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Old 10-11-07, 06:52 PM   #1
mattm
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Cougar Mountain aka The Zoo

At about 3 miles and 1300ft of gain, it's just about the hardest thing around Seattle, without going over Snoqualmie Pass. (btw, what other good climbs are in the area, besides Cougar and Tiger mtn?)

Here's a photo of me gettin up the darn thing:



(More photos of my latest Zoo ride can be found on my blog entry.)

So let's hear your Zoo stories, good or bad, and let's see your photos of this wonderful NW climb!
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Old 10-12-07, 08:26 AM   #2
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http://www.bicycleclimbs.com/ClimbLists.aspx
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Old 10-12-07, 09:10 AM   #3
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Tolt hill road out of carnation is pretty good. of course, anyone that is looking for hillclimbs for fun is twisted; i prefer the hill descents for the thrills.

doing 50MPH on a bicycle is much more thrilling than doing 7 mph up some steep, arduous ascent.

For speed on descents in the city, Innes Arden Way up by Shoreline CC, and 9th/Shoreline Park out in West Seattle are both 50 MPH hills.
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Old 10-12-07, 09:41 AM   #4
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I guess I must be twisted because I find the suffering of climbs to be fun.

Squak Mtn is another decent climb and it just happens to be in the middle of Cougar and Tiger. I will second Tolt Hill as a good climb and descent. Issaquah/Fall City road is a nice climb out of Fall City but not if you are looking for something long or with a super elevation gain. Thompson road is the same sort of thing along with Ames Lake road.
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Old 10-12-07, 10:29 AM   #5
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climbing up Lakemont? south of I-90 as West Lake Sammammish rounds out at the traffic circle is also pretty steep, feels like a good climb. not 1300 feet of climbing though, and more fun as a descent coming over from Newcastle to West Lake Sammammish.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:14 PM   #6
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Up at the north end of the lake, Juanita Drive is a great hill. Not as long or as steep as the Couger/Tolt alternatives, but heading north from downtown Juanita, itís the perfect hill for intervals. You can spin it hard uphill for an entire 20 min. interval without a single gear shift, stoplight or cross street . Grade is low enough to keep up a high cadence. By contrast, on the Zoo and similar climbs, Iím often in my lowest gear, just struggling to keep turning the cranks around at 40 rpms or less.

As a bonus for Bekologist, from the stoplight at the top, you can turn west onto Holmes Point Road - for my money the best high speed descent in the north end - to zip down for your next interval. Iíve never broken 50, but regularly get mid-40s down this curvy, recently re-paved ravine. From the lake, you start back up again, hitting Juanita Way about halfway up, distance/elevation is almost identical to the straight climb from downtown Juanita.
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Old 10-12-07, 06:57 PM   #7
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I live up on the Sammamish Plateau (often commute home from UW, nice hilly 25 mile ride).
Lots of good workout climbs in the area:

-Lakemont Ave. up from Newport Way, as Bek said;

-Highlands Drive MUP up from Front Street in downtown Issaquah. Nice, virtually unused MUP from there up to Issaquah Highlands, and you can climb to the top of the Highlands if you want more. Nice view of central Puget Sound from up there (for now; constant addition of big ugly houses is gradually blocking it off). Some people ride up Highlands Drive itself, but it's shoulderless and crammed with far too many kamikaze commuters at 50mph for my taste.

-Duthie Hill road northeast of Issaquah. One of the few hills around here that doesn't have a *&%! stoplight at the bottom so you can really enjoy your downhill speed!

-Fall City to Snoqualmie Falls. Not very steep, but long enough to get the muscles going and there's the lovely Falls at the top. For more workout, continue on east about 1/2 mile to the Snoqualmie Parkway and climb a few hundred more feet through the Snoqualmie Ridge sprawl to the I-90/Highway 18 junction. Great evening ride when the cliffs of Mt. Si are glowing in the last of the sun.

-I've even seen people climbing highway 18 from I-90 up to Tiger Summit. I like brutal climbs, but I'll pass on that one! I'd rather survive my ride, thanks.
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Old 10-16-07, 08:36 AM   #8
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Be very careful going up the zoo road. I live on top of that and there is barely room for 2 cars to get by, lots of blind corners and the drop off is very steep. Turn on all the blinky lights you have and do it in daylight. Slick in rain, Fall (leaves) and Winter (frost).
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Old 10-17-07, 06:00 PM   #9
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Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island is the most pleasant climb I have done in the area. 2049' in about three miles. Moran State Park was a great place to camp as well....

-BrianN
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Old 11-13-07, 06:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by alfanator View Post
Be very careful going up the zoo road. I live on top of that and there is barely room for 2 cars to get by, lots of blind corners and the drop off is very steep. Turn on all the blinky lights you have and do it in daylight. Slick in rain, Fall (leaves) and Winter (frost).
+1 on the being careful. Lots of blind corners and impatient locals in SUVs.
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Old 11-18-07, 07:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
At about 3 miles and 1300ft of gain, it's just about the hardest thing around Seattle, without going over Snoqualmie Pass. (btw, what other good climbs are in the area, besides Cougar and Tiger mtn?)

Here's a photo of me gettin up the darn thing:



(More photos of my latest Zoo ride can be found on my blog entry.)

So let's hear your Zoo stories, good or bad, and let's see your photos of this wonderful NW climb!
If you make a day of it you can head over to Port Angeles and make the seventeen-mile long Hurricane Ridge Road which snakes up the side of the Olympic Mountains to 5,240 feet. The traffic is light and you may not see another cyclist. Iím not sure you can do it when itís snowing but I do know they sand the roads. When I was stationed at Naval Air station Whidbey Island up till last year Iíd go at least 5 times a year just for the climb.

Now that Iím stationed just North of Malibu this is a typical training route. Over 6000í in 28 miles under two hours.

http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=5436
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