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Old 10-17-08, 09:16 PM   #1
Wanderer
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15% grade

We did a 2 mile 15% grade this afternoon. Near Golden New Mexico this afternoon. This is near Madrid NM, of Wild Hogs fame........ North and east of Albuquerque.

Of course, it was on our motorcycles...........................

I'll bet it would be really cool, to go DOWN on my Crosstrail!
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Old 10-17-08, 09:29 PM   #2
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I'd rather go up than down something like that on a bicycle.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:43 PM   #3
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Machka, you're sick! That was a serious hill!!!!!!

I was in second gear, on a 100 HP motorcycle, downhill, constantly gaining speed.
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Old 10-17-08, 09:44 PM   #4
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Machka, you're sick! That was a serious hill!!!!!!
Yeah ... I've ridden 15% grades before ... and have walked up steeper grades. But I'm not a big fan of descending.
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Old 10-17-08, 10:15 PM   #5
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Yeah ... I've ridden 15% grades before ... and have walked up steeper grades. But I'm not a big fan of descending.
Ahhhhhhh . . . then you have common sense and fear. I was given none of the former, and only a little of the latter, and as a result, I have done some crazy descents. I have hit close to 60 mph on several descents, although I can't verify the same b/c it was pre-speedometer. I also have hit the pavement, which I CAN verify because of scars. But 2 miles of 15%? That sounds like FUN.
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Old 10-17-08, 10:20 PM   #6
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I have a lot of fear!

I also hit the pavement on a 15% descent ... and am still fighting with shoulder issues a year and a half later.
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Old 10-17-08, 10:25 PM   #7
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Tomorrow I'll be doing one of my favorite loops .... 17 miles of 6-8% climbing then 1.5 miles of 15-18% grade.... then lots and lots and lots of descending, the shallow side - mostly 4-6% with the smooooothest pavement in the county.

Probably the last time this year, unless I do it sunday too. It's gonna be ski season up there pretty soon.

Since this is the touring forum, what's the steepest you've ever ridden loaded? I tried to ride up Arthur Pass in New Zealand, and had to walk the last 1/2 mile or so - it was 19%.
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Old 10-17-08, 10:29 PM   #8
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Since this is the touring forum, what's the steepest you've ever ridden loaded? I tried to ride up Arthur Pass in New Zealand, and had to walk the last 1/2 mile or so - it was 19%.
I'm not sure. I've walked up a 25% grade with a full touring load on my bicycle in Wales ... the Long Mynd. But there have been several other steep grades along the way in Europe and Australia.
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Old 10-18-08, 08:09 AM   #9
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There's a 20% over 2km that I wanted to cycle down but I missed the turn.


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Old 10-18-08, 08:33 AM   #10
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Tomorrow I'll be doing one of my favorite loops .... 17 miles of 6-8% climbing then 1.5 miles of 15-18% grade.... then lots and lots and lots of descending, the shallow side - mostly 4-6% with the smooooothest pavement in the county.
I am so jealous! Colorado is such a great place to ride.
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Old 10-18-08, 10:54 AM   #11
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I've ridden 22% grade a short distance, fortunately, otherwise I could not have made it far.
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Old 10-18-08, 11:35 AM   #12
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Has anyone toured on Big Island in Hawaii. On my last tour we went down into Waipio Vally to camp. The sign on the road indicated a 25% grade! We had to walk our loaded bikes up and down the hill- in pouring rain, I might add. On the way up, I finally removed one of my pedals because I banged my ankle so many times.

And yes, it was an awesome trip. When we woke up in the morning, there were two horses standing in our campsite.
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Old 10-18-08, 11:44 AM   #13
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The best thing about going up steep grades is coming down the other side...

We have one hill here that hits 22% and it is a killer to climb on any bike as it brings you up out of the valley into the city proper which is nearly 1000 feet of ascent.

I've done it on a loaded fixed gear... once.

My legs still hate me for that.
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Old 10-18-08, 04:38 PM   #14
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I am so jealous! Colorado is such a great place to ride.
I know, it's so good I'm jealous of myself. From today.

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Old 10-18-08, 07:38 PM   #15
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+1 for jealous! Great scenery, great pavement with a rideable shoulder. Does it get any better for a day ride? Colorado is hard to beat for anything outdoors. Lucky you.

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Old 10-18-08, 08:22 PM   #16
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I think the steepest hill I have climbed was the road between Les Éboulement and Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive (Charlevoix, Quebec): 18%. Fortunately traffic was light that blazing hot morning, so I was able to zig-zag up! I took plenty of breaks, sucked back a lot of water, and walked part of the way, as well.

Charlevoix is very hilly, and on that trip, I was fine on 12% grades. But beyond a certain grade, I would struggle. That threshold was 15%, I think. Despite the hills, my trip to Charlevoix was my all-time favourite bike trip.
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Old 10-19-08, 11:11 AM   #17
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I have a lot of fear!

I also hit the pavement on a 15% descent ... and am still fighting with shoulder issues a year and a half later.
I'm with you on descending, Machka. Particularly with a trailer. After my trailer began to wobble as I neared 35 MPH on a downhill... >SHUDDER!<

Sorry to read about the shoulder.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:36 PM   #18
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We have one hill here that hits 22% and it is a killer to climb on any bike as it brings you up out of the valley into the city proper which is nearly 1000 feet of ascent.
Where is that hill ... I'm wondering if it's the one I'm thinking of.
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Old 10-19-08, 03:48 PM   #19
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Most of the steep downhills where I live now are either too twisty for real speed or end in intersections. No point in hitting 35-45 MPH if you find a car in front of you. Best hill I've taken a touring load over was Loveland Pass. Again, in Colorado. 5% to 12% up the rough East side and 45 max down the smooth, gently curved West side with a long flat run-out and nil cross-traffic. Two days later on the return trip I pulled into the passing lane and went around a semi going down the East side.
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Old 10-19-08, 11:08 PM   #20
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Elevation is a good thing. I climbed so many "hills" to get to Denver it wasn't even funny.

This lovely hill took me 4 hours and then rained on me at the top.
What you want to know is what is the starting elevation and what is the ending elevation or top.

I climbed Vail pass at 10,400 ish and only climbed 1500 that day to pass over.

This is on Highway UT 12 Coming up and walking lower calf creek. I would climb to 9500 feet by the end of the day. Yes 4,000 feet and lots of walking.


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Old 10-20-08, 01:50 AM   #21
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what's the steepest you've ever ridden loaded?
In Cuba my bike computer showed something 30% up to the Gran Piedra. (and several times over 20% on other roads). The good thing is that these climbs > 20% are mostly not very long (50 m).

In Spain I made a race with 2 truck drivers -> 1 km with an averager of 18% (After an 800m climb increasing from 5 to 15% before)

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