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

% Grade on your rides

Old 05-21-06, 09:16 PM
  #51  
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msheron, since you keep posting the 39.2% grade figure in other threads I'm going to have to ask you to come back to this thread and give us more data.

Where exactly is this climb so we can find it on Google maps?

I ask this question because your area is well known among cyclists. If there were a grade anywhere near 39% even for 100 yards I would expect to find several web sites paying homage to it.

What gearing did you use to climb the section that is supposedly a 39.2% grade?

I ask because unless you are extremely skilled at tracking back and forth sideways along the road, you would need some amazing gearing to make that climb. Regardless, by my calculations it seems unlikely that a recreational rider would be able to generate enough power for 150 yards at that grade to keep from toppling over sideways.

--Steve
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Old 05-21-06, 09:32 PM
  #52  
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I have two 18.5% climbs near here, luckily they are only .1 and .2 miles
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Old 05-21-06, 09:58 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by NFields
I thought that 40% on a grade was straight up?

NFields
Not even close. 40% grade = 22 degrees. 90 degrees = straight up.
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Old 05-22-06, 05:05 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by ericgu
You're reading the graph wrong. The grade percentage is the really jagged line, and what you're seeing is the noise that is inherent in GPS altitude measurements.
I think you are right. If you eyeball the mean of the noisy line, it's about 5%.

As for the calculations it seems to be a question of using the same units to get the right number - as Machka has done. i.e. feet/feet or miles/miles (X100, to be pedantic).

It should have been obvious that 39% was impossible; I used to ride a couple of 1 in 4s (25%) when I was growing up in England and it felt like my nose was almost touching the road!! I did zig-zag!
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Old 05-22-06, 09:06 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by adxm
That was while riding? Nice shot!
Yeah, while riding. Thanks, it's really hard to take photos when climbing a steep grade like that. I remember almost dropping the camera on that one.


Originally Posted by adxm
That whole section and down the curve is seriously steep. And Hwy 4 for the whole section down to Markleeville is so beautiful. Too bad I didn't reg for the Death Ride this year...
Well, there still are two spots open on the July Kiss of Death, one week after Death Ride (the June trip is completely full). We'd love to have you.

We go up and down that section of Pacific Grade (in the photo) on the first day, when we ride from Markleeville to Bear Valley and back. It's my favorite day of the trip. Death Ride doesn't go as far as Pacific Grade, it turns around at Hermit Valley. That's a shame, it's the prettiest section in the whole area.
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Old 05-22-06, 10:59 AM
  #56  
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Here in Vancouver we have 3 good climbs within city limits.
One event near the end of the year is all 3 in one day. Seymour Mtn, Cypress Mtn, Grouse Mtn,

Last weekend we did the Seymore mrn ride. Its 14km long at 7% as far as I can tell. And from our coffee shop meeting place, its an 80k ride there and back total. A great sundays ride

Doing all 3 in one day is beyong my physical conditioning. Maybe next year
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Old 05-22-06, 11:27 AM
  #57  
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In my ride yesterday I hit 17.5%. I stomped a 42-23 to get up it.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:55 AM
  #58  
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I bought the Delorme Topo software to check this kinda stuff out. The loop I did two weeks ago has averages of 5 and 6%, but sections in the 20's. (Deer Creek Canyon Rd, N. Turkey Creek up to Evergreen CO)
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Old 05-22-06, 12:32 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by superdex
I bought the Delorme Topo software to check this kinda stuff out. The loop I did two weeks ago has averages of 5 and 6%, but sections in the 20's. (Deer Creek Canyon Rd, N. Turkey Creek up to Evergreen CO)

I cut my climbing teeth on those roads when I was 15. They are the only reason to go visit my mom and fakedad these days (they live in Castle Rock).

My grandparents live on top of a mountain a ways outside of Conifer, so it's up, refuel, then down.

Here is an elev chart to bring back memories: (just the climb)

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Old 05-22-06, 11:36 PM
  #60  
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screen shot of a section of N. Turkey Creek Rd, and from what I read this isn't the toughest (or near it) climb in the area...
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Old 05-22-06, 11:46 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by zimbo
msheron, since you keep posting the 39.2% grade figure in other threads I'm going to have to ask you to come back to this thread and give us more data.

Where exactly is this climb so we can find it on Google maps?

I ask this question because your area is well known among cyclists. If there were a grade anywhere near 39% even for 100 yards I would expect to find several web sites paying homage to it.

What gearing did you use to climb the section that is supposedly a 39.2% grade?

I ask because unless you are extremely skilled at tracking back and forth sideways along the road, you would need some amazing gearing to make that climb. Regardless, by my calculations it seems unlikely that a recreational rider would be able to generate enough power for 150 yards at that grade to keep from toppling over sideways.

--Steve
Are you serious? Is he posting elsewhere that he did a 39.2% grade?

Seeing as the steepest hill in the world has been recorded as Baldwin street at about 38%, if there were a hill at 39.2%, I'm sure Guiness World Book of Records would have heard about it by now.



Originally Posted by Artmo
I think you are right. If you eyeball the mean of the noisy line, it's about 5%.

As for the calculations it seems to be a question of using the same units to get the right number - as Machka has done. i.e. feet/feet or miles/miles (X100, to be pedantic).

It should have been obvious that 39% was impossible; I used to ride a couple of 1 in 4s (25%) when I was growing up in England and it felt like my nose was almost touching the road!! I did zig-zag!

Exactly!! I have walked a 25% grade in Wales, and that was a tough haul ... never mind trying to ride it!!

Have you ever been up the Long Mynd?
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Old 05-23-06, 12:28 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Machka
...
Seeing as the steepest hill in the world has been recorded as Baldwin street at about 38%, if there were a hill at 39.2%, I'm sure Guiness World Book of Records would have heard about it by now.
...
...I have walked a 25% grade in Wales, and that was a tough haul ...
I've walked up Baldwin St.
It needs rungs.
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Old 05-23-06, 06:06 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Machka
Are you serious? Is he posting elsewhere that he did a 39.2% grade?
Yes he is. In several places. And he weighs 193 pounds.

--Steve
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Old 05-23-06, 11:19 AM
  #64  
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If the Garmin takes a measurement every 3 sec and he is going at 5mph (7.33ft/s) so I could see on a switchback that he went 22ft in 3 sec and rose 8.8 ft that would be 40% grade. So the grades are correct they are just for each sample, not average. I don't know what distance should be used to calculate a max...
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Old 05-23-06, 12:07 PM
  #65  
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His claim in another thread is that the 39.2% grade is a stretch of 150 yards.

It's nothing personal, I just don't like to see blatant misinformation getting spread around.

--Steve
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Old 07-19-06, 12:32 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by msheron
I know this has been covered but here is a chart showing a climb I did in Saluda, NC for about a 4 mile climb which equated to 39.2% grade climb.

Really a leg burner. The ride down the other side of the mountain was a thrill however!
That's nothing compared to this 70% grade I rode. I measured it with GPS, so it must be accurate.

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Old 07-19-06, 01:17 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
Here's a clue - unless you're some sort of climber, going up 18% for more than a couple of hundred feet is HARD HARD HARD.
You think?
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Old 07-19-06, 01:38 PM
  #68  
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Gee, thanks for resurrecting this thread. Lots of fun looking at outrageously wrong grade measurements.

I got a new road sign for my photo collection, from last Saturday.
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Old 07-19-06, 01:59 PM
  #69  
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It is actually fairly simple. I have a Garmin edge 305 as well, which is where I get my information from. You do end up with little peaks and valleys due to inaccuracies of the GPS measurements. The 305 does have a barometric altimeter built in, but I think it is not weighted enough compared to the GPS information. Hopefully firmware will fix that.

If you look at the graph, everything is color-coded. The elevation bar on the left is green, and the mountain profile is the green line. Starts on the left at about a 1,000 feet, ends up in the middle at about 2,200, and then finishes at about 1,000 feet.

The black line and the black information on the right is instantaneous grade. If you notice, this line fluctuates between about +30% and -30%, with almost the entirety of the plot between + and - 8 to 10%. The Garmin calculates the grade between each and every waypoint. On average for me, that would be about every 4 to 5 seconds. Sometimes I end up with waypoints every second. Calculating grade over a 1 second interval, or even a five second interval, is not very accurate. In the training center software that came with the edge, you can smooth out the peaks and valleys to get an average grade at each point over the last few waypoints.
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