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Old 04-29-14, 05:13 PM   #1
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Mt Hamilton TOC question - pulling my kid?

I've never climbed Mt. Hamilton, looking at Stava, lower half doesn't seem too steep yet is rated a Cat 3 climb? Strava Segment | Mt. Hamilton 2nd/Middle Climb (start at Grant Ranch)

for anyone experienced with the climb, how hard would it be to pull my kid up the mountain in a carriage some ways to watch the race? We are talking about a 40lb 5 year old (who loves watching the tour de france) that I would love to take out with me and experience the race firsthand.

I ride on the other side of the valley and do all the rides/climbs around Almaden and Los Gatos so in decent shape. I can break my mtn bike out which has some really low gearing as well which should help?

thanks for any input, I just don't have an idea of what to expect and cant' get out there to do a little practice run before the race.
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Old 04-29-14, 05:25 PM   #2
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I wouldn't call it easy... but you can surely climb it far enough to get an interesting spot.

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Old 04-29-14, 10:31 PM   #3
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I have no idea what it would be like to pull 40lb + the carriage, but the climb itself is not hard. If you don't want to go all the way up, there are plenty of places along the way to stop. None are much better than anywhere else, other than if you stop on the first part of the climb, you could probably find a spot where you can see the race coming up the mountain. Or if you go to the observatory at the top you can really see a lot though I bet that will be a madhouse.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:43 AM   #4
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I pulled my kids up some hills in Los Altos in a Burley trailer when they were younger, it's quite a workout. Mt. Hamilton isn't steep, so I think it's doable. Personally I wouldn't go past the first long descent though, so you don't have to climb it on the return.
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Old 04-30-14, 10:59 AM   #5
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On DS's map it looks like there's a nice steep section just past the 3 mi mark (another at 6mi). That would be a good candidate if it has decent sight-lines.

Definitely try to find a nice steep section for watching. The racers will be more spread out and going by at a more reasonable pace. The farther in you go, the more spread the pack will be. Given the route profile and distance from the start, there may not be any real attacks until after the 12 mi mark on DS's map.
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Old 04-30-14, 02:55 PM   #6
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Very cool idea. Keep in mind that you will be riding and then waiting on the mountain for several hours. Be sure to have food/water/toys/books for the little one, who likely will not be able to be as patient waiting for the race to go by as you are, and this will help make for a much better experience for all concerned.

Hamilton is never very steep, but it is loooooooong. At least as important as how far you can stand to climb towing your son/daughter is how experienced you are at descending with the trailer, because every mile you go up before the race is a mile you have to descend after the race. Also, if you don't go too far up the mountain (like somewhere on the first ramp before the drop to Grant Park), you and the little one should be able to get home soon enough to see the stage finish on Mt. Diablo on TV.

Also, odds are the peloton will be very much together when they go by. They hit the bottom of Hamilton something like five miles after the start. There probably will be a small number of early breakaway folks out front, but Hamilton is far too early in the day to see a serious, decisive split in the pack. Seeing just about everyone together should be vey impressive sight for a five year old, though, and in this case, that trumps race dynamics.
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Old 04-30-14, 06:25 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, very helpful. Your point about the decent is something I really didn't consider and I'm not a comfortable downhiller these days so definitely something to keep in mind. Mtn. bike with the disc brakes probably a good call on that front as well.

My thinking at this point is to park at Grant Park, load up the trailer with necessities and if worst comes to worst, just push it up a little ways or just load a wagon with stuff and walk up a bit. The kid is enamored with bike racing, so anywhere is going to be pretty cool for him.

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