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Old 01-07-13, 09:10 PM   #1
2ering
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Steep climb out of Mona Lake in Norton Shores, Michigan

Hi. Is anyone familiar with the climb on Lake Harbor Drive going north from Mona Lake? We're going to be riding north along the newly designated USBR #35 next May which takes us over what appears in Google Earth at least, to be an unrideable gradient. Is it as bad as Google Earth makes it appear? The reason I ask is that we are older and don't want to stroke out, we're going to be carrying a lot of weight including a dog in a trailer and we come from Chicago where even an overpass can look daunting.

Google Earth also shows a road that runs along the north shore of the lake but it appears to be private as I think I see a gate of some sort blocking the entrance. Does anyone know if the road is accessible?

Thanks.
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Old 01-08-13, 12:17 AM   #2
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According to Mapmyride, it's only about a 66ft elevation gain.
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/164146820
The gradient looks pretty mild.

Looking at Google Maps, the road I think you're talking about appears to be a bike path. It looks like if you cross the bridge going north and go in the parking lot to the left, the path goes from the parking lot back around under the bridge and seems to bypass the little bump in the road. The gate at the other end appears to be designed to keep cars off the path, but bikes/peds should be able to go around. Never been there though, so take it for what it's worth.

Last edited by fevans; 01-08-13 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 01-09-13, 02:09 PM   #3
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Hi fevans. I agree looking at the climb in mapmyrun does make it look innocuous until you realize the climb (which google earth & ridewithgps pegs at a bit over 100 feet) seems to occur in less than 0.1mile. While I'm not positive how you determine gradient, 100 feet of rise in about 500 feet of travel might indicate a 20% gradient. Depending on the horizontal scale used ridewithgps shows the peak gradient being anywhere from 6% to 18%. Not sure what is actually correct and why the variability (maybe rounding going on??) but that is why I was hoping someone who is familiar with the climb would see the posting. I find it hard to believe that the Dept of Trans, or whoever set up the route, would have it go over a 20% grade, but who knows.

I think you are correct about the lower road actually being a path as I think I see two people walking along it, so I think we will be looking for that road when on the trip.

Thanks again for your response.
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Old 01-09-13, 02:22 PM   #4
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This problem can almost always be solved by walking/pushing until difficulty diminishes.
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Old 01-09-13, 11:11 PM   #5
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I would be shocked if there was a 20% grade on that climb. If you go up it in Street View on google maps, it just doesn't look that steep.

Here's what one of our local ball-busting climbs looks like and I'm pretty sure it maxes out at about 15%:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Hunts...rce=gplus-ogsb

Like the other person said, walking is always an option. Either that or the path.
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Old 01-10-13, 12:52 AM   #6
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My wife and I rode that route on loaded bikes a few years back. The hill isn't bad at all. I doubt if it's as much as 6%.

How far north are you going? The hills can get pretty impressive north of Ludington.
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Old 01-10-13, 11:08 PM   #7
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Well your climb has me huffing and puffing just looking at it, but it sure looks like a beautiful area. I hope you're right and based upon the response from recycler, it appears you are. Thanks again.
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Old 01-10-13, 11:12 PM   #8
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Thanks recycle. Were you going north to south? We're planning on going all the way up to Mackinaw City and then continue down along the Lake Huron coast to the tip of the Thumb area.
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Old 01-11-13, 12:56 AM   #9
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Sounds like a nice trip you have planned.

We were going north. We left from home in the south suburbs, went around the bottom of the lake, then north to Muskegon, crossed to Milwaukee on the ferry, and rode back to the south 'burbs.

Last year we did a bunch of hub 'n' spoke trips around Frankfort and on the Lelanau Peninsula near Traverse City. The hills along the lake near Frankfort and Sleeping Bear are something else. (One climbs 1,300 feet in 1/2 mile) It would be worth looking at the Michigan Cycling club's Shoreline West tour booklet . $11.00 IIRC.
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Old 01-12-13, 04:02 PM   #10
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no worries.

Hello,
I live in Muskegon and have ridden that road many times. It is no big deal, we ride it on group rides and do not even consider it a hill. You will have a lot more to deal with north of Manistee up toward Traverse City. There are some good hills there. Enjoy your ride.
Tom Palmer
Muskegon, MI
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Old 01-12-13, 08:15 PM   #11
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I live a few mile south of this spot in Grand Haven and I would not even consider it a hill. I could probably head up there with the harming, and record it for you so you could see the profile.

Have fun in Michigan!
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