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Video of Climbing Fargo Street

Old 03-02-08, 09:51 AM
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Video of Climbing Fargo Street

A League Certified instructor does recreational engineering and applies it to the toughest hill in CA:

Have you ever wondered what it would look like to climb straight up a 32% grade?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgh5Y5RhdfM
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Old 03-02-08, 10:21 AM
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It is awesome to see these riders go up this...
We saw one guy with a modified tandem....looked like he had a 50 front chain ring in the back....
went straight on up!!


We are getting a group together to go watch this again!

BF Fargo Ride
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Old 03-02-08, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LCI_Brian
A League Certified instructor does recreational engineering and applies it to the toughest hill in CA:

Have you ever wondered what it would look like to climb straight up a 32% grade?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgh5Y5RhdfM
That vid would have looked a bit better if it was filmed from any angle other than from a helmet cam.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
That vid would have looked a lit better if it was filmed from any angle other than from a helmet cam.
That will be taken care of the day of the actual Fargo street climb.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
That vid would have looked a lit better if it was filmed from any angle other than from a helmet cam.
Dan just headed out there on his own to do this. I happened to be there and took the stills but there was no videographer to "film" it when he did the climb. And, as jerky as it may seem, remember it is quite difficult to maintain stability when doing such a steep climb with such a low gear-inch bike. He did a tremendous job.
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Old 03-02-08, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by thomson
I happened to be there
You're everywhere, JT! We may have to start calling you Forrest.

Is that you walking up the hill in the green shirt?
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Old 03-02-08, 03:11 PM
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Imagine if they had the Tour of Ca make a detour to Fargo Street.
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Old 03-02-08, 03:17 PM
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seems like it would take less energy just riding a normal bike straight up it
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Old 03-02-08, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by thomson
Dan just headed out there on his own to do this. I happened to be there and took the stills but there was no videographer to "film" it when he did the climb. And, as jerky as it may seem, remember it is quite difficult to maintain stability when doing such a steep climb with such a low gear-inch bike. He did a tremendous job.
Of course- and I understand that it was quite an accomplishment. It just would have been nice to
have seen the rider at work.
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Old 03-02-08, 10:51 PM
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I actually hit up Fargo Street for the first time this Saturday. My wife and I had some errands, and one of them was in Silverlake. I've been wanting to do Fargo for a while now, so I threw my mountain bike in the back of the rig and headed out. By the way, this mountain bike is easily one of the most thrashed bikes ever. An old Costco bike vintage 1990 (though a Gary Fisher-like private label from Taiwan, if my memory serves), its got pitted cones on each wheel (not worth the price to swap them out), teeth broken on almost all the cogs and chainrings, and no front derailleur. Have to stop the bike and lift the chain by hand to change chainrings. This sucker just won't die, however. Original chain even.

Anyway, in Silverlake, didn't have the best directions to the hill, so drove around for about 10 minutes looking for it. Two impressions that will stay with me the longest:

1. In trying to find the hill, drove up the short side of Baxter, and when cresting the hill, had one of my scariest moments ever in a car. When cresting the hill, you are aware of how high you are above the surrounding area. All of a sudden you see the reservoir, and you can't see the road in front of you. It feels like you're dropping off a cliff. In some ways, worse than a roller coaster, because in those things at least you can see the track plunging down in front of you. If Fargo is Everest, Baxter is K2. I wouldn't be surprised if Baxter is within 1-2 percent of Fargo, and just as long. I'm going back for that one.

2. When I first caught sight of Fargo from a distance, the length and steepness of it is truly impressive. Happened to see a guy going up it when I first glimpsed it. He was tacking back and forth up the hill. Only thing was, he was walking! It was one of those construction guys you see in the video filling up the rolloff bin.

Anyway, parked at the base, and hopped out in jeans and tennis shoes. Did the handy dandy manual front derailleur thing to change into the smallest chainring, and started up. Zero warmup. No clip-in pedals. (Notice the front loading of the excuses).

At first, not too bad. Rode straight up it. A little trouble keeping the front wheel from popping, but not too bad. Didn't feel secure enough to stand up -- it felt like my back wheel might spin out. About 80% of the way up, my cardiorespiratory system caught up to me, and I noticed I was a teensy anaerobic. At that point, I threw in three tacks, made all the more difficult by all the traffic on the hill (five cars passed on the way up -- although one woman rolled down her window to tell me "you're my hero".) Then, put in one last surge, and I was up. Tasted blood for 20 minutes afterward.

I wasn't expecting it to be that hard. At one point, even contemplated putting a foot down. Only the thought that I didn't have the time, or energy, to give it a second try kept me going. Not sure I could have done it on my roadbike (even with the 39/28) -- well, I'm sure I could have done it by tacking the whole way up, but that's rather inelegant.

My ranking of the hardest hills I've tried to date:

1. Fargo
2. Ganado (including the two steep switchbacks with no stopping)
3. Balcom
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Old 03-21-08, 11:36 PM
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Here's a video of the Fargo Street hill climb this year. (I posted this in another thread, but it might not have been noticed because it was in the thread used for planning to meet up to see the climb.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgIL6eHHgZU
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