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Old 05-03-09, 05:56 PM   #1
kjc9640
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Sugar Loaf Mt.

I read all of these threads about AOMM and Three State Three Mt challenge and I wonder what we have here in Florida that is our best climbing challenge. I have seen many activities around Sugar Loaf which is north of Clermont and my question is... does anyone have any elevation nos. and degree of assent and distance from bottom to top. Now before you guys in GA and NC start putting us down for being flatlanders keep in mind that this is probably our highest point in FL and I know it will not compare to Mt Mitchel or other areas of the BRP.
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Old 05-03-09, 09:45 PM   #2
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What is this "climbing" thing of which you speak??? lol I think the closest thing I came to climbing here in Florida was the day I rode back and forth over the SR 312 bridge in ST. Augustine 6 times in one day. I rode something like 22 miles just back and forth over the bridge. I had to take a friend to have minor surgery at the hospital that is right by the bridge. Figured it would be more fun to ride my bike and wait for him than sit in the waiting room..
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Old 05-04-09, 04:28 AM   #3
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Check out Bikely. You can point and click on the map to draw the route. Then click "Show", and "Show elevation" to see the profile. You'll find it's about 200 feet.

It doesn't sound like much, but the first time through, on a 400k, it hit me pretty hard. I came back on a 600k with a taller cassette, and it wasn't bad.
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Old 05-04-09, 09:49 AM   #4
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What is this "climbing" thing of which you speak??? lol I think the closest thing I came to climbing here in Florida was the day I rode back and forth over the SR 312 bridge in ST. Augustine 6 times in one day. I rode something like 22 miles just back and forth over the bridge. I had to take a friend to have minor surgery at the hospital that is right by the bridge. Figured it would be more fun to ride my bike and wait for him than sit in the waiting room..
I hear what you are saying about bridges and overpasses. There are some fairly nice rollers out west of Clermont again I say they are nothing like NC or north GA and the BRP. I would love to ride across the Skyway bridge in Tampa but bikes are not permitted.
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Old 05-07-09, 04:41 PM   #5
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I would love to ride across the Skyway bridge in Tampa but bikes are not permitted.
Ahem!!!!! The Skyway is in St. Pete, NOT Tampa!
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Old 05-07-09, 05:13 PM   #6
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My bad, you are right... I would love to ride across the Skyway bridge in St. Pete but bikes are not permitted.
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Old 05-07-09, 08:23 PM   #7
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Just FYI Sugar Loaf mt. is 312 ft of elevation. It is the second highest elevation in FL. Still would like to know the degree of assent.
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Old 05-08-09, 05:01 AM   #8
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Sugar Loaf is 11%. Same for Buck Hill. Hwy 455 in that area has one or two hills that run 9 to 10%. None of these are too long, maybe a half'ish mile or so, but if you hit these with 75 miles on your legs they can be tough.

Great riding area by the way.
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Old 05-08-09, 06:50 AM   #9
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Thanks Neal, yes it is great riding in that area. I have done some of the roads their now I want to try Sugar Loaf as it seems to be the biggest challenge in Florida. I have really enjoyed reading about you NC people and some of the mountain rides that you have. Now that is a good place to ride. Perhaps someday I will get to try your area.
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Old 05-08-09, 10:51 AM   #10
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I believe that Sugar Loaf tops out at 14%. It has 2 sides. The "backside" is not really much of a climb even though it is the same height as the "frontside". It staircases up. It allows a rider to recover on the climb. The "frontside" starts off with a short steep section. That section levels off at around 7% and maintains that slope to right near the top.

There are other decent hills in the area. You can make a nice loop that includes Sugarloaf, the wall, the momma (but not the poppa) and buckhill. These hills are not long but they can be reasonably steep. Do the loop 2 or 3 times and you will get a decent amount of climbing.

By the way, I have ridden the highest paved road in the continental USA that is not an out and back. Oddly enough, the hills out around Clermont are steeper than the stuff you see in the western states (which usually max out at 7%). Of course, those are long. Rabbit Ears pass is 7 miles of 7%. Teton pass is an exception, it hits 10%. Georgia and North Carolina have much steeper hills. If you look around, you can find long climbs of 12%-14% and some short spots of 28% or even steeper.

The thing is that it is the rider. I have done tours out west. They gave us little bike license plates with our names and states on it. It was fun passing natives of Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado with my little Florida plate.
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Old 05-08-09, 02:18 PM   #11
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Pat, thanks for the great info. I can't even start to think about 28% climb. The turns at Daytona Speedway are 32% and it is almost impossible to walk up the banking. Great story about the little Florida license plate. Thanks again.
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Old 05-10-09, 04:29 PM   #12
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Ahem!!!!! The Skyway is in St. Pete, NOT Tampa!
:-) check those signs again :-) you'll note that the elevation part itself is in Hillsborough not Pinellas County. Therefore, the bridge istslf is not really in either Tampa or St. Pete. Regardless, it is part of the federal interstate system that won't allow cycles.
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Old 05-10-09, 05:38 PM   #13
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:-) check those signs again :-) you'll note that the elevation part itself is in Hillsborough not Pinellas County. Therefore, the bridge istslf is not really in either Tampa or St. Pete. Regardless, it is part of the federal interstate system that won't allow cycles.
That's very interesting and if you think about it, it makes sense. My guess is though that most people would say/think that it is in St. Pete. The north end does start from South St. Pete (Pinellas County) and the southern end lands in Hillsborough county and not within the Tampa city limits.
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Old 05-10-09, 10:18 PM   #14
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Actully it lands into Manatee not Hillsborough county. Only thing I can see, it's just Hillsborough is given a channel to get out to the ocean so it' not technically a land locked county with whatever connotations that has to go with it. It could also a holdover from when all of Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties were included into the one county of Hillsborough.
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Old 05-10-09, 10:24 PM   #15
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All of the geography doesn't mean squat, While i take it you've done quite a bit of riding in WV, I grew up riding in NE Pennsylvania, and not sure about you, but I HAVE slowly become a true flatlander I guess. Went up and did the hills around Clearmont last week and thought I'd have to ransom my legs to get back. I go out to Colorado on a regular basis, and have thought I needed to get checked for lung functions after riding at the elevations out there. Go up for the BikeMS ride this year, Bok Towers is almost at 300 feet, which is about as high as it gets in most of FL.
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Old 05-11-09, 08:17 AM   #16
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All of the geography doesn't mean squat, While i take it you've done quite a bit of riding in WV, I grew up riding in NE Pennsylvania, and not sure about you, but I HAVE slowly become a true flatlander I guess. Went up and did the hills around Clearmont last week and thought I'd have to ransom my legs to get back. I go out to Colorado on a regular basis, and have thought I needed to get checked for lung functions after riding at the elevations out there. Go up for the BikeMS ride this year, Bok Towers is almost at 300 feet, which is about as high as it gets in most of FL.
Most of my WV riding was done as a kid while growing up in the 40s/50s on a Sears and Robuck single speed bike. I have been in FL since 68 so I am a qualified flatlander. I road semi competitively during the 80s/early 90s then gave it up until I retired and started riding with my daughter last year for pleasure and exercise. We have ridden some of the hills north of Lake Minneola and I did some triathlons years ago around Sugar Loaf. I see that you are doing a number of charity rides. Good luck

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Old 05-14-09, 09:36 PM   #17
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Clermont is a great place to ride. It took me three attempts to make it up Sugarloaf without stopping. Now that I haven't ridden in about a year, it will probably take a few more!
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Old 05-15-09, 05:09 AM   #18
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Actully it lands into Manatee not Hillsborough county.
Correct. Wikipedia also states that it "passes thru Hillsborough county waters". How interesting. So, you Tampans stole our football franchise, tried like hell to steal our baseball AND hockey franchise, and now you've stolen our freakin bridge!!

My best guess is that the waters belong to Tampa as they have the port, and as a consequence, are probably responsible for maintaining and/or monitoring the channel to get to it.

As for riding it, I can attest to the fact that the downhill side is FUN! A friend in a van dropped me at the top and picked me up at the bottom in the wee hours of the morning some 20 or so years ago.
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Old 05-15-09, 03:00 PM   #19
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Correct. Wikipedia also states that it "passes Thur Hillsborough county waters". How interesting. So, you Tampans stole our football franchise, tried like hell to steal our baseball AND hockey franchise, and now you've stolen our freakin bridge!!

My best guess is that the waters belong to Tampa as they have the port, and as a consequence, are probably responsible for maintaining and/or monitoring the channel to get to it.

As for riding it, I can attest to the fact that the downhill side is FUN! A friend in a van dropped me at the top and picked me up at the bottom in the wee hours of the morning some 20 or so years ago.
Any idea of what maximum MPH you hit on this little excursion???

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Old 05-15-09, 05:22 PM   #20
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Any idea of what maximum MPH you hit on this little excursion???
No, sorry Slo Spoke, that was way back BCE, (Before CatEye!) Actually, cyclometers were out then, both the Cateye and the Avocet, I think. But I always in race mode back then and didn't carry anything on my bike but a spare tubular held under the seat with a toe clip strap!
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