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One million vertical feet per year!

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One million vertical feet per year!

Old 07-17-23, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
It just means that the average grade over X miles includes the descending and the flats in the calculation.
Yes.

Originally Posted by big john
So, yes, it doesn't really tell you what grades to expect.
That is always true of an average. It gives no information about the distribution. If proportioned appropriately, a whole lot of 1% and a short stretch of 15% can average 4%, as can a ride in which all inclines are 4%.

And as you have pointed out, it is also true that the average grade of a ride that includes a whole lot of flat terrane will calculate to be lower than the average grade of a ride which includes only ascents and descents. The flat part dilutes the average.

Last edited by MinnMan; 07-17-23 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 07-26-23, 01:23 AM
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I avg about 300 to 400k a year. I can't imagine doing a million without major effort. I would probably have to give up my gravel and mtb also. 3,000 feet on mtb/gravel bike feels like an easy 5k to 6k on a road bike.
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Old 12-08-23, 09:38 AM
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Earlier this year, on a whim, I decided to try and set yearly PRs for hours, miles, and elevation. This is all on the roads, no trails. My previous yearly Strava PRs were 720 hours, 8,300 miles, and 740K feet. After I got close to those goals, and with still plenty of time left in the year, I figured why not just go for some round numbers - 1,000 hours, 10,000 miles, and 1,000,000 feet. It's now early December and I just passed the 1000 hour and 10,000 mile goals, and am at 985,000 feet. With 3 weeks left in the year, I should make the 1 million feet mark, unless some misfortunate event happens. Note that I am an old retired guy with plenty of time on my hands, so devoting 3-4 hours every day to riding is not a problem for me. Also, I have plenty of hills basically right out my front door as I live close to the East Bay hills in the San Francisco Bay Area. It did turn into a tedious chore at times when I chose to do hill repeats just to get some serious numbers in elevation. However, on balance, I think it was worth the effort, more than just the bragging rights. With the increased activity, I'm noticing that I can have all the cupcakes and beer I want and it still doesn't end up around my waist.
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Old 12-08-23, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ztmlgr
Earlier this year, on a whim, I decided to try and set yearly PRs for hours, miles, and elevation. This is all on the roads, no trails. My previous yearly Strava PRs were 720 hours, 8,300 miles, and 740K feet. After I got close to those goals, and with still plenty of time left in the year, I figured why not just go for some round numbers - 1,000 hours, 10,000 miles, and 1,000,000 feet. It's now early December and I just passed the 1000 hour and 10,000 mile goals, and am at 985,000 feet. With 3 weeks left in the year, I should make the 1 million feet mark, unless some misfortunate event happens. Note that I am an old retired guy with plenty of time on my hands, so devoting 3-4 hours every day to riding is not a problem for me. Also, I have plenty of hills basically right out my front door as I live close to the East Bay hills in the San Francisco Bay Area. It did turn into a tedious chore at times when I chose to do hill repeats just to get some serious numbers in elevation. However, on balance, I think it was worth the effort, more than just the bragging rights. With the increased activity, I'm noticing that I can have all the cupcakes and beer I want and it still doesn't end up around my waist.
That is pretty cool. At 72 I can still do some great fun stuff, I can ride fun terrain and get out every day. PRs are mostly out of reach though. In my 60s some PRs were still doable, now no so much. Just maybe I could squeak past the previous best numbers with great effort, but most of the numeric goals I'd want to pursue have been met.

The one that I have a more easy time topping these days is consistency. Without really even specifically setting it as a goal I managed to miss only 11 days so far this year from hitting the trails on the MTB. I expect I'll ride everyday for the rest of the year barring an unexpected event.
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Old 12-08-23, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ztmlgr
Earlier this year, on a whim, I decided to try and set yearly PRs for hours, miles, and elevation. This is all on the roads, no trails. My previous yearly Strava PRs were 720 hours, 8,300 miles, and 740K feet. After I got close to those goals, and with still plenty of time left in the year, I figured why not just go for some round numbers - 1,000 hours, 10,000 miles, and 1,000,000 feet. It's now early December and I just passed the 1000 hour and 10,000 mile goals, and am at 985,000 feet....
Very impressive! Congratulations!
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Old 12-08-23, 12:55 PM
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On my birthday in 2004, I was on the Spooktacular Century with some buddies when I rolled over 200 vertical miles.

They surprised me by pulling out this certificate from a jersey pocket:

__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat

Zwift: Terry Morse [OldAF]
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Old 12-11-23, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
On my birthday in 2004, I was on the Spooktacular Century with some buddies when I rolled over 200 vertical miles.

They surprised me by pulling out this certificate from a jersey pocket:
Well I just rolled over the million foot mark for elevation gain for the year as of today (December 11,2023). I didn't get a certificate, but I did get a "Congrats" from Strava. Your 200 miles mark got me to thinking, and I had to drag out the calculator to see which was greater. Your 200 miles equates to 1,056,000 feet. So if I were to try to get to that 200 mile mark, I'd need to climb 56,000 feet in the remaining 20 days of 2023, or 2,800 feet per day. Certainly do-able and well below what I've been climbing on a daily basis, but I think I'll pass as I need a break. I have 3 weeks or so to think up some goals for 2024 and hopefully next year I'll start working on my goals starting on Day 1, rather than halfway through the year as I did this time.
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Old 12-11-23, 10:03 PM
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This spurred me to check ft/mile as I've moved. Per Strava,

In 2015 living in Indiana: 19 ft/mile
In 2017 living in west Texas most of the year: 18 ft/mile. More than I expected!
In 2023 living in western Oregon: 43 ft/mile

Location definitely matters. In west Texas, I had to ride to a butte ten miles south of town for anything one might call a climb.
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Old 12-11-23, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
On my birthday in 2004, I was on the Spooktacular Century with some buddies when I rolled over 200 vertical miles.

They surprised me by pulling out this certificate from a jersey pocket:


Indeed, Way to Go, Terry! 👍

Very impressive -
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Old 12-12-23, 08:46 AM
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Years ago, before Adventure Cycling mapping went digital, one of its members contributed .gpx files for some (most?) of its major routes. One long winter's night I ran those through Topo and added up the climbing. I don't remember the precise total, but IIRC the TransAm came up to about 1.75 million feet of climbing.

Disclaimer: on at least one route (Townsend, TN to Cades Cove), Topo gave me credit for double the actual climb.

But still, I'm fairly certain I climbed a million feet total throughout the year I rode across the country. It would be interesting to compare total climbing for Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, compared to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. I wouldn't be surprised if the east accounted for more than half the climbing with all those short-ish but steep climbs.
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Old 12-12-23, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Years ago, before Adventure Cycling mapping went digital, one of its members contributed .gpx files for some (most?) of its major routes. One long winter's night I ran those through Topo and added up the climbing. I don't remember the precise total, but IIRC the TransAm came up to about 1.75 million feet of climbing.

Disclaimer: on at least one route (Townsend, TN to Cades Cove), Topo gave me credit for double the actual climb.

But still, I'm fairly certain I climbed a million feet total throughout the year I rode across the country. It would be interesting to compare total climbing for Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, compared to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. I wouldn't be surprised if the east accounted for more than half the climbing with all those short-ish but steep climbs.
I have heard that Ragbrai has more vertical feet than Ride The Rockies, due to the rollers.
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Old 12-12-23, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Years ago, before Adventure Cycling mapping went digital, one of its members contributed .gpx files for some (most?) of its major routes. One long winter's night I ran those through Topo and added up the climbing. I don't remember the precise total, but IIRC the TransAm came up to about 1.75 million feet of climbing.

Disclaimer: on at least one route (Townsend, TN to Cades Cove), Topo gave me credit for double the actual climb.

But still, I'm fairly certain I climbed a million feet total throughout the year I rode across the country. It would be interesting to compare total climbing for Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, compared to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. I wouldn't be surprised if the east accounted for more than half the climbing with all those short-ish but steep climbs.
That number of 1.75 million feet of climbing for the TransAm sounds orders of magnitude too high. I rode across the country 3 times from California to Massachusetts, not all on the TransAm but I hit plenty of high-climbing days in the mountain west, Missouri, Penssylvania, etc. I didn't ride with a tracking app at the time (Strava, RidewithGPS, etc.) in any of those rides, but I did punch my daily route into Ridewith GPS and the total for 1 of the trips, as reported by RidewithGPS, was a bit more than 135,000 feet. This number was probably consistent for the other rides. Think about it. My fastest time for all 3 rides was 42 days. If the elevation gain for the entire ride was that 1.75 million feet, I would have had to average over 41,000 feet per day, and that's just not humanly possible, at least not for this human.
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Old 12-12-23, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Years ago, before Adventure Cycling mapping went digital, one of its members contributed .gpx files for some (most?) of its major routes. One long winter's night I ran those through Topo and added up the climbing. I don't remember the precise total, but IIRC the TransAm came up to about 1.75 million feet of climbing.

Disclaimer: on at least one route (Townsend, TN to Cades Cove), Topo gave me credit for double the actual climb.

But still, I'm fairly certain I climbed a million feet total throughout the year I rode across the country. It would be interesting to compare total climbing for Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, compared to Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. I wouldn't be surprised if the east accounted for more than half the climbing with all those short-ish but steep climbs.
Before I started this thread, I checked with Adventure Cycling's website to see how much their XC routes climb. (I've ridden the TA and the NT.) The numbers I saw weren't precise, but they were in the range of 220,000'. I'm pretty sure those years, along with the associated training, were my biggest years of climbing, well under half a million. I had a couple of 10,000 mile years, but of relatively flat commuting.

(I just climbed 7000' in the last two days, the kind of pace needed to get a million in a year. I would or could not sustain that now, at age 66.)
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Old 12-12-23, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ztmlgr
That number of 1.75 million feet of climbing for the TransAm sounds orders of magnitude too high. I rode across the country 3 times from California to Massachusetts, not all on the TransAm but I hit plenty of high-climbing days in the mountain west, Missouri, Penssylvania, etc. I didn't ride with a tracking app at the time (Strava, RidewithGPS, etc.) in any of those rides, but I did punch my daily route into Ridewith GPS and the total for 1 of the trips, as reported by RidewithGPS, was a bit more than 135,000 feet. This number was probably consistent for the other rides. Think about it. My fastest time for all 3 rides was 42 days. If the elevation gain for the entire ride was that 1.75 million feet, I would have had to average over 41,000 feet per day, and that's just not humanly possible, at least not for this human.
Originally Posted by andrewclaus
Before I started this thread, I checked with Adventure Cycling's website to see how much their XC routes climb. (I've ridden the TA and the NT.) The numbers I saw weren't precise, but they were in the range of 220,000'. I'm pretty sure those years, along with the associated training, were my biggest years of climbing, well under half a million. I had a couple of 10,000 mile years, but of relatively flat commuting.

(I just climbed 7000' in the last two days, the kind of pace needed to get a million in a year. I would or could not sustain that now, at age 66.)
Y'all may be right. It's been a while -- like the logarithmic mean of 1 to 100 years -- so I may have mis-remembered by a decimal place.
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