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Long climbs within 100 miles of Stanwood

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Long climbs within 100 miles of Stanwood

Old 07-30-17, 12:00 PM
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markwill
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Long climbs within 100 miles of Everett

I am preparing for the Whistler Gran Fondo in September. I am doing the Forte edition, which throws in a 9 mile climb up Cypress Mountain in the early part of the ride (after descending that we start climbing to Whistler).

Apparently it adds up to about 10,500 of climbing in total. I don't mind hills generally but don't have too much experience with long grinds up that sort of distance. So I need training opportunities - hence this post.

I am having trouble finding this sort of profile, within a reasonable distance (I live about 8 miles south of Stanwood). In an act of desperation, I traveled to Mount Baker and rode 10 miles to Artist Point. That was a little over 3,000 feet and is about the sort of thing I am looking for. However, a 200 mile round trip to do that doesn't help!

I am therefore looking for long climbs like that which are, say, within a 50 mile drive of Everett. I have seen suggestions for the climb to Stevens Pass but don't like that road much and would prefer a less busy, slower road (car-wise).

I am not too far from the Cascade foothills and have to believe there's something So any suggestions for 9+ mile rides of 3,000 feet or more on safe roads would be most appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 07-30-17, 12:24 PM
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79pmooney
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I have prepared for now three Cycle Oregons with serious climbing by riding a 40 mile look from my house that goes up to Bald Peak State Park. Only ~1600' elevation at summit and ~2000' of climbing in several sections. I did this once a week for the month of August as well as one long ride and as many commutes and evening rides as I could get in. (Cycle Oregon is a week of riding starting the weekend after Labor Day.

Granted, this is a little different. Week long non-competitive tour vs a one day near full competition. But I was training so I could do the CO climbs on a 42-23 or higher and many small climbs in a substantially higher gear as I was doing the whole week on a fix gear.

You are not far from Seattle Hill Road. Only a few hundred feet but seriously hard. A few repeats on that would go a long ways.

Ben
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Old 07-31-17, 12:13 AM
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markwill
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Thank you, Ben. I will check out Seattle Hill Road.
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Old 07-31-17, 08:46 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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There's so much relief here, I almost wonder if you're pulling our legs.

You're not going to get your 10,500 feet in one shot, so you need to do hill repeats.

Can you do dirt and gravel roads? If so there's really no limit and you won't have to travel far. Go to the MLH, spend a day riding all the access roads. Go out to Darrington, ride North Mountain.

You're at the edge of the water, in a giant trough, and the foothills are about 50 miles away. If you relax this a bit, you'll find a lot more options (especially paved ones) and you'll have the low traffic roads you want. Go to Winthrop for a weekend, do the triple bypass, do Washington Pass too while you're out there. Do Slate Peak from Mazama. Go to Port Angeles, ride Hurricane Ridge.

Originally Posted by markwill View Post
I have seen suggestions for the climb to Stevens Pass but don't like that road much and would prefer a less busy, slower road (car-wise).
It's a lot better from the 11worth side, though. I wouldn't want to do the west side of that one again.
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Old 07-31-17, 09:00 AM
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markwill
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
There's so much relief here, I almost wonder if you're pulling our legs.
No - no legs being pulled here I am genuinely looking for options here and haven't yet come up with anything reasonably close to where I live.

I only have a road bike, so that rules out dirt/gravel. I do have quite a few shorter road hills around here and, yes, the hill repeats are an option. But as well as that option, I am also looking for a longer ride (like the Mount Baker climb I did on Friday).

It's true that I won't be doing the 10,500 in one shot. But Cypress looks like a pretty good challenge of about 9 1/2 miles, near the start of the ride on September 9th. So, aside from just generally training for hills (much of which I can do around where I live), I also want to do a few longer climbs. The ride on Friday was somewhat similar to Cypress and, as such, gave me some confidence I will be OK on September 9th. But I want more of that between now and then, but preferably without the 200 mile round trip (or the weekend trip away).

So, my search remains for a long, challenging climb without having to give up an entire day I just want to find something a little closer, but it's looking like that might be a forlorn hope.

Over the weekend someone pointed out to me that the ride around Camano Island is around 4,000 of climbing and that's only about 10 miles from me, so I might look at that. Not quite what I am looking for but a good ration of climbing vs. distance.

Thanks for the response.
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Old 07-31-17, 10:33 AM
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The islands arenít really on my radar, but thatís a good point. Low and rolling can add up in a big way. Itís not the same as a long, continual grind, but itíll definitely help you get ready. (When I did Camano I got about 2,000 feet, but I didnít do the whole island.)

Have you worked with any of the online route planning tools, like Ride With GPS or Garmin Connect? You can click around to make an interesting route, and see how many miles and feet of vertical it comes to.
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Old 07-31-17, 11:15 AM
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You can drive to Newhalem in an hour and a half or so then do a longish ride to Washington Pass and back, that's about the closest long climb to you. If your a real glutton you could drop down the other side as far as you like and climb back. If you go to Mazama you get 120 miles and probably 10K of climbing. You can shorten or lengthen the ride depending on where you park and where you turn around.

Nearby to you are both Camano and Whidbey. Both are reasonably hilly. Look at strava, mapmyride or some such site to find the most hilly parts and tailor your ride accordingly. We've done two week-long rides in Colorado that always include a lot of climbing and at least one day of 100+ miles and the bulk of our training has been done on the islands. Of course these are not timed events so we were just looking for general fitness.

We did a ride on Camano that was north to south mainly on the eastern side that I managed 65 miles and 4,800 feet of climbing. I think Vashon is hillier, did a 55 mile ride yesterday that had 6K+ climbing, used the Passport2Pain route map to help find climbs I'd never done before.

Orcas is close to you, you can park near the ferry terminal (there's a county park a couple of miles away) and walk aboard. Ride up Mt. Constitution, not long but fairly steep. Mt. Erie is just outside of Anacortes, I've never ridden it but it seems very steep.

Starting out such a long ride with a long climb right out of the gate sounds tough. 10K is pretty much the most I've ever climbed in a day and I've been pretty wiped by the end of it. Wouldn't skimp on the miles either in training, a few really long days in the saddle will help physically and mentally prepare.

I remember reading Mike McQuaid's blog post when he was training for the Mt. Shasta Super Century (136 miles and 16K of climbing) and several of his training rides involved multiple repeats of the climb to Artist Point. It might be boring but finding a good hill or hills in a loop and doing them repeatedly might help avoid long drive.

Good luck, post a trip report and some photos.
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Old 08-01-17, 11:15 AM
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. Good stuff and it's appreciated. To respond to a few of the comments...

Yes, I have been using Strava to identify and build routes, with a view to climbing. I am familiar with creating a course for a specific purposes in this way and have done quite a lot of that recently. However, to augment that way of finding climbs, I also hoped to find the "long grind" type of route, like the Artist Point climb. It does seem that there is little close to me but there are some good suggestions here so thank you.

As an aside, I have done Mount Constitution in the past and found it enjoyable (especially the reward!). But it doesn't quite have the distance I am looking for at the moment.

I am planning to do a ride around Camano Island later this week and have about a 3,600 foot ride planned on Strava. Even when I criss-crossed the island to keep hitting hills I still came out at only that amount of climbing. I am not really one to do the same route more than once on a single ride (I get bored ) but at least 3,600 keeps things moving along.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 08-02-17, 08:31 PM
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From the ferry dock to the top of Constitution is 18 miles. Coming back from Constitution if you take the long way around over turtleback mountain and you can get around 40 miles with 5000+ feet of climbing. There is plenty of parking at the Anacortes ferry terminal and it's reasonably priced. Ride your bike onto the ferry and enjoy the day.

Some good climbs around Rainier, bu that's a bit of a drive.
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