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most difficult road climbs - usa - by bicycle

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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

most difficult road climbs - usa - by bicycle

Old 12-07-15, 07:47 PM
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quadripper
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most difficult road climbs - usa - by bicycle

what is the authoritative list of the most difficult climbs by road bicycle in the us?
I know pjammcycling.com had a list but it seems their website is down. what happened? now i don't know what roads to do.
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Old 12-07-15, 07:50 PM
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Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb | Mt. Washington Auto Road

Quote from the front page: "Deemed the Toughest Hillclimb in the World!"
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Old 12-07-15, 07:58 PM
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i actually just found these gems half an hour ago:

CDRC (Capital District Road Climbs): Platte Clove Road- Devil's Kitchen

How to Cycle Whiteface Mountain | USA Today
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Old 12-07-15, 08:02 PM
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https://www.climbbybike.com/most_difficult_climbs.asp
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Old 12-07-15, 08:18 PM
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America's 100 hardest climbs
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Old 12-07-15, 08:31 PM
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I can't believe Gibraltar Road got on the list. That's like 15 minutes from me.

I have climbed it a zillion times. They just re-paved the top half, so it's super nice now.

Funny story. I have Gibraltar totally figured out, and will big ring to the Monastery, then dump to small ring early at the Hippie Commune to get my HR back down before that super hard left switchback, then power the last turn and Cipollini until the top.

So one morning at sunrise, I start the climb with a bunch of non local guys, kitted up and looking the part. I blow past them in my baseball cap, with a little bit of a hangover. I heard one of them laugh, and say that I was going to blow up etc. (something to that effect) the group agreed. I get to the top and had my breakfast at the water cistern. A good 10 minutes later, these guys show up. They waved in total respect.

Little did they know, I had the whole climb gamed, and basically cheated.

Last edited by Erzulis Boat; 12-07-15 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 12-07-15, 08:36 PM
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I need to head down to Tucson some time.
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Old 12-08-15, 12:48 PM
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I don't know how hard any of the individual climbs are, but anyone that does The Blue Ridge Parkway (bonus points for adding Skyline Dr in VA) all the way has my respect.

GH
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Old 12-08-15, 12:53 PM
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Hey, I've done 7 of those climbs!

And I'm a girl.
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Old 12-08-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
Hey, I've done 7 of those climbs!

And I'm a girl.
I've done 5 of those climbs!

And I'm a boy.............so you got me beat.
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Old 12-08-15, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by quadripper View Post
what is the authoritative list of the most difficult climbs by road bicycle in the us?
I know pjammcycling.com had a list but it seems their website is down. what happened? now i don't know what roads to do.

There is a book Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) 2nd Edition: John Summerson: 9780979275142: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 12-08-15, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
I've done 5 of those climbs!

And I'm a boy.............so you got me beat.
Haha, you really should get out more.
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Old 12-08-15, 01:52 PM
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Observatory road above UC Berkeley. Very steep and not so short.
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Old 12-08-15, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Erzulis Boat View Post
I can't believe Gibraltar Road got on the list. That's like 15 minutes from me.

I have climbed it a zillion times. They just re-paved the top half, so it's super nice now.

Funny story. I have Gibraltar totally figured out, and will big ring to the Monastery, then dump to small ring early at the Hippie Commune to get my HR back down before that super hard left switchback, then power the last turn and Cipollini until the top.

So one morning at sunrise, I start the climb with a bunch of non local guys, kitted up and looking the part. I blow past them in my baseball cap, with a little bit of a hangover. I heard one of them laugh, and say that I was going to blow up etc. (something to that effect) the group agreed. I get to the top and had my breakfast at the water cistern. A good 10 minutes later, these guys show up. They waved in total respect.

Little did they know, I had the whole climb gamed, and basically cheated.
I will definitely be using that plan next time I go up
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Old 12-08-15, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by TGT1 View Post
Only lists two in my state, which is weird, and when you look at the map, one of them is pretty arbitrary, eg it's a big loop (40 extra miles) on the flat leading up to the climb.

Hurricane Ridge, which has been on my list a while, and Mt Spokane, which I've heard is a kick in the ass, but I've never really considered because of distance. Might go check it out one day though.
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Old 12-08-15, 02:42 PM
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Just two. Mt Ashland (nice but not exciting, like a big version of Mt Diablo which I have done many times.) Not hard on 42-23 fixed. And Mt Washington twice. A serious climb.

(I rode down Alba Rd in a Pacific Ocean storm. There were rivers running across the road. Does that count? )

Ben
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Old 12-08-15, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Only lists two in my state, which is weird, and when you look at the map, one of them is pretty arbitrary, eg it's a big loop (40 extra miles) on the flat leading up to the climb.

Hurricane Ridge, which has been on my list a while, and Mt Spokane, which I've heard is a kick in the ass, but I've never really considered because of distance. Might go check it out one day though.
Yeah, the author's criteria have some assumptions built in, no doubt. I have my own Misery Index system, that tells me, for example, that Figueroa Mountain Road (on the list) was not nearly as punishing as, say, Mix Canyon Road (not on the list.) Regardless, the list confirms my belief that I can "enjoy" a lifetime of tough climbing without leaving CA.
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Old 12-08-15, 05:48 PM
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anyone knows how to calculate the gradient that one can climb? (something like watts divided by rider+bike weight and by gear ratio, factoring gradient somehow)
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Old 12-08-15, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
I don't know how hard any of the individual climbs are, but anyone that does The Blue Ridge Parkway (bonus points for adding Skyline Dr in VA) all the way has my respect.

GH
You need to ride Marion-Mount Mitchell. 28 miles of climbing. 22-23 miles of it are two cat 1 climbs
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Old 12-08-15, 07:28 PM
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Only two so far 39 to Crystal Lake and GMR to Baldy Ski lifts, both from the house though, not from the parking area.
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Old 12-08-15, 07:58 PM
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seven down but hoping to knock out 10-12 this coming year with trips to death valley np, sequoia np west side, kings canyon np east side, kings canyon west side and tucson, az.

a kings canyon np east side trip this year got torrentially rained out (but rebounded by doing figueroa mtn & gibraltar same day) and a planned tucson trip to hit kitt pk, mt. lemmon
and mt. graham got "repurposed" into a wild west trip with a friend when i accidentally let slip i had a few days off. loose lips sink cycling trips.

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Old 12-09-15, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
I need to head down to Tucson some time.
It's supposed to snow on Mt. Lemmon Saturday.
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Old 12-09-15, 11:43 AM
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I can't see driving around the country to do these climbs. No, I am not a saint. I rode up with teammates to My Washington for my second trip (although I covered some of that distance by bike the day before in the RR). First time, I rode from Boston. Mt Ashland was part of Cycle Oregon which I rode the bus to get to. (But it was day three of five sets of 5000' in four days. The next day, climbing out of Ashland up Dead Indian Road was a lot harder.)

Ben
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Old 12-09-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bronco71 View Post
It's supposed to snow on Mt. Lemmon Saturday.
I rode up last weekend and it was an absolutely beautiful day. I wore a thinner long-sleeve jersey and a light base layer and I was overdressed!
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Old 12-09-15, 01:15 PM
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I would love to try some of these.
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