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The hardest climb you have ever made?

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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

The hardest climb you have ever made?

Old 06-26-20, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
Agreed. Mount Washington. A bit happy it was canceled, myself. Whiteface is supposedly on though.
you can go up Whiteface just about any time you want. They just opened the road about a week ago (heading there some time this summer)
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Old 06-26-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga
las flores is ridiculous. simply ridiculous.

have often though about going up tuna canyon against the "one way" road mandate. not as worried about the cars as i am about the cyclists descending.
tuna canyon would seem to be even harder than the ascent of las flores and i'm not the safest rider but i gotta draw the line somewhere and it's not because i'm worried
about suffering...more worried about not colliding with a speeding rider/auto. i'll descend tuna every few years to gauge loss of hand/forearm braking strength over the years.

baldy is tough as bleep and boring. road surface blows and then you get beat up on the descent as well. it's an accomplishment getting past the "bowling alley," whether you're riding or walking.
personally prefer to summit dawson saddle with the better views, higher el and better pavement.

gibraltar is exposed and get afternoon scorchy. morning with the overcast are best for the climb which has some tough ramps here and there. not much fun to descend but the attached east camino cielo
(along with gmr/grr) is imho, among the top two mountain roads in socal.
.
Las Flores is 23% for a short stretch. A guy fell over in front of me and his computer went bouncing across the road, I almost ran over it. I told him "You dropped something". Gotta get my digs in when I can. I think the steepest part of Tuna is 16% but it goes on longer than Las Flores. That's where they had the Red Bull Road Rage race.

Dawson Saddle is a nice ride, not too steep on either side. Coming out of Wrightwood on the 2 is the steepest part.
Balcom Canyon going south has a 23% section. The ATOC went there a couple times. That also sucks to descend. Out there Grimes Canyon will get to me when it's hot. Many times I've baked on that climb. You get still air and the sharp turns make it seem to go on and on.
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Old 06-26-20, 09:41 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by phrantic09
you can go up Whiteface just about any time you want. They just opened the road about a week ago (heading there some time this summer)
I live near the base of it. I was specifically referring to the race.
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Old 06-26-20, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb
I live near the base of it. I was specifically referring to the race.
ahh
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Old 06-26-20, 09:50 AM
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Haleakala is a very special climb. While others found it boring from so many miles, I cherished it. Each section has it's own unique challenges and views. There are only two short sections of slight downhill during the entire 36 miles. Be sure to put your bike in the hardest gear for the photo op at the elevation sign.

The second day of the Everest Challenge up to White Mountain back in 2011. The section somewhere nearish the top where you have the great view to your left. That was about the only thing that kept me going as I was very much done with climbing.

The Alta Alpina 8 pass double century. You climb the back side of Monitor last for the 8th climb of the day. By that time the sun is starting to set and the views are spectacular. The descent back down to Markleeville is in the dark (if you're slow like me).
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Old 06-26-20, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Scummer
https://www.strava.com/activities/339830098

Up the Passo di Pennes north of Bozen in South Tyrol. The first 30km are easy at a steady 3-4%. But then the last 9.5km kicks your ass at a steady 8-10%. It hurt. A lot. Especially on that day, since it was the hottest day of the year. In the valley during the day it was 40C and at 2300m on top of the mountain it was still 30C. Unbelievable heat.
I almost passed out during my lunch stop at the old Brenner highway.
I lived very close to your starting point, just on the other side of the Mendel Pass. That pass is not too difficult in either direction (if you are used to climbing), but a lot more difficult from Bolzano (sorry, got to say it the Italian way). I wish I was into cycling when I lived there as a skinny teenager. Nowadays, I try to ride there when I go back to visit (which COVID is now blocking).
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Old 06-26-20, 10:02 PM
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Haleakala was awful and amazing. Unrelenting is how I would describe it, especially due to me living at sea level. That last little bit to the very top was brutal. I loved every minute of it...after I was done.
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Old 06-27-20, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe
Meh. I did Onyx peak very hungover. Luckily for me, my riding partner that day was also my drinking partner the night before, so he was hurting as well. I really do need to try to summit it a bit sober.
don't we all?
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Old 06-27-20, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Badbird2000
End of this summer I am planning/trying to ride from Gatlinburg to Clingmans Dome. It's 23 miles of climbing, it's all National Park road so I think the average is 5% grade. But, for a guy who grew up riding in Florida, it should be a lot of fun...
I had a lot of fun Thursday doing the descent from Clingman's Dome to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. One very hairy moment when a black bear on the left of the road ran across in front of me doing about 50 mph. I briefly locked up and missed him to the left by a foot or less.

But climbing it?? No way. Not my idea of fun. I enjoy long distances (127 is my best), short 20 to 50 mile rides going for a good average speed, and exploration type rides checking out new things. That's my cup of tea.I know there's plenty of riders that love climbing, but just not my thing.
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Old 06-27-20, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke
I had a lot of fun Thursday doing the descent from Clingman's Dome to the Sugarlands Visitor Center. One very hairy moment when a black bear on the left of the road ran across in front of me doing about 50 mph. I briefly locked up and missed him to the left by a foot or less.

But climbing it?? No way. Not my idea of fun. I enjoy long distances (127 is my best), short 20 to 50 mile rides going for a good average speed, and exploration type rides checking out new things. That's my cup of tea.I know there's plenty of riders that love climbing, but just not my thing.
I missed out on hills/elevation when I lived in Florida. I totally get how it doesn't seem fun, lol. I am sure I will have a different outlook after I attempt it. I am curious what may happen if I encounter a bear on the way UP. Perhaps my own KOM?
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Old 06-27-20, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
I did it somewhere around 1985. The weirdest part was when I got to the top, some lady was bragging to everyone she drove up in her car.
It’s like all the guys in motor bikes taking picture with the Passo or Col name on the top of each climbs. Like if it was an accomplishment.

humans are killing the planet for Instagram self glory
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Old 06-27-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Pittsburgh's Dirty Dozen was a hard day of climbing: thirteen of the steepest hills in a city that is, by some measures, hillier than San Francisco. The event includes Canton Avenue, which is the steepest paved road in the US. (And maybe steepest in the world, though that is disputed by some cranky New Zealanders.)

Here's some video from Canton:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSGgbaFumkQ
My legs hurt from just watching
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Old 06-27-20, 11:40 PM
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I'm a flatlander from the coast, so I have very little experience with climbing. I can ride a century and have elevation change recorded in the dozens of feel.

I've really only had a few "real climb" experiences:
  • Wintergreen in Virginia. Not a huge climb, but gets pretty steep towards the top.
  • Riding between Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore and getting lost and doing several thousand extra feet of climbing.
  • Riding from the shores of Yellowstone Lake to Old Faithful, up and over the continental divide in 2 spots.
For the foreseeable future, all of my climbing will be on Zwift.
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Old 06-28-20, 01:12 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by dr_max
It’s like all the guys in motor bikes taking picture with the Passo or Col name on the top of each climbs. Like if it was an accomplishment.

humans are killing the planet for Instagram self glory
Next time you fly to Europe just to ride your bike up some hill be sure to give them a scolding.
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Old 06-28-20, 08:34 AM
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This one is not far from home and it always makes me go a lot deeper than I want to... But it's worth it. It has been featured several times in the Tour of Utah. Sepp Kuss absolutely crushed it a couple of years ago.

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Old 06-28-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mgopack42
I was unprepared when I attempted Haleakala. made it to the 5000' sign,and it was getting cold and misty, and I was tired, so I went back. next time I will be sure to dial in my fitness better.
A riding buddy attempted Haleakala in spring with little preparation, relying on baseline fitness. Like you, he made it to the park gate. I was mindful of his experience and trained all summer, and did the ascent in October. While not particularly steep, it's just relentless, and it remains my most memorable and satisfying climb.
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Old 06-29-20, 01:04 PM
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oakland cty. mich.

Snell road E. from Orion N. of Rochester,short & steep.https://www.google.com/maps/place/Or...!4d-83.1796732
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Old 06-29-20, 01:14 PM
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Riding cross country, we elected to take Highway 16 out of Ten Sleep, WY into the Bighorn Mountains. Shocking. You start at about 4400 and ride up to 9400+, basically a mile vertically over 8 miles or so. We were in damn good shape and yet we had to get out and stand on the pedals to get up that road. One car going the other way yelled at us "You're not going to make it!". Yes, this was in the pre-internet era, so we had no idea of the challenge in front of us.
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Old 06-29-20, 01:48 PM
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L’Alpe d’Huez - on my trainer for a virtual bike race on FulGaz.

Otherwise, in real life, it was a non-descript hill in France on our touring tandem when the pedals just wouldn’t turn over anymore. We almost started rolling backwards down the hill because we couldn’t unclip fast enough.
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Old 06-29-20, 02:21 PM
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Haleakala sounds tough, this looks even tougher-


You can also watch Jeremiah Bishop's video which is a bit shorter-

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Old 06-29-20, 05:42 PM
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Leadville’s climb to Columbine mine! And oh there is the Powerline climb!!

Haleakala was tough and beautiful but the toughest is Columbine and Powerline in the Leadville 100 for me. Which one was the worse? 🤔 Columbine is long and brutal and takes you to well above 12000ft but Powerline at mile 90ish is super steep at the bottom(I’ve had to walk it my 3 years)and just seems to go on and on after that. My favorite place on Earth but some painfully beautiful memories
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Old 06-29-20, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan333SP
Haleakala sounds tough, this looks even tougher-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFtJkjXO6ZE

You can also watch Jeremiah Bishop's video which is a bit shorter-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKJ9n5Dlto8&t=668s

I used to live on the Hilo side of that climb but didn't do any road cycling back then. We would go up around the summit to hunt Mouflon sheep. It is hard to breath even hiking up there. Can't imagine cycling that road...
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Old 06-29-20, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Haleakala. It's not that steep, but man it's a long grind. That, and I was really affected by the altitude the first time I did it.
I came here to say this, though honestly the altitude was mostly fine for me. I may cheat, since our local hill here is actually higher at the top -- but you get to start at 7,000' or so.

I did it without 'really' training and at the end of a year with a lot of flying and sitting down at sea level. It properly hurt.
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Old 06-29-20, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mpath
A riding buddy attempted Haleakala in spring with little preparation, relying on baseline fitness. Like you, he made it to the park gate. I was mindful of his experience and trained all summer, and did the ascent in October. While not particularly steep, it's just relentless, and it remains my most memorable and satisfying climb.
I did it in March, when my wife surprised me with a trip to Maui for my birthday. So I had no time to prepare, just to rent a bike. I made sure to get the 32-cassette option. In the end I only used the 32 on the steep pitch up to the park entrance, and at the very very end.

I thought the March weather was perfect. The sun never really bust through the clouds, and the temp must not have got much above 70. Not great for scenery, but loved the ride.
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Old 06-29-20, 08:23 PM
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After moving to Dallas for about 9 months, we moved back to AR. On my first "return" Tuesday night hammerhead ride, on which I used to be in the front group... I got dropped on a roller.
My head fell, and I went back to the parking lot with a heavy heart, and talked myself into giving up, going home and getting morbidly obese over the next decade or so.
That was my hardest hill.
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