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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 12-25-11, 10:11 AM   #1
freighttraininguphill
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San Francisco folding bike climbs on an off day

Went to San Francisco yesterday intending to climb more of the steepest streets, but when I got there I took one look at 22nd Street and said F-it! I wanted to climb, but I didn't feel up to maximum effort up 31.5% grades, or the cobbled 30% grade of 24th St on Potrero Hill. The fact that I got there hours later than I wanted didn't help. The queasiness I experienced near the top of Sanchez St finalized my decision to avoid The City's steepest.

Instead I rode around the Noe Valley and Diamond Heights areas. There are plenty of grades in the mid teens to low twenties, so that was good enough for me. Where else but San Francisco can you ride less than 11 miles and climb over 2,000'?

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/136237713

GoPro and Contour really need to work on their cameras to make them more usable at night. Even on well-lit streets, all the footage recorded at night was useless. This sucks because I climbed the steepest hills after dark.

Here's the footage that did turn out okay. These hills only have grades in the mid teens to maybe 20%.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7zbjWj6SkM
[video=youtube;s7zbjWj6SkM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7zbjWj6SkM[/video]

The hill I didn't climb-22nd St

View from the top of Sanchez St

Crappy evening shot of Sutro Tower from the top of Cumberland St

Even crappier night shot looking up 21st St. I had to stabilize the camera on my saddle, so excuse the angle.

Last edited by freighttraininguphill; 12-25-11 at 04:48 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old 01-27-12, 04:12 PM   #2
SFGary
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freighttraininguphill, looks like you did great anyway. That 22nd St block is pretty scary going up and coming down even in a car and can't get any momentum going up . Depending on your fitness level try going up O'Shaughnessy St to Portola Ave and then up Twin Peaks Blvd the next time. I see road racers do it all the time. I feel tired just driving up and my goal is to do it a few times before I venture out on my cross-country trip.
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Old 01-27-12, 06:49 PM   #3
freighttraininguphill
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Thanks. I will keep those two streets in mind for the next trip.

Hill Street is kind of a good one, but the first time I rode it I wasn't warmed up and turned around in the middle. I tried it again on this ride and didn't feel like suffering that much so I turned around again. One of these days I'll be ready for it!

If I'm feeling 100% I should have no problem making it up the hills you mentioned. The day before Thanksgiving I climbed some of SF's steepest, including Filbert Street, Jones, and part of the monster 38% grade Broderick Street (between Vallejo and Broadway). I tried that sucker five times and could not make it more than halfway up.

The ride report thread with pictures and video is here.
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Old 01-28-12, 02:28 PM   #4
SFGary
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Maybe you should attempt Broderick with fresh legs first or second as suggested by someone else. The next time you plan a trip to SF, post here or send pvt. msg before you come, I'll join or be a one man cheering squad if I am in town.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:06 PM   #5
freighttraininguphill
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I agree. I know I goofed by attempting to climb Broderick near the end of the ride.

Sounds good to me. I will PM you next time I'm planning to go down there.
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