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Your longest climb?

Old 05-24-08, 07:51 AM
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Your longest climb?

The longest ride I've done is approximately 120km with around 1100m of climbing. For a few years I've been wanting to ride in the Alpenbrevet (www.alpenbrevet.ch), but for one reason or another (usually work or family commitments) I've been unable. This year it's going to happen - the short route of 131km and 3875m climbing appeals to me.

My question is - just how much of a toll does such a ride take?
If I'm able (with moderate effort, not at all straining) to do 5km @ 7% incline on a 39-25, how much worse is a 26km alpine climb @ 7% (perhaps I'll put a 39-26 or even 39-29 in place instead)?

The climbs are:
https://www.salite.ch/grimsel.asp
https://www.salite.ch/furka.asp
https://www.salite.ch/susten.asp

so, 55km of solid climbing plus the rest.

I realise this is not at all quantifiable, but I'd love some anecdotal experiences...

(For those who say "Just go out and ride one of the hills to find out" -- I tried last week, but they're still closed from winter precipitation).

G
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Old 05-24-08, 08:03 AM
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I've always felt, that no matter how long the climb is (or how long the ride is in general), the toll it takes is strictly based on how hard you push yourself. So, if you have good gears, you can climb all day if you don't rake yourself over the coals to get there.

Biggest climb I did was up here where I live...

Hurricane Ridge- ~4500ft.
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Old 05-24-08, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
I've always felt, that no matter how long the climb is (or how long the ride is in general), the toll it takes is strictly based on how hard you push yourself. So, if you have good gears, you can climb all day if you don't rake yourself over the coals to get there.
+1

My longest is Mt. Evans: 7000 ft in 28 miles (56 miles round-trip).
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Old 05-24-08, 08:46 AM
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Here in California, we have lots of "century rides" that are 100 miles with about 10,000 feet of climbing (130km and 3000+ meters). Thousands of people turn out for these rides; they are not just for super-fit racers. Some people do take 8 hours or more to finish. The goal is to have fun and finish, not to win the race. The ride organizers usually will have a time limit when the start to shut down the rest stops though (usually 10 hours or so).

Regarding your 7% climb, that is probably an average grade. There will likely be sections (perhaps long sections) with a grade of 10% or 15%. If this is your first time climbing hills like this, my advice is to bring 1 or 2 gears that are lower than what you've used on shorter climbs. One long climb is not so bad, but your ride probably has several long climbs.
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Old 05-24-08, 08:49 AM
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My longest climb was on an organized ride out of Fresno, California, into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Over the course of about 75 miles, I gained approximately 11,000 feet. On the way back, there was an additional 2500 feet of climbing. Last year I pedaled close to 11,000 feet over the course of 35 miles - more than half of them downhill or flat - in about 8 hours, making repeated climbs up the steepest street in Los Angeles (Fargo), which is just a 1/10th of a mile long, but has a 33% grade.

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Old 05-24-08, 09:38 AM
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16 miles (25km), Palomar Mtn from the bottom. 9 miles climbing to get to the climb, then 7 miles up. One of my routes to do Palomar has a 3mi x 9% climb about 5 minutes after I finish descending back down. Total ride is 85-95 miles, depending on the route.

To the OP, I'd get a compact. This way you can retain a normal cassette, normal rear derailleur, and still have really low gears. On descents you tuck most of the time you're over 50 mph. I can't believe I'm saying that since I like sprinting and then tucking. I never ran out of gear (53x11) where I didn't just tuck instead.

cdr
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Old 05-24-08, 12:44 PM
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I am debating about doing the Highwood Pass climb in the Rockies in southern Alberta. From the bottom to the top, it's 37.5 kms of climbing, and then you get to turn around and come back down again. The ride goes on June 14th, so I've got to make up my mind soon.

I'll have to check elevations etc.

If I did, I think that would be the longest continual climb I've been on. I've done rides with much more climbing than that ... the PBP 1200K has about 30,000 ft of climbing, for example.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Guru
The longest ride I've done is approximately 120km with around 1100m of climbing. For a few years I've been wanting to ride in the Alpenbrevet (www.alpenbrevet.ch), but for one reason or another (usually work or family commitments) I've been unable. This year it's going to happen - the short route of 131km and 3875m climbing appeals to me.

My question is - just how much of a toll does such a ride take?
If I'm able (with moderate effort, not at all straining) to do 5km @ 7% incline on a 39-25, how much worse is a 26km alpine climb @ 7% (perhaps I'll put a 39-26 or even 39-29 in place instead)?
Length of climb isn't as important as the grade. Total climbing can be very misleading because going for miles and miles at a grade that sounds like a lot in a car isn't that hard. What is hard is having to go up short (less than a few hundred meters) but repeated brutal grades when your legs are already tired. The trick with real climbing rides is that you never get a chance to recover.

Having said that, there is a HUGE difference between a typical 120km road with 1100m of climbing and one that's slightly longer with 3875m. Other things to consider is that as you go up, temps drop, and you can freeze on descents. I didn't follow your link, but some mountains are in desert areas -- you would be amazed how much water you can go through. On a really brutal climb in hot weather, I can go through 3L of water in 20km. For comparison's sake, I don't even carry water on my commute and it's more than 30km.

Gearing is not as important as conditioning. You can get by on surprisingly tall gears if you condition yourself well and alternate standing and sitting. If you want to spin the entire way up, find out what kind of grades you will encounter and get the right gears.

To get back to your original question, 26 km at 7% is pretty easy on any gearing that you're considering, presuming that doing that same grade doesn't tire you at all for 5km.

Last edited by banerjek; 05-24-08 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:09 PM
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So far this one: https://www.cascade.org/EandR/hpc/index.cfm
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Old 05-24-08, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
I am debating about doing the Highwood Pass climb in the Rockies in southern Alberta. From the bottom to the top, it's 37.5 kms of climbing, and then you get to turn around and come back down again. The ride goes on June 14th, so I've got to make up my mind soon.

I'll have to check elevations etc.

If I did, I think that would be the longest continual climb I've been on. I've done rides with much more climbing than that ... the PBP 1200K has about 30,000 ft of climbing, for example.

I just finished reading the section on your site covering your 200km and 300km rides you completed this Spring. That 300k sounded cold and windy. It's been a tough Spring here on the Prairies for a cyclist.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:18 PM
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Well total ride was 112 miles but the 12,000 ft of climbing were in the first 72. I'm 220-235 and did it along with 3 other times, 10,000 in 62 miles on a 39/25 no sweat!
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Old 05-24-08, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Snow_canuck
I just finished reading the section on your site covering your 200km and 300km rides you completed this Spring. That 300k sounded cold and windy. It's been a tough Spring here on the Prairies for a cyclist.
It's been a very tough spring ... and the thing is ... summer solistice is less than a month away, and it'll be winter again before we know it.

A couple guys from the Alberta Randonneurs (my club) were supposed to ride a 600K brevet this weekend from our mountain series, but it was cancelled because of the strong possibility of snow and ice ... too dangerous to spend that amount of time out there in those conditions without a lot of special preparations.

Even on June 14th, I've heard there's a chance the top of the Highwood Pass could be snowed in ... and if there's a chance of it most years, I'm guessing there's a good chance of it this year.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:35 PM
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I'm not sure what my "longest ever" climb was. I did one that was about 50 miles long out of Ranchester Wyoming. That gained about 6,000 vertical feet or so. It never got very steep; it just took forever. It had occasional breaks where it would level out or go slightly down for a bit, but for the most part -- just steady up.

I think the longest unbroken climb I've done was going over Beartooth Pass in Wyoming / Montana. Started on the Red Lodge, Montana side -- it's about 5,500 vertical feet in 30-some miles (most of the climbing is in the 10, 15 miles in the middle).

I've done a few centuries with 10,000+ feet of climbing in them. One racked it up with an unending series of short, steep rolling hills -- I find that beats my legs up much faster then long mountain pass type climbs. It's hard to not succumb to the "I'll just stand and jam over this little roller" temptation -- but when you have 100 miles of stand-and-jam rollers like that, you better resist (unless you can do intervals training for 6 hours).

Without a doubt the hardest climb I've ever done (and probably the longest "absolutely no chance to recover" climb) was the Mt. Washington (New Hampshire) Hill Climb, which is only 7.6 miles, but gains a whopping 4,800 feet.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:38 PM
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What is the longest continuous climb in the USA or Canada? Is it Haleakala on Maui (10,000 vertical feet in 40 miles of continuous climbing)?
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Old 05-24-08, 01:42 PM
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The largest amount of vert I've done in one day was 10,957 in 75mi in the Santa Monica mountains. Solo no support. Last Feb my team did a supported ride which was basically the final stage of the Tour of California plus a few more climbs. 9,777ft in 91 miles through the Angeles mountains.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:44 PM
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Longest climb I did was 3 miles at a 6-8 percent grade. This was on a organized century in Amenia (NY). Mostly steep here, not really long.
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Old 05-24-08, 01:45 PM
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Something up Mt. Mitchell I guess
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Old 05-24-08, 04:07 PM
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The longest I guess was the Bogus Basin Hill Climb, but that was 30 years ago I think. What fun coming down!
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Old 05-24-08, 04:15 PM
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Longest climb I've done is Mont Ventoux. Forget the stats exactly, but it hurt real bad.
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Old 05-24-08, 04:17 PM
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I have been up to Hurricane Ridge. If it's the same one I recall it had like 10' of snow in July (Olympic Natl Park?).
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Old 05-24-08, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
Length of climb isn't as important as the grade. Total climbing can be very misleading because going for miles and miles at a grade that sounds like a lot in a car isn't that hard. What is hard is having to go up short (less than a few hundred meters) but repeated brutal grades when your legs are already tired. The trick with real climbing rides is that you never get a chance to recover.

Having said that, there is a HUGE difference between a typical 120km road with 1100m of climbing and one that's slightly longer with 3875m. Other things to consider is that as you go up, temps drop, and you can freeze on descents. I didn't follow your link, but some mountains are in desert areas -- you would be amazed how much water you can go through. On a really brutal climb in hot weather, I can go through 3L of water in 20km. For comparison's sake, I don't even carry water on my commute and it's more than 30km.

Gearing is not as important as conditioning. You can get by on surprisingly tall gears if you condition yourself well and alternate standing and sitting. If you want to spin the entire way up, find out what kind of grades you will encounter and get the right gears.

To get back to your original question, 26 km at 7% is pretty easy on any gearing that you're considering, presuming that doing that same grade doesn't tire you at all for 5km.
Great post.

Longest climb: 28 miles of between 6-10%, no more and no less all the way. Took ages and hurt a lot. It was on a sportive in 2005 that I did (total mileage was 92 I think).

By contrast, I posted a few weeks ago (here: https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/414239-my-first-ride-pyrenees-luz-ardiden.html) about cycling up Luz Ardiden. Total climbing was only 10 miles but the heat, gradient and me only having two 750ml bottles of fluid meant that it was 10 times harder than the sportive 28 mile climb.
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Old 05-24-08, 04:54 PM
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Here's the Highwood Pass info:

https://www.moon.com/planner/canadian...hwoodpass.html

"In the southeastern corner of the park, Highway 40 climbs to Highwood Pass (2,227 meters/7,310 feet), the highest road pass in Canada. ... From the pass, Highway 40 descends into the Highwood/Cataract Creek areas of Kananaskis Country (Highwood Junction is 35 km/22 miles from the pass). Highwood Pass is in a critical wildlife habitat and is closed December–June 15."


https://cyclepass.com/t_pal_Highwood.html
https://www.canadatrails.ca/biking/ab/kananaskis.html

Last edited by Machka; 05-24-08 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:25 PM
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Little Cottonwood Canyon: 8.4mi @ 9.2%, which is allegedly like Alp D' Huez without the switchbacks
https://www.saltlakecycling.com/showride.php?rideID=1002

Big Cottonwood Canyon: 14.7mi @ 7.8% (with an option for a few hundred more yards of ~15% grade)
https://www.saltlakecycling.com/showride.php?rideID=1000

Millcreek Canyon: 9.2mi @ 6.7% (a couple of ~20% grades at the top)
https://www.saltlakecycling.com/showride.php?rideID=1009

* I've topped 50mph down Big and Little Cottonwood!
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Old 05-24-08, 07:49 PM
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longet I've done was Bristlecone Forest 6,500 feet, 21miles. But it was the last 6500 of a two day 29000 foot race, and topped out above 10,000 feet.

Ventoux, L'alpe De Huez, Col de Galibier, Col de Izoard, Col de Aubisquewere kinda of tough also, but did not compare to Bristlecone.

Unless you've done the Agrilu (sp?) in Spain, the volcano bit in Hawaii, or a couple of the insane clmbs in the Giro, its going to be tough to top EC.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
+1

My longest is Mt. Evans: 7000 ft in 28 miles (56 miles round-trip).
+1
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