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Old 05-18-09, 02:52 PM   #1
Scrappy Dingo
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Where are the hills near Minneapolis

Hello all, especially those of you near the twin cities.

I was thinking of doing the MS ride through the Black Hills in South Dakota (WRATH - weekend ride around the hills) this fall, but I'm a little worried about the overall challenge. Here is the event website for those interested: http://bikenth.nationalmssociety.org...ils_WRATHroute It doesn't look so challengineg that I couldn't do it with proper training, but that's the problem... Where can I go around here to do some good hill training?

I live in Minneapolis which is pretty flat. When I think about the hills around here, most of the "big" ones that come to mind are around 1/4 mile or so and they don't have any significant elevation change. I would be willing to travel within reason (about an hour's drive) to start my ride, but I would prefer to stay a little closer. I'm looking for those 3-4 mile sustained efforts that I always hear about but can't seem to locate around here. Even if there was just one or two big hills that I could do repeats on, I would probably be ok with that. So, does anyone knoe of anything around here (or in western Wisconsin) that I could check out?

If I can't find any decent hills that are close, does anyone have any suggestions for hill training in the flatlands?

Thanks for the help and happy riding!

-Mark
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Old 05-18-09, 08:04 PM   #2
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I did the Chippewa Falls Century, and while I didn't find it particularly hilly, there was some.
Not enough to consider serious training, I didn't get out of the big ring for the first 50 miles I believe.
I can't remember Minneapolis perfectly, but I recall the city being pretty flat.
Central and SW WI, committ to a little bit longer drive.

3-4 Miles with big elevation changes? That's going to be harder, go with the repeats.
You have to have dramatic rises to do that, we have really short steep rollers.

You'll also want to work out your nerve for descending just as much as the climbing skills.
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Old 05-19-09, 08:28 AM   #3
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3-4 mile climbs within an hour's drive? Not gonna happen. Having said that, I'll offer some bits:

Having done regional hill climbing challenge rides and mountain passes, I can say that generally, the hill climb rides are tougher for the same elevation gain. It is a highly personal matter. For local training I suggest you check with the TCBC folks (just show up and ride, $2 for non-members). They have some of local hill climber routes in the mix, including tonight (I'll be there on the Yellow CR1).

If you're willing to drive a bit you can ride the routes from The Brute, Horribly Hilly Hundreds, DairyLand Dare, and a host of others in the area. All feature routes on their websites that generally offer 100' of vertical per mile.
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Old 05-19-09, 08:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scrappy Dingo View Post
Hello all, especially those of you near the twin cities.

I was thinking of doing the MS ride through the Black Hills in South Dakota (WRATH - weekend ride around the hills) this fall, but I'm a little worried about the overall challenge. Here is the event website for those interested: http://bikenth.nationalmssociety.org...ils_WRATHroute It doesn't look so challengineg that I couldn't do it with proper training, but that's the problem... Where can I go around here to do some good hill training?

I live in Minneapolis which is pretty flat. When I think about the hills around here, most of the "big" ones that come to mind are around 1/4 mile or so and they don't have any significant elevation change. I would be willing to travel within reason (about an hour's drive) to start my ride, but I would prefer to stay a little closer. I'm looking for those 3-4 mile sustained efforts that I always hear about but can't seem to locate around here. Even if there was just one or two big hills that I could do repeats on, I would probably be ok with that. So, does anyone knoe of anything around here (or in western Wisconsin) that I could check out?

If I can't find any decent hills that are close, does anyone have any suggestions for hill training in the flatlands?

Thanks for the help and happy riding!

-Mark
Ride just a few miles west till you reach the foothills of the Rockies?
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Old 05-19-09, 11:09 AM   #5
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I'd suggest Highway 35 in Wisconsin, going south from Prescott (which is about 30 miles southeast of Minneapolis, just across the border) along the Mississippi River. There are a couple of good bumps in the 12 miles between Prescott and Diamond Bluff (a total of 490 feet up over two 2-mile climbs), a flat 10 miles between Diamond Bluff and Bay City, and then a nice hill between Bay City and Maiden Rock (400 feet of elevation change, 3 miles climbing, 3 miles descending). Then of course you can turn around and ride it in the other direction (that would be about 60 miles round trip). The climbs are all pretty steady with nothing steeper than 5%. There isn't a lot of traffic on that section, the shoulders are extra wide, and the scenery is especially nice, so it's a good ride in any case. The Wisconsin DOT put together a guide for the entire 250-mile route along the river, and that can be found here.

And this is Maiden Rock, when I rode by it two years ago:
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Old 05-19-09, 11:35 AM   #6
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I was on that stretch Saturday. It is lovely. Just about every road east from 35 goes up for a mile or so in a rather abrupt fashion.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:40 PM   #7
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Awesome! Thanks for all of the tips. I'm definietly going to check out that ride is Wisconsin, it looks gorgeous! I've also heard of the TCBC group, but I haven't looked at it too closely. I am going to have to do that and maybe think about joining.

Thanks again for the help.

Mark
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Old 05-25-09, 07:43 PM   #8
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Cross the river at Hastings and take hwy 10 east. Then from oh, the Durand area south to La Crosse and east to Independence you should find some good hill riding. Is it the mountains? No, but it is within your one to two hour drive.
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