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  1. #1
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Biggest / toughest hills, climbs etc in Texas.

    I like hills. Even mountains. Long sustained steep grades, paved and unpaved. There are plenty of them in TX. Many of them are within a day-trip of the major metros. Let's list them here. Shall we?

    1) The hwy climb to Chisos Bason, 5.1@6.3 ?

    2 has to be the Fort Davis area, hwy's 166 and 118 in particular, and the spur rd to the McDonald Observatory.
    http://app.strava.com/segments/1306923 4.8@4.6

    2) Next up, the El Paso transmountain road?

    3) Lots of legbreakers in the Hill Country. RR337 W of Leakey, etc.

    4) 2.1 m @ 7% + near Amarillo, TX 207
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  2. #2
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    Summit Place, Cedar Hill, TX
    Loop 12 service roads between Keeneland and Mountain Creek Parkways

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I think similar threads have been done before.
    There's Cherry Pie Hill south of Palo Pinto.
    The Beauty and the Beast tour in Tyler comes up a nice hill, but it's been several years since I did it. The Pedernales Pedal near Glen Rose goes up "The Wall", but I've not been up it.
    Head on up to the Talimena Scenic Byway in OK for some good hills.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    The climbs out of the canyons at Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 in Lubbock are ugly. Short, but ugly.

    The "Three Amigos" on 337 north of Mineral Wells are a favorite. Three long climbs and fast descents over about ten miles.
    Last edited by Monoborracho; 03-19-13 at 10:41 PM.

  5. #5
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    I rode the Beauty and the Beast rally, this past Satty. "The Beast" is definitely a big steep hill. But I think "the Wall" use in the Paluxy Pedal rout is bigger and steeper.
    "have fun and be kind"
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  6. #6
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    The "Three Amigos" on 337 north of Mineral Wells are a favorite. Three long climbs and fast descents over about ten miles.
    I've TT'ed those, they are big hills but there are bigger in the area.
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  7. #7
    tcs
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    Westbound to Love's Lookout Park on Lookout Valley Road is a nice little hill (north of Jacksonville, East Texas).

    Park Road 5 out of Palo Duro Canyon State Park was 'memorable' (SE of Amarillo).

    Surprise! In a part of the state famous for being flat, there are fine climbs up the entire 200 mile long ridge line of the Caprock, from south of Perryton to north of Big Spring.

    The 'Government Road' above Ft. Lancaster is a beautiful climb in a place where one wouldn't guess there possibly could be a beautiful climb (east of Sheffield).

    The old Bankhead National Highway grade (now effectively the I20 access road) up 'Ranger Hill' is fun (east of Ranger).

    Evant offers Langford Cove Road on a small climb up to Gholson Gap and another, better workout up and over 183 to Bee House, although north from there up County 157 and 158 over Live Oak Gap arguably the better climb in that area.

    We say everything is bigger in Texas, but that's not really true. However, the highest point (and biggest climb) on the Gulf Coast between Alabama and the Yucatan is High Island, Texas (shown here surrounded by the flood waters of Hurricane Ike). TX87 & 124 climb well over 30 feet in elevation up to the town site!
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  8. #8
    tcs
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    In Cycling 101 you learn what great fun bicycles are. In Cycling 102 you learn to like climbing, because a rider will spend so much more time going up than down!

    Climbing fans will enjoy the fun little book, The Complete Guide to Climbing by Bike by John Summerson. However, Mr. Summerson does not list a single climb in Texas in his book. I understand we gave away most of our mountains back in 1845, but I think his omission represents a failure of research or perhaps an exhausted budget. At the very least, the first three rides in post #1 should have made the book by the author's own criteria.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  9. #9
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Westbound to Love's Lookout Park on Lookout Valley Road is a nice little hill (north of Jacksonville, East Texas).

    Park Road 5 out of Palo Duro Canyon State Park was 'memorable' (SE of Amarillo).

    Surprise! In a part of the state famous for being flat, there are fine climbs up the entire 200 mile long ridge line of the Caprock, from south of Perryton to north of Big Spring.

    The 'Government Road' above Ft. Lancaster is a beautiful climb in a place where one wouldn't guess there possibly could be a beautiful climb (east of Sheffield).

    The old Bankhead National Highway grade (now effectively the I20 access road) up 'Ranger Hill' is fun (east of Ranger).

    Evant offers Langford Cove Road on a small climb up to Gholson Gap and another, better workout up and over 183 to Bee House, although north from there up County 157 and 158 over Live Oak Gap arguably the better climb in that area.

    We say everything is bigger in Texas, but that's not really true. However, the highest point (and biggest climb) on the Gulf Coast between Alabama and the Yucatan is High Island, Texas (shown here surrounded by the flood waters of Hurricane Ike). TX87 & 124 climb well over 30 feet in elevation up to the town site!
    thanks for this post, some new ones to me here!
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  10. #10
    Mr. Sparkle alpha_bravo's Avatar
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    Has anyone ridden out in Big Bend? I'd really like to plan a trip out there to ride some of the real mountains there. I've hear there are a few good 1000-1500 foot climbs. I don't think there's anything in Texas that is as big as that.

  11. #11
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    One option s to do hill repeats
    http://www.laketravis.com/cycling/routes.htm

    Route 6 "The Humbler" Hill Climb (Road Bike) - Climb 129 feet in 3/10 of a mile. The steepest climb on South Lake Travis. Climb starts on Wild Cherry off of Lohman's Spur. If you're wanting to work anaerobic leg strength, this the the workout. Do two sets of two climbs and be ready to be sore the next day. 9-14% grade. Google Route GMap & Elevation: go here.

    One i found http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2245419 Near Coldspring TX I have not ridden it yet
    Combine that with this http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2095096

    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/913229

    Helotes to Camp Wood
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/852535
    Last edited by Jamesw2; 04-05-13 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Added link

  12. #12
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    The Tour das Hugel in Austin is a 100 mile ride with 10,000 feet of climbing over many of Austin’s toughest hills.
    Unlike many well known rides in our area, the Tour das Hugel is NOT an organized or supported ride. So if you’re expecting something like that, stay away!
    Tour das Hugel
    Start: Austin, TX, US
    Gear: 2007 Trek 1500 SLR
    Distance: 111.4 mi
    Elevation: + 14271 / - 14268 ft
    Departed: Nov 12, '11, 07:04am
    Moving Time: 08:24:04






    https://www.facebook.com/tourdashugel
    Last edited by AusTexMurf; 04-11-13 at 07:50 AM.

  13. #13
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Our ride today went up and down Cherry Pie Hill and I made a video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rOznc5aY3M
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rwc5830's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Our ride today went up and down Cherry Pie Hill and I made a video of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rOznc5aY3M
    Quite a downhill! I used to fish Lake Palo Pinto as a kid with my dad. Some fond memories, freezing in the boat in the winter, near the power plant that released warm water.
    Cycling is an addiction that is worth having; let's go!! South TX Randos www.rgvrandos.org

  15. #15
    Senior Member dstrong's Avatar
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    Fulton Ranch Road was part of the Livestrong challenge last year. It's only about 4/10ths of a mile but averages around 14% and maxes out at 21%. I had no idea this climb existed so it was quite a surprise. After crossing a river, I looked up the road and there was this HUGE climb about a 1/2 mile away...I started looking left and right thinking "we aren't going up that are we?" As I approached it, I saw 90% of riders off their bikes, walking to the top. I geared down to my lowest gear (30/27) and tried to find a sustainable cadence. At one point I started weaving up and also alternated between standing and sitting. I managed to make it to the top and thought..."Well...I don't think I'll ever do that climb on purpose again!"

    I like long, steady climbs in the 7 - 8% range...but 14% is just plain painful.

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  16. #16
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstrong View Post
    Fulton Ranch Road was part of the Livestrong challenge last year. It's only about 4/10ths of a mile but averages around 14% and maxes out at 21%. I had no idea this climb existed so it was quite a surprise. After crossing a river, I looked up the road and there was this HUGE climb about a 1/2 mile away...I started looking left and right thinking "we aren't going up that are we?" As I approached it, I saw 90% of riders off their bikes, walking to the top. I geared down to my lowest gear (30/27) and tried to find a sustainable cadence. At one point I started weaving up and also alternated between standing and sitting. I managed to make it to the top and thought..."Well...I don't think I'll ever do that climb on purpose again!"

    I like long, steady climbs in the 7 - 8% range...but 14% is just plain painful.
    How would you rate this Fulton Ranch Road compared to Jester Blvd? Is the 21% at the end? That would call for very well-planned strategy and conservation of energy. About a year ago I got to where I can make it up Jester without stopping. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. I am 67 years old, riding compulsively the last 4 years, and can do lots of hills that I never would have dreamed of when I was a casual rider at age 37. On a hill like Jester Blvd. I feel no need to apologize for gears used ("road" bike has MTB 11-34 9speed cassette behind 53-39) or how low my speed drops. I am just happy to make it without stopping. If I should have to zig-zag, that is a little humiliating. I started to try Beauford and was put off not necessarily by the grade but the horrible pavement texture.

    Don in Austin

  17. #17
    Senior Member z_hammer's Avatar
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    FYI, I hear that if you ride LiveStrong again this year you will get to enjoy Fulton Ranch Road all over again.
    '11 Trek Madone 6.9SSL - Shepard Fairey edition TOC

  18. #18
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    I rode the Waxahachie rally last weekend and was quite surprised to find a big hill on that route.

    The route went down this one: http://goo.gl/maps/lY2oA
    and came back up via this one: http://goo.gl/maps/BznXH

    Geographically speaking, I think those are both part of the same escarpment that forms Cedar Hill a bit further to the North.
    "have fun and be kind"
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  19. #19
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The hill coming back up is on some of our rando routes, so you hit it at about the hundred mile mark in late afternoon (Rio Vista Rumble, if I remember right).

    And, speaking of that effect, on our 600k this weekend, you hit Cherry Pie Hill about 13 miles from the finish, so it's late afternoon after 360 miles when you go up. That tends to dampen one's enthusiasm.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  20. #20
    tcs
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    Hmm. Interesting little ridge between Lake Bridgeport and Jacksboro. Nice climbs, but methinks Ride With GPS is overstating the maximum grade.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Whoa! I got tired just reading this thread; my legs are throbbing...

    You guys are masochists!

    Seriously, amazed at what the human body can handle, esp on a bike.

  22. #22
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Hmm. Interesting little ridge between Lake Bridgeport and Jacksboro. Nice climbs, but methinks Ride With GPS is overstating the maximum grade.
    If I understand how some of that works, ridewithgps is basically figuring slope of the terrain without taking any road cuts, fills, or bridges into account. On a main road, they will have sizeable cuts and fills, on a lesser road, not so much. So I would expect you're right about the maximum grade.

    On one of the routes I ride all the time, I got to check maximum grades, and found the steepest point on the route was a little short dip where you could coast UP the hill, so it never occurred to me that it was steep.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  23. #23
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Tour Das Hugel takes off again on Nov. 9. See http://www.facebook.com/tourdashugel and http://www.dashugel.com to enjoy the tradition of pain.

    Tour Das Hugel is an annual event challenging riders to 100 miles of Austin’s toughest hills, including more than 12,000 feet of climbing.
    The painful tradition continues in 2013!
    Saturday, November 9
    7 a.m.
    Parking Lot at Pedestrian Bridge, Stratford Dr Austin, TX 78746

  24. #24
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post

    The old Bankhead National Highway grade (now effectively the I20 access road) up 'Ranger Hill' is fun (east of Ranger).
    A question on this- a while back, I drove through there. The service road itself stops at the bottom of Ranger Hill and restarts at the top. On Google maps, there's another "road" that is off away from the freeway, is that the one being referred to? Just looking at it on Google maps, it doesn't look like a passable vehicle road- is that rideable on road bike, mountain bike, etc.?
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  25. #25
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Just looking at it on Google maps, it doesn't look like a passable vehicle road- is that rideable on road bike, mountain bike, etc.?
    Whoa! The pavement has really deteriorated in...d'arvit, has it really been 32 years? In fact, it looks like the old roadbed is gated now, so this great old hill is now a big fat never mind.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

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