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Road Cycling Hill Challenges...

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Road Cycling Hill Challenges...

Old 04-20-05, 09:15 PM
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my58vw
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Alright we all have challenges on our rides, and I am not talking distance... lets talk hills. There has always been a hill that I have not been able to climb, first it was the 6 percent 1 mile climb near my house, etc.

Now with a 23 out back there is a new challenge... Raley Drive.

Lets just put it this way. Starts out about 6 percent, no biggie. After a house it shoots to about 10 percent then it shoots for about 250 feet at 16 percent... measured. Lets say I made it about 3/4's of the way up the last bit on my best shot in a 39-23 before loosing all momentum and having to unclip or fall. I was at maximum force the whole time, standing mashing about 40 RPMs. Crazy. So tall that I can not clip facing sideways on the hill. The only way to clip in is to go down the hill holding the brake to clip in. The hill is so steep that I have a hard time walking up it... That is steep.

My goal is to make it up that hill 5 times in an interval session... can I do it... sure... in time.

What are your personal hill goals?!

Oh ya... how does 52 MPH going down the hill sound
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Old 04-20-05, 09:29 PM
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Not a hill I can't climb, but my favorite challenge is Cheyenne Canyon Road in Colorado springs/cheyenne mountain Colorado. Very tough climb to ride well in my opinion. Currently my best time is 20 minutes, lance does it in around 14. Hopin' by end of summer i'll be in the 18's. By the way it is a 3.2 mile climb. I think i've read like 7%ish grade average, but the fact that it starts over 6000 feet and ends over 7000 feet makes it pretty tough.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:30 PM
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http://www.saguarovelo.org/images/lemmon3d.jpg

Placed top 3 last year.this year i hope to shave a minute, it's an 11 mile TT.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
What are your personal hill goals?!
I have a similar hill near my house... it's around 9% average and 12% in one spot. It's about a mile or so long. That was my "target" when I first moved up to the plateau. I have since conquered it but it still intimidates me... especially since it faces me on my return from a ride. I admit, I don't do that hill all the time and it's still a challenge. Previously I topped out at 55MPH on the descent of that hill but recently broke the 60MPH mark when I came up to it with a nice green at the intersection. I was already doing about 30MPH after coming down a smaller hill. That was a rush and the glances I got from the drivers were priceless. I have to be careful though because the speed limit on that hill is 35MPH and I've been stopped and given a warning on it before.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:39 PM
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Next time ride all the way up to Summer Haven on the Lemmon.
Alternative: do Kitt Peak to the top . . . a much nicer/smoother road than the Lemmon!
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Old 04-20-05, 09:39 PM
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my58, you should really give palomar mountain a try. you aren't that far away. 11 miles, 4200' at 8%. a leg breaker by no means, but it's a great climb and will really test the mental, "hang in there, kid" part of your game.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
What are your personal hill goals?!
1. 18 minutes on Old La Honda (3.3 miles, 1300').
2. 10 hours at Climb to Kaiser (155 miles, 14,000').
3. 2 hours at Mt. Evans Hillclimb (38 miles, 6600').
4. 12 hours at Everest Challenge (168 miles, 29,000').

These will be hard to do, but I'm training hard.
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Old 04-20-05, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
What are your personal hill goals?
Just to find one would be helpful.
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Old 04-20-05, 10:07 PM
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Terry,

I am in the Bay Area also, my local goals are similar to you:

Old La Honda - 18 - 19 mins - currently 21 - 22 mins
Kings Mtn Rd ( 4.5 miles, 1900 ft climb) - 25 - 26 mins - currently 28 - 29 mins
Mt Tam Double Metric Century - 138 miles, 10000ft climbing - 9 hours

I think as I get stronger this year (only my second season on the road bike) I will get close to these.
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Old 04-20-05, 10:11 PM
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A 2.2 mile 9% climb. I can get almost all the way to the top, but inevitably I have to stop and rest before continuing. There is one section of it that lasts maybe a 10th of a mile but has to be 15-16%. I want to be able to climb it without stopping by the middle of next month.
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Old 04-20-05, 10:36 PM
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There is a road close to me called fickle hill rd. It is super steep and long and has some crazy turns. Its gets pretty hairy coming down in a car! My goal is to beat it someday, then die on the way back down going 70mph.
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Old 04-20-05, 11:12 PM
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Going back to the Redlands Classic the riders do a part of the climb called "Sunset loop", a 3.3 mile climb with senic views hit by the suffering of the climb. The pros climb the hill 11 times. I would be happy to even think about it eleven times, I can do it 3 times right now. That is a challenge...
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Old 04-20-05, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
I have a similar hill near my house... it's around 9% average and 12% in one spot. It's about a mile or so long. That was my "target" when I first moved up to the plateau. I have since conquered it but it still intimidates me... especially since it faces me on my return from a ride. I admit, I don't do that hill all the time and it's still a challenge. Previously I topped out at 55MPH on the descent of that hill but recently broke the 60MPH mark when I came up to it with a nice green at the intersection. I was already doing about 30MPH after coming down a smaller hill. That was a rush and the glances I got from the drivers were priceless. I have to be careful though because the speed limit on that hill is 35MPH and I've been stopped and given a warning on it before.
Oh? Where is this? Oh and be careful.
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Old 04-20-05, 11:30 PM
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There is a .3 mile 200-300ft (i'm not exactly sure, but it's very high)rise that I try my hardest to sprint up when I'm at home in the Catskills. It's called "Case Road". You can hit obscenely fast speeds (50+) going down that, which sucks since there's a 90* turn at the bottom.
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Old 04-20-05, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PenguinDeD
You can hit obscenely fast speeds (50+) going down that, which sucks since there's a 90* turn at the bottom.
Yeah... that's the same with my descent. The road T's at the bottom with a stoplight. Actually you can conceivably go straight... into a parking lot... still not a safe thing to do at high speed. There's another similar hill that's not quite as steep but windier. I was coming down that hill doing about 45MPH when I suddenly realised I was moments from the light at the bottom. I prayed for it to be green. Luckily it was and I scrubbed as much speed as I could before making a wide sweeping turn that claimed two lanes worth of traffic. Also luckily there was no one else coming down that hill so I had both lanes to myself as well as both lanes in the intersecting road. Had I not made that turn in time, I probably would have plowed through the fence at the other side of the crossroad and launched myself over some houses and into Lake Sammamish.
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Old 04-20-05, 11:40 PM
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Does anybody have information on the steepest part(Vist del Lago) of the 1984 Olympic road racing course in Mission Viejo? It's pretty steep but I don't know how steep it is in numbers.
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Old 04-21-05, 02:45 AM
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Current goals are mainly on my "benchmark" climbs.

Kings Mountain - Need to hit that elusive sub 20. 20:36 is my personal best.
Mt. Hamilton - Not sure, personal best solo is somewhere around 1:15:xx but that's only since recently timing it.
Old La Honda - No idea, I've never liked this climb that much, maybe something around 16 minutes??
Redwood Gulch - When I can do it in my 53x11 I'll be happy
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Old 04-21-05, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
1. 18 minutes on Old La Honda (3.3 miles, 1300').
2. 10 hours at Climb to Kaiser (155 miles, 14,000').
3. 2 hours at Mt. Evans Hillclimb (38 miles, 6600').
4. 12 hours at Everest Challenge (168 miles, 29,000').

These will be hard to do, but I'm training hard.
Mt. Diablo (Northgate side)?

EDIT: I didn't time myself last time I did it, but I'm sure it was dog slow....LOL!

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Old 04-21-05, 05:31 AM
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My nearest regular climb of any note is Brill Hill, well known to most of the cyclists in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire area. Not particularly long, but the last 250 or 300 feet (elevation) of the climb have sections exceeding 14%, according to the map. My challenge is to conquer this one without resorting to bottom gear (39-26 or 42-25 depending on the bike).
When I'm in LA, the climbs up to Mulholland Drive, or over Palos Verdes are a welcome diversion and offer something a bit longer to chew on.

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Old 04-21-05, 05:48 AM
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I am looking forward to this TT next year. 350' of climbing in .5 mile.


http://www.kingofjester.com/bike.html
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Old 04-21-05, 07:01 AM
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Living in the Blue Ridge mountains we have generally short but steep climbs. My climbing has definitely improved in the last couple of years! Can handle most climbs ok but one from town of Vesuvius to Blue Ridge Parkway kicked my butt last year. That's goal #1. Am riding in the Mountains of Misery century in May and it finishes with a 3 mile Cat 1 climb (graded for the Tour DuPont). That should be fun (NOT)!
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Old 04-21-05, 07:16 AM
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Blood Mountain in North Georgia(Neals Gap). It is the 1st Gap on the well known 3 Gap 50mi ride people do up here. My current time is 36 minutes. I would like to be around 31 or 32 by the end of the summer. The Tour de Georgia is climbing it tomorrow.
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Old 04-21-05, 07:18 AM
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I want to do Mount Ventoux, perhaps this year !

then ride all the way to Everest base camp.....

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Old 04-21-05, 08:25 AM
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My personal goal is to successfully climb the 10% grade, 2.5 mile road that curves & climbs to the parking lot at the top of Pilot Mountain State Park in North Carolina. Still a bit of a newbie that's trying to really improve his climbing abilities, I've only tried it once so far (earlier this week), and couldn't quite make it to the top. (Well, I think I could have "eventually", with stopping several times to rest & recharge before resuming pedaling, but the park was closing within the half hour, and I decided I would come back and try again in a few days). My immediate goal is to just reach the top on the bike. That would feel like such a huge accomplishment for me. The next goal would be to reach the top without stopping (which is hard to imagine at this point for me). Later, I would like to progressively beat each previous time, gradually improving with each effort.

Even though I didn't reach the top of this climb the other day, when I did turn around and descend to the bottom, it was the experience of a lifetime for me. Never before had I descended a road like this, or reached this kind of speed. It was both exhilirating and a bit frightening at the same time. I couldn't help but to imagine that in a very small way, maybe this is what it feels like to the pros when they come flying down the descents of the Alps & the Pyrenees (except I know they're flying at much greater speeds than I was). I was tucked low & loving the moment, having a blast leaning into the turns and zooming down the straights. When I reached the bottom, my hands literally ached from squeezing the brakes so continuously... yet my max speed still read 46.2 mph....

Next time I wanna reach the top. I really want to be able to climb this mountain (and improve so much on all climbs overall).

Plus, I'd also love to hit the 50 mph mark on the way back down...

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Old 04-21-05, 09:27 AM
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My current goal is to complete the Mt. Hamilton Challenge (full tour: 128mi., 8300' of climbing) ahead of the SAG wagon. That's right, I'll be happy with just finishing Next year I'll think about time goals . . . maybe . . . that kind of thing sucks the fun out of it for me, though.
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