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what is it with you US guys?!?
Last Post 08/28/2013 09:09 PM by pa biker. 24 Replies.
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08/23/2013 12:13 PM
Posted By Jim Laudolff on 08/23/2013 10:33 AM
East Portal Road, Black Canyon = brutal

CP, this one? http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Black-Canyon-Gunnison-Rim-Drive&qryMountainID=15118 that would maybe be a cat 2 in europe.


08/23/2013 12:46 PM
Entheo, that's it. Yeah it's about 1500ft gain, not a stunner by any measure but the bulk of it is sustained 16-20% and it's become my standard of measuring climbs (I haven't done any of the climbs in the NE yet). If you can climb that one without doing the paperboy you can climb just about anything. At least that's what I tell my friend who gets nervous about certain climbs and I just remind her that she did that one. We did have to stop a few times on the way down to cool our rims and rest our braking fingers.

Probably can't race it except as a TT because it is a dead end road that ends at the bottom. And what would it prove to have a race there? It is an anomaly in my experience of riding Colorado roads but one you should try to do if you are in the area.


08/23/2013 02:01 PM
CP, the climbbybike profile doesn't do it justice then, with 9 km at 6% average. if there are multiple kilometers at 16-20% my hat's off to you sir!


08/23/2013 02:38 PM
We have several 2 mile climbs at 10% and some 3 & 4 mile ones at 6 or 7%.

A nice one is Reddish Knob near Harrisonburg, VA - 9 miles of 6% 2633 feet total.

Skyline Drive has some long climbs, but they are just not that steep.


08/23/2013 04:05 PM
SuperFlag, Magnolia, Sugarloaf, Gold Hill, Sunshine, SuperJames, Lee Hill + Deer Trail, Left Hand to Brainard via Ward, St. Vrain Canyon

and those are just a few I can ride from the garage
Orange Crush


08/23/2013 08:18 PM
While I haven't ridden the NE yet (hint hint), I have ridden a good number of parts of US. To date, the Santa Cruz mountains have thrown the biggest challenge, some wicked steep stuff if you know to find it.

In Colorado I certainly found Sugarloaf to throw a bigger challenge than Mt Evans, steepness trumps elevation. Or maybe it was cause Evans was ride day 2 and Sugarloaf was on day 5.

On my own little training hill (12.5k @ 7%) for first half at least I can pretend to be on Alpe, same grades, then it gets easier, that's why it is only a Cat 1, not an HC. But if I can ride that one with two fingers up my nose I know I'm ready for anything, perfect little hill. Percentages on km basis: 6% 11% 10% 8% 10% 5% 8% 10% 3% 5% 10% 5% 8%). Today I did not make the cut. After several weeks of no serious riding I got spat out at km 7 (hunger bonk, cramping legs) and had to point the nose downhill. End of June I was dancing up it. My training hill is harsh and does not lie.

Next spring break I might ride in FL but I don't anticipate setting any new records.

I generally find climbybike a good site to gauge the toughness of a hill but on that particular climb it lacks detail (a profile). Only 2 stars tho


08/28/2013 12:50 PM
I met Orange Crush for a beer in Boulder after his Colorado climbing jaunt. His tick list of climbs was impressive and I agree with him. The grades here in Colorado are not consistently steep on most well traveled roads. (Were there any HC climbs in the Pro Cycling Challenge?) Of course there are many exceptions like what you listed in Boulder County, BikeCzar. And on his last day he rode from Nederland down Canyon and back to Nederland via Sugarloaf. That was the one he said worked him the hardest.

As an aside BC, I've become a fan of 4mile to Switzerland Trail (town of Sunset?) to Gold Hill and down Sunshine Canyon. I'm averaging maybe two rides of any kind per month these days and I'm exceptionally slow.


08/28/2013 12:53 PM
Hey OC, As you relish the steep stuff, consider going a little further north for your spring break into the southern appalachians. Lots of Euro steep but not as long.
Here's one:
http://www.vacycling.org/2013/flyers/wintergreen.pdf   It's gentle for the first part, then unrelenting, but nothing compares with the real beast of the east, Mt. Washington.
Orange Crush


08/28/2013 01:15 PM
LSD - I wish but already booked - Orlando (mrs OC found some really sweet deals) - Disneyworld (or is it land?) and there seems to be some Potter stuff too + her sister in Jacksonville, this one is for them and I will oblige.

Trying to indoctrinate kids that steep is fun - last weekend 17k of the hardest hiking to be found on north shore.



08/28/2013 09:09 PM
Now that's hiking!
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