ears...

I don't ride on THAT side of the river very much. I've been sticking to the southern coastal areas. There are plenty of short, steep hills in the Cincinnati area to test your legs and lungs.

Looking forward to the pain next summer in Colorado. Paul
What are you talking about?cabinfever
Aug 12, 2002 11:45 AM
If I read you right, you were being facetious. Mt. Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. Naturally, if you lived here, it would be your goal to climb it. I like to climb, and would climb something better if we had it here.
What are you talking about?PaulCL
Aug 12, 2002 12:26 PM
Sorry, an inside joke to LFR. Only a present or former Cincinnatian would get it.

Now...what are you talking about?? Mt. Greylock?? Did you post to me in error?
Aug 13, 2002 3:23 AM
You said something about Mt. Adams. I thought you were referring to my original post. I had talked about climbing Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. Coincidentally, one of the towns that it occupies is Adams, MA. I thought you were making fun of the fact that I thought a 2,000 ft climb was a tough one. Sorry, just a misunderstanding. I only thought that because I didn't see any of the other posts refer to a Mt. Adams.
Mt. AdamsPaulCL
Aug 13, 2002 5:23 AM
OK...makes sense.

Mt. Adams in Cincinnati isn't a mountain, but a neighborhood on top of a very steep hill. Total yuppie zone - lots of BMW's, coffee shops, restuarants and cool bars. Since I now drive a minivan or a Maxima, I ain't cool no' mo! Personally, I wish it was a real mountain.
No mountains in Dallas/Fort Worth but we have a climbDave Hickey
Aug 12, 2002 7:53 AM
called the Wall. It's located in Aledo,TX and it's a short 1/4 mile very steep climb.
~5000 feet in <10 miles pretty common herecory
Aug 12, 2002 7:57 AM
There are lots of places around Reno where you can go up a mile in eight or 10 miles, not that I do it very often. A friend of mine plans his training rides around the climbs--instead of going for miles or speed, he goes until he's done 3000 feet vertical. I just watch him disappear off the front...
re: Monday survey...what is the biggest climb in your area?comedy-tragedy
Aug 12, 2002 7:59 AM
Here in Salt Lake City we have a bunch of great climbs available without ever leaving the valley.

Every year they do a ride they call the Four Canyon Century. It takes in the four major canyons on the East side of the valley and runs from No. to So. Last I heard it was about 110 miles, with between 11,000 and 12,000 feet of climbing. Oh yeah, the last canyon is Little Cottonwood - Nine miles at between 9 and 10 percent.

I thought I was going to die just thinking about it, and no, I've never even tried all four in one year, let alone one day.

Hey, I'm old and fat. Riding is for fun and fitness. I've got nothing to prove.
RAMROD is in my back yard.brider
Aug 12, 2002 8:03 AM
Well, it used to be. I live 20 miles from Enumclaw. I used to live 4 miles from Cougar Mt (listed on the KOM site). There's a lot of tough climbs in my area, and I like to tackle them all. I started a ride years ago that has been adopted by my team and dubbed the "Death Ride". 5000' in about 60 miles. Could be worse, I guess. Mostly short hills (less than 2 miles). Now I live in Auburn, which is in the Green River basin. I can do VERY lengthy rides with nothing greater than 20' elevation gain, or go southeast and take in some BIG ones.
Mine too!bludoggy
Aug 12, 2002 8:41 AM
I live in orting and am working up to doing the ramrod course. This is my first year of road cycling (I'm an old mtber)so we didn't get in on the official RAMROD this season. We have gone from enumscratch up to sunrise though... about 106 miles with about 7000 feet or so of climbing. We are planning on going from orting to Paradise (140 miles, 7000 feet climb) this weekend. This will be our biggest ride so far. Are you familiar with these routes? Where else to you ride in the area? And what is the route of your 'Death Ride 5000'? (nice name!!)
Pretty familiar.brider
Aug 12, 2002 9:59 AM
The Death Ride starts from Exit 9 Park-n-Ride on Hwy 405 just south of Factoria Mall. Go up to Cougar Mountain and ride the shallow side to the top, back down, go to Newport Way and follow into Issaquah. Wind by the lake and take Issaquah-Fall City road over and down Dutie Hill road to Hwy 202. Take a right and the first left. This is a 5 mile section that is flat, and we often take that as race simulation. At the stop sign, take a left and go over Tolt Hill back to 202. Turn left again and go past where you came onto 202, and take a right onto Issaquah-Fall City again (this is the old section of the road). Go back into Issaquah and back to Cougar Mountain and take the long side of the mountain (by the zoo) over the top and back to the Park-n-Ride. If you're REALLY sporty, you can add Squawk Mountain (either direction, but beware, there's a couple of STEEP sections).

I haven't done the Sunrise climb (on a bike), but the Enumclaw to Crystal, then Cayuse and back is right at 100 miles (start at the fairgrounds, and go up Mud Mountain road). What I remember of Ramrod is that the real tough part was Cayuse Pass (8 miles at a steady 8%). Paradise wasn't so bad, and Box Canyon just slipped past me and I didn't even notice (but I'm a pretty strong climber). Cayuse is mostly mentally tough because the climb is SO steady, and you keep hoping the top is around the next bend. If you do RAMROD, I'd get familiar with the Mud Mountain Road descent, as there's a hard hairpin on the down hill that's claimed more than one cyclist (I witnessed one that was partticularly humorous).
Good titleTypeOne
Aug 12, 2002 11:29 AM
Just once up that zoo side is enough pain for me. It sounds like I have done all the portions of this course, but not together in the same day.

I did RAMROD this year, and I have to say that CBC's Flying Wheels kicked my butt worse than that. People were hurting on those last rollers up to the Sammamish Plateau. People ask me how RAMROD was and I tell them I have been on harder climbs. They may think I'm bragging, but there are enough hills (e.g. Novelty Hill) in the Carnation valley and up Cougar Mountain to make the passes on Mt. Rainier feel tame.
What team do you train with on your Death Ride?
Seattle Velo (Armondo's guys), but...brider
Aug 12, 2002 12:28 PM
I started this ride when the core group (i.e. the old guys) were riding with PSCC (Gregg's Cycles). I've been out of the game for a few years now, but the ride lives on.

Good call on Novelty HIll. One ride I tried once was a tour up the valley from Marymoor taking all the hills one at a time -- Novelty, Tolt, Ames Lake, and whatever the other one is (been a long time). Then go up to Snoqualmie Falls and do the loop at the top. The cruise down is a good one after all that.
Do you know Eric Moen? nmbludoggy
Aug 12, 2002 8:18 PM
Raced with him a few times...brider
Aug 13, 2002 8:24 AM
but I doubt I could pick him out of a crowd.
Gibraltar Rd, Santa Barbarabcm119
Aug 12, 2002 8:10 AM
A popular training ride in my area is a nicely paved, twisty climb up Santa Barbara's Santa Ynez mountain range. It goes from just above sea level to about 4000 ft in around 10 miles. Beautiful views of the Pacific along the way, and at the top you can see in both directions- ocean to one side and valley to the other.
San Marcos/Painted Cave, Santa BarbaraTimA
Aug 12, 2002 11:34 AM
These roads complete the Gibraltar loop. Here's an early morning pic of the lovely Santa Barbara marine layer.

What is the loop?mr_spin
Aug 12, 2002 12:09 PM
I might be down there at the end of the month. I found Gibraltar, Painted Cave and San Marcos, but how would I tie them together?
What is the loop?TimA
Aug 12, 2002 12:32 PM
Go Gibraltar to East Camino Cielo (go left), down painted cave/san marcos. Then take route 192 back to gibraltar. 192 consists of cathedral oaks, and foothill I believe. You could also just snake you way through various streets in Santa Barbara back to gibraltar. Or even head to the coast and ride some of the coastal route, but that's a little out of the way. I think all the roads are on yahoo maps, if you know what to look for.
re: Monday survey...what is the biggest climb in your area?brurider
Aug 12, 2002 8:18 AM
I live in SE PA in Lancaster Co. Toughest I've seen yet is Swamp Church Road, about 1/4 mile or so of 17% grade more or less. It's at about the 117 mile mark of our local Nightmare Tour around the perimeter (178 miles worth)of the county. So after a hundred miles or so it isn't none too easy. Typical longer climbs around here may be a change in elev of 400 ft or so over a mile. The beauty of the county for riding, besides the farmlands, is that you can find some decent hills (not mountains) if you get tired of the flatlands.
Mt Washington 4000+ ft in 8 miles.firstrax
Aug 12, 2002 8:22 AM
Climbing out of bed in the morning...ZZZZZKillerQuads
Aug 12, 2002 8:23 AM
Dawson Saddle is ~8000 ft. above sea levelNo_sprint
Aug 12, 2002 9:03 AM
Riding there, depending upon the route you take, you'll have done ~9000 or 10000 ft. of climbing.

There is probably more you can do, I just haven't.
Dawson Saddle is ~8000 ft. above sea levelJohnG
Aug 12, 2002 10:24 AM
It's also WAY fun to "fight" your way down Azusa canyon against a 20+ mph wind and 90+ temps. Nothing like working your ass off to ride down a hill.

Our normal Angeles Crest loop is around 9K feet of climbing. Most of it is sub 9% grade.

Dawson Saddle is ~8000 ft. above sea levelNo_sprint
Aug 12, 2002 10:27 AM
Indeed. Add the smog factor... I tend to stay away from extremely long, hot rides this time of year.
overpass over 6 lane interstate -- very flat around here (nm)maximum15
Aug 12, 2002 9:07 AM
The "Big Climb" on the PW Parkway: 120 ft at 5% ...Humma Hah
Aug 12, 2002 9:25 AM
... well, hey, a guy here at work who lives right at that hill says it KILLS him. I'm thinking, "Hill, what hill?"

Northern Virginia is pretty flat, but has a fairly constant roll to it with occasionall very short but fairly steep grades. I've found my climbing power has increased from the hillier San Diego: no longer having to pace myself on 300-1200 ft 8% grades, I have gone back to my boyhood habit of sprinting up short grades. I've actually put on leg muscle since coming back to VA.
Aug 12, 2002 9:31 AM
Sunday I did a climbing timetrial of 2,500 feet in 6.5 miles. Parts of it exceed 15%. This is know as "Old Tollhouse."

Riding from my house, I can go from 300 feet to 9,300 feet at Kaiser Pass in 65 miles.

The steepest climb is Big Creek at 2,000 feet in 3.5 miles, but most of it is in the first 2 miles. Many parts exceed 20%. This is from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

There are lots and lots of climbs around here in the 2,000 to 3,000 foot range, with slopes around 5-15%. It makes for a nice variety of challenges.

Entering my driveway from the street to the sidewalk..........Len J
Aug 12, 2002 9:34 AM
I think its 1/2 ft in 4 ft. that's 13% isn't it.

Honestly, to get any kind of hills on the Eastern shore, you have to drive al teast 2 hours north or northwest (over the Bay Bridge).

God I miss hills.

Awsome! Were you coming from the N.Adams side up the Mohawk..jtferraro
Aug 12, 2002 9:54 AM
Trail? That has to be one of the toughest climbs in the east! Gotta love that "hairpin turn"!

No, from Lanesboro, the "easy" side...cabinfever
Aug 12, 2002 11:28 AM
I want to do the N. Adams side, but I live in Pittsfield, so I decided to try this first. Our plan was actually to ride to the top, and then come down into N. Adams to scope that out before we climbed it. I think you might be referring to Route 2 going East from North Adams. That is what most people call the "hairpin turn". We were climbing up to the Mt. Greylock.
Yup...I was a bit confused there! I've been backpacking up Mt..jtferraro
Aug 12, 2002 11:43 AM
Greylock but not biking...yet. I remember being there years ago(backpacking) and there were a number of cyclists biking up the mountain. I'm not sure if there was a race going on.

Best of luck next time you attempt it!

Deer Creek or Las Flores off of PCH in So Ca.JohnG
Aug 12, 2002 10:28 AM
Both of these are around 3K feet of climbing with grades approaching or exceeding 20% at times. VERY nice views too. :)

I like Latigo and Piuma as well. nmNo_sprint
Aug 12, 2002 11:02 AM
Do you have routes to recommend around Latigo ?PeterRider
Aug 12, 2002 12:33 PM
... for, say, a 50miles ride ?

I did the century organized by the LA wheelmen in June, Latigo cyn is really beautiful, Lake Sherwood too.

What and where is Piuma ?

Aug 12, 2002 1:26 PM
Piuma is a popular 1500 foot climb (from the north side) that comes off of Malibu canyon road and joins up with Saddle peak road and the road that goes down to Las Flores. It's roughly due West of Calabasas. This is a fairly gradual ascent with the steepest sections under 10%. There are painted K markers beginning at 5K from the "summit". This road is popular from both directions mostly due to the great views. Make a big loop down to the beach to add significant elevation change.

The ride from PCH up Las Flores and then to the top of Piuma is a nice tough climb and if done at speed will really work you.

Oh, the views of the Malibu pacific area are spectacular!!! VERY little traffic too. :)

Deer Creek or Las Flores off of PCH in So Ca.Soultrain
Aug 12, 2002 5:41 PM
Yea, Deer creek is my favorite.
I am fairly new to cycling, and last year my crowning achievement was, I climbed it in a 39-21.
Granted, I doubt that I exceded 6 MPH on the whole ascent, but it is a great work out.
Been about a year since I have been in the states ,are there still group rides going on in the ventura area(ie tuesday casitas loop, thursday crit)?
Daniel H.
What about Mt. Wilsonmickey-mac
Aug 12, 2002 7:31 PM
John, you're forgetting Mt. Wilson, which dwarfs anything in the Santa Monicas. It's a little farther away, but it will get you up to close to 6000 feet.
Mauna Kea: 13,796 feet in approx. 35 mi. (nm).Skip
Aug 12, 2002 10:49 AM
Timberline Road NOT Timberline mountain :(RayBan
Aug 12, 2002 11:51 AM
Unfortunately there are no mountains in the Chicagoland area, but one of my favorite climbs is in Lemont. It stretches more than 1/2 a mile and its the closest I can get to an extended climb. See ya there Saturday!
It is only 555' but the downhill really gets you.MB1
Aug 12, 2002 11:52 AM
The infamous Washington Monument Hillclimb.
Aug 12, 2002 1:11 PM
I'd like to see the gears you use climbing that one -- maybe a 20x55? The St. Louis Arch (Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, to be precise) would be a little easier. :-)

Completely worthless.djg
Aug 13, 2002 5:42 AM
Ever since they put those barriers in at the bottom you have to brake like hell just when you get going. Completely spoils the ride, IMO.
Part of the thrill.MB1
Aug 13, 2002 6:40 AM
Just launch off a few walking speed bumps (tourists) and use them as ramps to clear the barriers and straight into the reflecting pool or the Tidal Basin for a nice refreshing dip on a hot muggy summer day.
Worth a try, I guess.djg
Aug 13, 2002 1:24 PM
What is it today, like a hundred degrees?

All kidding aside, some of the tourists are pretty soft--you get bogged down and scrub too much speed and you land smack in the thick of rush hour traffic.
Gosh, must be as much as 100-200 ft over 3/4 mile. nmJuanmoretime
Aug 12, 2002 12:25 PM
Hmmmmm...let me think.....4bykn
Aug 12, 2002 12:48 PM
The overpass is listed at 16 ft, bottom of overpass to bridge deck must be a couple feet.....
I'd say about eighteen feet rise in about a quarter mile. I get a bit winded, but by mid-summer I can do the climb without stopping to rest! Welcome to central Illinois.
You just missed the Mt. Greylock Century this past Saturday...opencl
Aug 12, 2002 5:44 PM
It started in Allendale Mall in Pittsfield.
I was wondering when that was this year...cabinfever
Aug 13, 2002 3:37 AM
A friend of mine did the Tosk century in south county this spring. I wanted to do that, but wasn't in shape at the time. The farthest I've ever ridden is 65 miles from Pownal, VT to Canaan, CT. If the century was a large group ride, and the average was below say 19mph, I probably could have done it. My guess is that it was pretty intense though. I have to renew my membership with BCA, as I let it go and must have been removed from their mailing list.
9,200 feetACE-
Aug 12, 2002 11:53 PM
I think that's about where the road stops.
Starts about 7000 feet. Snowbowl road.
Outside of Flagstaff, AZ.