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Where are the steepest hills to ride near Houston?

Where are the steepest hills to ride near Houston?

Old 01-02-12, 12:46 PM
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dhobson98
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Where are the steepest hills to ride near Houston?

I will participate in the St. Croix 70.3 Ironman in May 2012 and they have a hill called the Beast. http://www.stcroixtriathlon.com/

This is how they describe it: Twenty-one miles into the bike, The Beast is a 600-foot climb in a stretch of highway 7/10 of a mile long with an average grade of 14 percent and a maximum grade of 21 percent.

Where can I go to in the Houston area to train for the Beast? I don't want to do parking garages and bridges as my only source of hill training. I would like long steep climbs as listed above. Has anyone trained on long steep hills anywhere in the Houston area, Bastrop, Chapel Hill, La Grange, etc?
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Old 01-02-12, 03:32 PM
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Your looking at a 3 hour drive minimum to get hills that steep. Nothing in Houston, lots of rollers in the other areas you mentioned, but they don't prepare you for something like described.

TLDR; no
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Old 01-02-12, 03:37 PM
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Austin

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Old 01-03-12, 04:17 AM
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If you want to do indoor training there is a virtual training studio in Magnolia, TX.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/VRCyclingStudiohttp://ridewithgps.com/routes/876564

This will give you an idea of the ride in Austin

cue sheets

http://www.tourdashugel.com/sites/de...011_111011.pdf

Here is the map

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/877107

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/876564


One thing to try is get a camekbak backpak and put a few sandbags in it. or put a rear rack on the bike and a few sandbags on the rear rack. or water jugs. ( water is 8.2 lbs per gal ( someone check that)

Last edited by Jamesw2; 01-05-12 at 02:48 AM. Reason: added links to map and cue sheet
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Old 01-03-12, 10:59 AM
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VR Cycling Studio is the best place in the Houston area to train for climbing! They use computrainers and climbing they have Erg Video of Luz Ardiden, Col d'Aubisque, Tourmalet West, Hill Climb Attacks in California. Many more videos available.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:05 AM
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Hey Don, check out my studio... www.vrcyclingstudio.com I can help you with hills no worries at all!
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Old 01-03-12, 02:18 PM
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The only place I can think of near Houston would be Anderson, there's a couple of good hills leaving Anderson heading towards Richards but nothing near a 14% grade. Coldspring would be the next closest. By San Antonio in Bandera there's the Condor's nest which is at leat 14%. It's slow going up but one can easily hit 50+ mph on the decend. That's where I train each year before riding the Triple Bypass in Colorado.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:03 PM
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[QUOTE=Harumph;13671474]... By San Antonio in Bandera there's the Condor's nest which is at leat 14%. It's slow going up but one can easily hit 50+ mph on the decend...[QUOTE]
Found this illustration:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...?pic_id=163013
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Old 01-04-12, 07:06 AM
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...and then there's the Pro-Form Le Tour de France Indoor Cycling Bike.
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Old 01-04-12, 09:30 AM
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I've never heard a question like that. You must not have lived here very long. It's 187 miles to west Austin, where Loop 360 is. Then there's FM 2222 if you're really brave.
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Old 01-04-12, 05:28 PM
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You would be well served to spend a weekend or two in Austin and Bastrop. I haven't been to Bastrop since the wildfires, so I have no idea about the current conditions or even if the park is open to the public. However, the route through Bastrop and Buescher Parks have plenty of short, steep rollers for you to practice on. I make it up there twice every year once for Pedal Through the Pines and again on my own. IMHO it was some of the most beautiful scenery in the state with all the tall beautiful pines. I've heard that's all gone now, but I'm sure it will be back in a couple of years despite the wildfires.

You could spend a night there and then take off to Austin the next day and do a ride like Dam Loop. If you do the Dam counterclockwise, there is Tumble Weed hill (which stone free mentioned above), a half mile at a 10% average grade. If you do it clockwise you'll get more long shallow climbs. If you're really feeling like torturing yourself, you can tack on a fun loop that combines Courtyard, Beaufort, and Jester which are basically the steepest climbs you'll find in the state. Jester sounds like a carbon copy of what you're going to face.

So basically to answer your question... no, there's nothing in Houston to accomplish what you're looking for... lol. With that said, I don't think you need consistent training on grades that steep to be good during your climb. I was able to complete Tour Das Hugel this year and my usual training loop only has one hundred foot climb over 800m. In Sugar Land, I hit the Town Center Parking Garage and do things like gear progressions and just going as hard as I can. Obviously experience counts a bunch on steep grades so you'll know when your redline is and I think a couple of trips in the Austin area would be great for that. But I'm not sure you need to hit the steep stuff every week to do great in your event. Good luck, let me know if I can help at all.
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Old 01-15-12, 07:14 AM
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The piney woods of Bastrop are pretty much decimated and in the very slow process of being removed, tree by tree. I happen to drive through there about every couple of months, and I see quite a lot of burned out woods and removal construction from the main highway 71. It may take more than a couple of years before it grows back, since they are predicting an ongoing drought through this general area for many years into the future. Sorry for the bad news.
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Old 01-31-12, 11:06 PM
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There are a few hills in the Huntsville area. West of Huntsville get is the area I have biked.
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Old 02-04-12, 08:14 PM
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Bastrop is a good place. Also, Coldspring has some nice ones out there. They aren't insanely steep, but are frequent enough to work you out.
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Old 05-01-12, 01:23 PM
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There is some good "hilly" roads near Magnolia High School in Montgomery County (South of Conroe). There is a good route that follows 159 and 1488 out there. Chappell Hill is probably your next closest/best choice.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Underground View Post
Also, Coldspring has some nice ones out there. They aren't insanely steep, but are frequent enough to work you out.
I rode Coldspring last weekend and there are some *tough* hills. Not insanely steep but steep enough for me to say "oh fudge me" several times.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/172559600

Did 3 loops but you'll have a good workout after 2.
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Old 05-05-12, 07:16 AM
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It's been years, but I remember the east side of Love's Lookout just north of Jacksonville as being the steepest thing we ran into in E. Texas.
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Old 05-05-12, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by H-Bear View Post
I rode Coldspring last weekend and there are some *tough* hills. Not insanely steep but steep enough for me to say "oh fudge me" several times.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/172559600

Did 3 loops but you'll have a good workout after 2.
That Ride Through the Forest and Hills ride is a good one. The route coming back from the NE of Coldspring on 1514 is a good series of climbs. Especially after having over 30-miles in your legs. I jokingly call that section of the ride towards the finish "The Wall". haha
(even though it is only about 200ft of elevation gained, in about 3 miles)
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Old 05-05-12, 06:39 PM
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Old 05-05-12, 07:07 PM
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I rode over a speed bump or two in Houston. Lived there for 10 years and moved to Denver. Have fun!!
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Old 05-12-12, 09:12 AM
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Mt. Shepherd.

You know, where Shepherd crosses the railroad tracks just south of 11th St? That really big bridge?

That's about it for here.

Huntsville area has some hilly country. Nothing huge, though.
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Old 10-16-12, 11:38 PM
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Not anywhere close to Houston, but I have an interesting hill nearby. The first part is 300 vertical feet over a half mile, 11% average, 19% max. Second stage is an easy 80 feet vertical gain for .3 mile. The average of the first stage is diluted by a manageable gradual grade for about 1000ft to begin with, followed by continuous steep grades with no recovery sections.

Descending this road is more daunting to me than the climb.
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Old 10-17-12, 05:16 AM
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This is what i have found that approximates a hill

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1818372
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Old 11-27-12, 09:20 AM
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GW Bush park. You could go up and down the dam access trails. Two short one between briar forest and memorial @ hwy 6.

This ride is coming up and is supposed to have hills. http://www.kingwoodfillies.net/2012_bike_ride.php
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