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  1. #1
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    Looking for 18% grade around Nashville

    Is there a good training road around Nashville with 18% or so grade?

  2. #2
    Cyclojazzmathiopian
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    It has been a while since I have lived in Nashville and so this will be vague -- perhaps some Nashvillians will add some detail to my account.

    The longest climbs I recall in the metro(ish) area are along the Natchez Trace Pkwy. If you go down through Leiper's Fork there is a short, but nice climb back in there. Also, I seem the recall a decent .5mi climb from a road that feeds into the Pkwy.

  3. #3
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    I use Google Maps with the Terrain View to check out bike ride routes.

    Zoomed in all the way on Terrain View, each contour line is 40 feet of elevation. If the distance between the contours where the road crosses the contour line is similar to the width of the hand pointer, then it's steep, well over 10%.

    For instance, Cunningham Rd in Cincinnati is known to be 15% on the steep part. Here it is on Terrain View.

    Just browsing around Nashville, Brick Church Pike looks steep, too. I'm guessing 12% at least.

    At this zoomed-in scale, Google's elevations are sometimes just an estimate. So the actual grade can vary from what the map shows, either steeper or shallower.

    Anyway, you can find areas of hills (or avoid them!) with Terrain View. And it's easy to estimate the elevation gain of a hill, too. The darker contour lines are 200 feet apart.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 06-30-09 at 09:00 AM.

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    +1 try natchez trace

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    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    im not sure the grade if i did the calculation right it is around 35%.it is on the greenway at 2 rivers if you go away from nashville about a mile you go under mcgavoc pike and there it is....... a fat boys night mare.Two Rivers Middle School it is a very steep climb from the river i can coast down like a champ but going up im not so champish. i will try to think of some more.
    Last edited by bbeck; 07-02-09 at 09:09 PM.
    Brandon Gallatin, Tn.
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    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    just thought of another have you rode the 11 mile trail at percy warner park yet?
    Brandon Gallatin, Tn.
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/bwbeck

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    didn't think of Percy Warner, thanks.

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    How long at 18% do you need? For hill attacks there are several spots near where I live west of Nashville out in the country, but nothing that is more than 1/4 to 1/2 mile or so in length at that grade. Percy Warner Park has some nice hills, but not a lot at that grade for very long at all. Are you training for something in particular?

  9. #9
    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
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    The biggest grade in Percy warner is 12-15% at about .4 miles. It is a short steep sprint of a hill in the 11 mile loop right after you descend passed Harpeth golf course. If you want some good climbs try Theta, Poplar Creek Rd, or McCrory Lane (climbing from the highway 70 side to the highway 100 side). Also the climbs onto the Trace are pretty good. One more is up Old Charlotte Pike. Start at Old Hickory and Charlotte. Take Old hickory to Old Charlotte and turn left. You'll hit a 1 mile climb that sucks bad. A final one would be the climb from River Road up Hwy 249 out in Pegram.

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    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
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    now if you have some time to drive to Chattanooga you could ride up Lookout via Burkhalter Gap. If you need more of a climb than that the only thing I could point you to is Brasstown Bald. There is a 20%+ grade in the Leaves of Lincoln century. It is legit but only about 750 meters long.

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    Take a look at North Berry's Chapel Road in Williamson County. I'm told that Lynnwood Way is also steep, but I've never actually ridden that.

  12. #12
    Cyclojazzmathiopian
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    Speaking of Chattanooga and terrible climbs... Roberts Mills Road up the side of Signal Mountain.

  13. #13
    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    I'm over west of Nashville Also... Sometimes take hwy 70 over to McCrory Lane, then up onto the natchez trace and back on hwy 100 & then 96 back to 70. (96 now has full rumble strips btw, what a waste)

    I agree that McCrory lane from 70 to 100 is a pretty good pull, but stay off it during peak traffic hours, it's narrow, has tons of blind spots and people drive around 50-55mph on it.

    There are a few pretty good climbs on the Natchez Trace about 14 miles out from the main northern parking lot... I remember I would hit them when I did out and backs on the trace last year after work.

    Over by Montgomery Bell State Park in white bluff on hwy 70 there is a section with a really long grade with a sligh break in the middle of it. It's not terribly steep but it's probably my "least favorite" climb around (though I did go out of my way on Sunday to do it)

    I don't really know the % of any of this stuff but I guess you could look at a topo map to get an idea.

  14. #14
    Legs of Steel chrisvu05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavush View Post
    I'm over west of Nashville Also... Sometimes take hwy 70 over to McCrory Lane, then up onto the natchez trace and back on hwy 100 & then 96 back to 70. (96 now has full rumble strips btw, what a waste)

    I agree that McCrory lane from 70 to 100 is a pretty good pull, but stay off it during peak traffic hours, it's narrow, has tons of blind spots and people drive around 50-55mph on it.

    There are a few pretty good climbs on the Natchez Trace about 14 miles out from the main northern parking lot... I remember I would hit them when I did out and backs on the trace last year after work.

    Over by Montgomery Bell State Park in white bluff on hwy 70 there is a section with a really long grade with a sligh break in the middle of it. It's not terribly steep but it's probably my "least favorite" climb around (though I did go out of my way on Sunday to do it)

    I don't really know the % of any of this stuff but I guess you could look at a topo map to get an idea.
    The majority of stuff around Nashville that people consider legit climbs are 6-8%...there isn't much over 10% that isn't less than .5 miles long

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    (this space for rent) Gavush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisvu05 View Post
    The majority of stuff around Nashville that people consider legit climbs are 6-8%...there isn't much over 10% that isn't less than .5 miles long
    I would agree, but I guess one must adjust their expectations to meet your local environment. I moved here from VT and challenging climbs were 25 minutes away... my Dad did even the Mount Washington Auto road hill climb one year... I thought he was crazy and kept my limit to the local mountains where the ski resorts were. I just checked the 3.5 mile ride I used to take to go to elementary school and found that on the way home it had 507ft elevation gain w/ a max of 18%. (I lived up on the side of a valley) But now it's repeats on the entrance to the trace. (not nearly as interesting nor as challenging)

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