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What type of climb do you prefer

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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
View Poll Results: What type of climb do you prefer
Long at a fast pace ie: 5-7% for 10+ miles
64
59.26%
Short and steep ie: 10%+ for 3-5 miles
44
40.74%
Voters: 108. You may not vote on this poll

What type of climb do you prefer

Old 09-06-09, 08:47 AM
  #51  
banerjek
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Your right, I may have been a bit over zealous with the 3-5 miles. But if you're near mountains you can usually find 10% grades for about 3 miles. I just did Las Flores near Malibu this morning which prompted this thread. Its about 5 miles total, but during the middle section of about 3 miles I don't think I saw the grade go below 12% much at all, it was hovering from 14-17 for most of that time, with the 1 mile at the bottom and the top of the climb hovering around 8-10%. Yes I suppose they are rare, but they are out there. It certainly killed me!
This difference would probably change a lot of votes -- it certainly would change mine. .5 miles at 10% avg grade is fun, but it's just not enough unless you have a bunch of them. 5-7% for longer sections is always fun
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Old 09-06-09, 08:51 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
sorry, your right, I'm not the most skill at even simple math... i average around 9-10mph on a climb of about 5%... so make that over 30 mins.




faster than you would be on the steeper climb



what ever pace you can do it at
how long is a piece of string?
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Old 09-06-09, 08:53 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
This difference would probably change a lot of votes -- it certainly would change mine. .5 miles at 10% avg grade is fun, but it's just not enough unless you have a bunch of them. 5-7% for longer sections is always fun
I'm surprised that they are neck and neck in votes. I love the longer less steep climbs personally. When you have an average over 10%, which means you are occasionally spiking 15-17% for short sections that KILLS my legs. I'm all for a good workout and challenge but those can be just plain not fun.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:59 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
how long is a piece of string?
which piece?


I didn't ask what pace as everyone has their own. If I said 5% at 11mph, some may say that fast, some may say thats slow. Just use whatever your pace would be on an average ride up one of those climbs.
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Old 09-06-09, 09:42 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Not ones that are 10+ miles, unless the mountains in question are the Rockies, Alps or whatever those mountains in California are called.
I think you are referring to the Sierras - LOTS of long climbs and steep grades. Just another reason I love living in Northern California
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Old 09-06-09, 09:44 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
I'm surprised that they are neck and neck in votes. I love the longer less steep climbs personally. When you have an average over 10%, which means you are occasionally spiking 15-17% for short sections that KILLS my legs. I'm all for a good workout and challenge but those can be just plain not fun.
Actually, it's the 15-17% spikes that are the most fun. If your legs are fresh, you can still spin on them with considerable effort. Once your muscles are shot, it's plenty painful which is fun in a sick way.

One thing I like about steep grades is that they condition your mind for more normal grades. A lot of people whine about 6%, but that feels practically flat if you've been working on the grades you're talking about.

I'd love a shot at one of these 25% grades since I wonder if I could make it without falling or tacking. If we have them in our area, I don't know where they are.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:02 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
how long is a piece of string?
42.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:09 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by jdon View Post
Your post read as though you were calling everyone else out on their rides. That not being the case, I apologise for the comment!
You're new here aren't you?
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Old 09-06-09, 10:18 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
You're new here aren't you?
Correct. I'm not from around here!
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Old 09-06-09, 10:30 AM
  #60  
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You left out; Long 10%+ down hill climb. My vote.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:59 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Actually, it's the 15-17% spikes that are the most fun. If your legs are fresh, you can still spin on them with considerable effort. Once your muscles are shot, it's plenty painful which is fun in a sick way.

One thing I like about steep grades is that they condition your mind for more normal grades. A lot of people whine about 6%, but that feels practically flat if you've been working on the grades you're talking about.

I'd love a shot at one of these 25% grades since I wonder if I could make it without falling or tacking. If we have them in our area, I don't know where they are.
I certainly can't wait to get to that point, if I ever do...I uh, i'm not at the point where I can spin up on 15%+ at all. Mostly my heart rate jumps to max and all I can hear is my intense breathing. For short couple hundred meter jaunts where the end is in sight they are indeed fun, but I'm definitely not to the level where I can spin up a longer distance climb with higher grades around and still be fresh for the rest of the ride.

I can see what you mean though about how they make you feel about 6% climbs! In fact, yesterday I had in mind to avoid the climb that killed me but thats just inspired me to try and conquer it to a point where I can climb it without reaching my max effort just to keep moving.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:09 AM
  #62  
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+1 on Sierra road. I like both kinds, but on a sustained 9-10% there is just no rest. Like 'em both though.

Plenty to choose from in the Bay Area, so these are real-world "where am I going to ride today" questions.

And thanks all - I was trying to decide between climbing and riding right now, and this made my decision. Out for a ride!
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Old 09-06-09, 04:21 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Norcal_Cyclist View Post
I think you are referring to the Sierras - LOTS of long climbs and steep grades. Just another reason I love living in Northern California
I love the Sierras. Onion Valley is probably my favorite climb, but Whitney Portal has a longer sustained steep section, with about 5 miles at nearly 10%. Both climbs have about 10 miles averaging over 8%.
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Old 09-06-09, 05:03 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Your right, I may have been a bit over zealous with the 3-5 miles. But if you're near mountains you can usually find 10% grades for about 3 miles. I just did Las Flores near Malibu this morning which prompted this thread. Its about 5 miles total, but during the middle section of about 3 miles I don't think I saw the grade go below 12% much at all, it was hovering from 14-17 for most of that time, with the 1 mile at the bottom and the top of the climb hovering around 8-10%. Yes I suppose they are rare, but they are out there. It certainly killed me!


The steepest part of Las Flores is a 1/4 mile stretch at 14% (where the big power spike is), and about a mile stretch of 13% (highlighted in blue). Continuing on to the intersection of Rambla Pacifica it is 11% for just over 2 miles and if you keep going to the dip before heading to Saddle Peak it is 8.5% for 4.6 miles. This is all excluding the first mile at about 4%. If you include that and go all the way to the top of Saddle Peak it is a 2400ft gain over 6.7 miles, or about 7%.

If you want more of a challenge, check out Deer Creek. It has a section that is nearly 15% for 1/3 of a mile and another 14% section (not included in the first) that is 14% for another half mile. Overall the climb is not as long but it is steeper for longer. It has 1400ft gain over 2.3 miles, or about 11.5%

Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Near mountains sustained 5-7% climbs are all over the place!
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Not ones that are 10+ miles, unless the mountains in question are the Rockies, Alps or whatever those mountains in California are called.
Our coastal range here is nothing like the Sierras but you can hit 4,000 ft so we have several 10+ mile climbs. I just did one today actually that is about 12 miles from the beach and nets 3,900 ft for an average grade of 6%. (edit: the "meat" of the climb is just over 9 miles at 7%) There are pretty small fry mountains, as far as mountains go.

In the Santa Monica mountains that n8tron is referring to, it tops out at only about 2,400ft, so I can't think of any 10 mile climbs, regardless of grade. There are some in the 6-8 mile range and a bunch in the 3-6 mile range. Overall it is not a very tall mountain range, I think Saddle Peak is the highest point at about 2400 ft. The top of Yerba Buena is the highest point on the west side of the range; it tops out at 2300 ft. If you take Deer Creek to Yerba Buena, it is about 11 miles at 4% average but there is a significant dip in the middle. It is actually about 3400 feet of total gain over those 11 miles. If you went straight up Yerba Buena instead of taking Deer Creek and dropping down onto Yerba Bunea it would be a higher average grade because there would be no dip, but it would not be over 10 miles.

Last edited by umd; 09-06-09 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 09-06-09, 06:56 PM
  #65  
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umd:

Thanks for the tip about Deer Creek. I haven't ventured that far up the PCH yet but I've been meaning too. Concerning the Las Flores climb, it splits off to go to Saddle Peak or you can instead take Piuma up a bit more. Attached is a pic of the 4mile portion of the meat of that ride, coming in at just 9.3% gradient.

Latigo, depending on how you count it, is probably the longest climb I've found in the Santa Monica Mtns. If you only count the straight climb its about 8 miles and 2000ft, but then there is a second dip and peak that will get you to 10 miles and 2300-2400 total ascent. To bad the San Gabriels are destroyed... they were the only other option around here for the really long climbs...
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Old 09-06-09, 08:46 PM
  #66  
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I like the twin peaks, Mount Barbara Anne
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Old 09-06-09, 09:32 PM
  #67  
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Its not about what I prefer. Its what's there and how I ride it.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:22 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Concerning the Las Flores climb, it splits off to go to Saddle Peak or you can instead take Piuma up a bit more. Attached is a pic of the 4mile portion of the meat of that ride, coming in at just 9.3% gradient.
I hadn't considered continuing up Piuma from Las Flores but since that section is less than a mile it doesn't really add much. It is still a relatively short climb.

Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Latigo, depending on how you count it, is probably the longest climb I've found in the Santa Monica Mtns. If you only count the straight climb its about 8 miles and 2000ft, but then there is a second dip and peak that will get you to 10 miles and 2300-2400 total ascent.
Latigo if include the dip and some preceeding stuff comes in at just over 10 miles, but only a paltry 4%. It is just mathematically impossible to have a 10 mile, 5% climb in the Santa Monica Mountains, they just aren't high enough.
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Old 09-18-09, 10:50 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Very few riders anywhere have access to climbs of that size. I vote neither; I'm not sure you understand how long and steep your first option is, let alone the second. 3-5 miles is not short. A 5% 5-mile climb will take a very strong amateur at least 15-16 minutes to climb. That distance at 10% would take more than twice as long.

You have obviously never been to the Pacific Northwest. I live in Bend and there are plenty of Mnts to climb that are well over an 8% Grade for a good 12-15 miles and have seen 12-13% for a good 4-5 miles. We are surrounded by the Cascade Mnt Range. All 5 Mnts are well over 10000' with most of them having a ton of roads that are paved right to the base of the Mnts. Take Cascade Lakes Hwy that starts at 3400 feet and ends at over 6000' at the base of the south Sisters Mnt. I dont know how to calculate the grade, but its steep!

Last edited by dwc032; 09-18-09 at 11:07 PM.
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Old 09-19-09, 12:23 AM
  #70  
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I like climbing but where I live short and steep is around .5 to 1k at 20%, with your choices I would have to say long but certainly not very fast.
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Old 09-19-09, 04:53 AM
  #71  
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[QUOTE=msincredible;9622759]The ride I organized last weekend included these two climbs (and some other smaller climbs).

I prefer the first one to the second one.



Great hills...when I lived in the Bay Area and organized a century ride we went up King's Mountain (perhaps my favorite climb of all time) then over to HMB, down the coast with a few inland jigs, then up Pescadero and then Alpine roads


Man I miss riding in the Bay Area
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