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The hardest climb you have ever made?

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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

The hardest climb you have ever made?

Old 06-30-20, 12:17 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
I lived very close to your starting point, just on the other side of the Mendel Pass. That pass is not too difficult in either direction (if you are used to climbing), but a lot more difficult from Bolzano (sorry, got to say it the Italian way). I wish I was into cycling when I lived there as a skinny teenager. Nowadays, I try to ride there when I go back to visit (which COVID is now blocking).
It's a pretty area, with a nice view of the Alps. My starting point was a bed and breakfast place at Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino we stayed after we had finished our Alp cross, which had lasted for 3 days taking the Via Claudia Augusta (easy route for Touring/Gravel/Mountain Bikes) from Mittenwald in Germany.
The year after we did another Alp-X through the Zillertal in Austria along the Schlegeisspeicher and over the Passo di Vizze into Vipiteno and into the heart of the dolomites. It is just incredible the views that offer themselves up through such rides.
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Old 06-30-20, 07:32 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by velojym View Post
After moving to Dallas for about 9 months, we moved back to AR. On my first "return" Tuesday night hammerhead ride, on which I used to be in the front group... I got dropped on a roller.
My head fell, and I went back to the parking lot with a heavy heart, and talked myself into giving up, going home and getting morbidly obese over the next decade or so.
That was my hardest hill.
Yikes. Everyone gets dropped, no reason to let that discourage you.
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Old 06-30-20, 10:46 AM
  #78  
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There’s a pass that is closed to traffic in winter, the club tries to ride it the last weekend before it opens to cars in June. Last year we started in 12 C and cloudy, it looked OK. The last 3 km of the 16 km climb was in a full on blizzard and the temp had dropped to -1 C. The descent was worse in the wet and some people were in shorts. At least I had a rain jacket and put on leggings at the top, those without extra clothing were having trouble staying upright when we got to the base.
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Old 06-30-20, 11:23 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
My hardest climb barely registers (Page Mill Road), but I used to climb it every year just to say I'd done it.

The first year, I got to a steep pitch, all out in the open, no shade, and thought, "If there's some shade soon, I'm gonna stop and rest a bit." There wasn't.

The second year, I got to a steep pitch, all out in the open, no shade, and thought, "If there's some shade soon, I'm gonna stop and rest a bit." There wasn't.

The third year, I got to a steep pitch, all out in the open, no shade, and thought, "If there's some shade soon..... Wait a minute! I thought this LAST year, and the year before, and there IS NO shade! NUTS!!" and kept pedalling. Deja Freakin' Vu.
Were you with HP by any chance?. I started with them iin the mid90s. Dont remember it being that steep except of course I was in car duh..
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Old 06-30-20, 12:11 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by mango18 View Post
Were you with HP by any chance?. I started with them iin the mid90s. Dont remember it being that steep except of course I was in car duh..
Nah. I've only ever done it solo. Haven't ridden with a group in about 20 years.

It's not so much that it's steep. More that it's LONG with a couple steep pitches with no shade like the one where I keep wanting to stop if there were. Plus there's a dip near the top where, even though you don't have to pedal, you're cognizant of giving up altitude you'd fought hard to gain, and that you'll just have to gain again. Like paying for the same real estate twice.
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Old 06-30-20, 09:38 PM
  #81  
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Page Mill between Gates 3 and 4 is the steep section with the worst parts of it totally exposed to the sun. There is that salvation tree on the left side where you can hunker down and catch a breather on the hot 90+ degree days.

Not too far past the water fountain is the section where you can coast for a couple of seconds and are rewarded with another 15% pitch that goes on too long.

I actually used it to train for Haleakala. I would climb the entire 8 miles without standing at all. I used a bike with a triple that has a low of 30x27 to be able to tackle the steep sections.
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Old 07-01-20, 05:39 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Next time you fly to Europe just to ride your bike up some hill be sure to give them a scolding.
just to ride your bike up some hill?

I was going for an Orthopedic conference in Milano and rented a bike to cycle instead of going for a boat tour.
Don’t judge without knowledge.

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Old 07-01-20, 05:44 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
Las Flores is 23% for a short stretch. A guy fell over in front of me and his computer went bouncing across the road, I almost ran over it. I told him "You dropped something". Gotta get my digs in when I can. I think the steepest part of Tuna is 16% but it goes on longer than Las Flores. That's where they had the Red Bull Road Rage race.
I don't think Las Flores is that steep, but it's certainly a hard climb. I think Tuna is similar, but as one who has ridden in both directions, going up with get you shamed by other cyclists.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:16 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I don't think Las Flores is that steep, but it's certainly a hard climb. I think Tuna is similar, but as one who has ridden in both directions, going up with get you shamed by other cyclists.
This thing says 20%. https://gtinla.wordpress.com/2009/05...s-canyon-ride/

I had heard 23% but it could be 20. Another site says 16+% whatever that means.

I've never climbed Black Canyon but I read it is 30% in spots. That's near Fargo Street territory.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:20 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
This thing says 20%. https://gtinla.wordpress.com/2009/05...s-canyon-ride/

I had heard 23% but it could be 20. Another site says 16+% whatever that means.

I've never climbed Black Canyon but I read it is 30% in spots. That's near Fargo Street territory.
Whatever the max gradient, it's the average that wears you down.

https://www.strava.com/segments/644107
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Old 07-01-20, 07:09 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Whatever the max gradient, it's the average that wears you down.

https://www.strava.com/segments/644107
If Gaimon does it in 16 minutes, it probably takes me 32. I don't remember being worn down by it, but it's not very long and the ride there isn't hard coming from where I live. That's why Baldy is so hard to me, by the time I get to the hard part I already have at least 5 k in the legs.
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Old 07-01-20, 08:06 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by dr_max View Post
just to ride your bike up some hill?

I was going for an Orthopedic conference in Milano and rented a bike to cycle instead of going for a boat tour.
Gope you hi m you’re the man when you judge other without knowledge. Flatearther.
This is particularly funny because I flew all the way to Milan last year for a conference too, and added in some riding afterwards. Unfortunately it was early May and the passes were closed.
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Old 07-02-20, 06:02 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Whatever the max gradient, it's the average that wears you down.

https://www.strava.com/segments/644107
you're both completely nutzo and i'm certifiably cuckoo as is everyone following this thread. climbers are a special, mutated breed. effing diphthongs.
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Old 07-02-20, 11:40 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
If Gaimon does it in 16 minutes, it probably takes me 32. I don't remember being worn down by it, but it's not very long and the ride there isn't hard coming from where I live. That's why Baldy is so hard to me, by the time I get to the hard part I already have at least 5 k in the legs.
That's my timing as well. Double the KOM since you have many strong riders out here like Gaimon. My time is 32:37! That usually places me in the middle of the pack, but I am far deeper on this segment. It is the selection bias of the tough segments, only the strong will attempt them. Only did it once, which was this January, need to try again.

I also agree with you about Baldy. There are technically tougher segments, but many things about Baldy make it more challenging. You are at elevation, so oxygen starts to get thinner. You have many feet of climbing to get there. And then the thought about the chilly descent!

Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
you're both completely nutzo and i'm certifiably cuckoo as is everyone following this thread. climbers are a special, mutated breed. effing diphthongs.
You have made all these climbs. I see you on Strava.
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Old 07-02-20, 01:11 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
That's my timing as well. Double the KOM since you have many strong riders out here like Gaimon. My time is 32:37! That usually places me in the middle of the pack, but I am far deeper on this segment. It is the selection bias of the tough segments, only the strong will attempt them. Only did it once, which was this January, need to try again.

I also agree with you about Baldy. There are technically tougher segments, but many things about Baldy make it more challenging. You are at elevation, so oxygen starts to get thinner. You have many feet of climbing to get there. And then the thought about the chilly descent!



You have made all these climbs. I see you on Strava.
or total idiots *raises hand.*
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Old 07-02-20, 04:59 PM
  #91  
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I have never done an HC. I have done some Cat 1 climbs in Colorado, although none of those were in the top 10 most difficult in CO. I stop and take pictures along the way, so I don't know if I can really count them. I am a flatlander from sea level, so I feel good about anything that resembles a climb. The second climb on this ride was the most difficult for me. It was probably the cumulative effect of distance, the first climb, and then the second. It was more difficult to me than Independence Pass.

https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/2101711183
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Old 07-02-20, 05:43 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Whatever the max gradient, it's the average that wears you down.

https://www.strava.com/segments/644107
I love how Gaimon crushed Thorfinn Sassquatch by a full minute & a half.

Classic.
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Old 07-02-20, 07:24 PM
  #93  
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I have completed Dawson Saddle and the Mt Baldy Ski Lifts (both HC) rides but I do not see grinding up a mountain at 5-7 mph as some great accomplishment. Now if I was cruising up at 10-12 mph, that would be something. If I have the gearing, fuel, and I'm adventure seeking, I can climb.
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Old 07-02-20, 08:28 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
This is particularly funny because I flew all the way to Milan last year for a conference too, and added in some riding afterwards. Unfortunately it was early May and the passes were closed.
I was supposed to go for an Arizona work conference in Scottsdale in April, would have added 3 days of mountainbike during the trip. Always do that.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:58 AM
  #95  
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I was going to brag about Bopple Hill in Canandaigua, NY. It's pretty tough. Famously tough in that part of the world. But the Zoncolon? Crap, I ain't even close to that bad boy!

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Old 07-03-20, 10:55 AM
  #96  
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Worst climb I've done is a 25% grade on 'Powehouse Road" in Georgia that leads to the top of a tall dam. I was riding with my skinny racing friends.who are climbers & shot right up. Tying to keep up, I actually had to stop for a minute after I began to lose vision.
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Old 07-03-20, 07:42 PM
  #97  
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I did a hard climb yesterday that I wasn't expecting, the Bayonne Bridge from New Jersey to Staten Island. It was 92 degrees and 5% grade in unbearable sun. Yes of course it doesn't compare to some of these others but I wasn't expecting it to be that steep. Usually 3-4% grade max on bridges. A few years ago they wanted bigger boats to be able to go under it, but the graceful arch of the bridge was a landmark. Instead of tearing it down they raised the roadway so it sits near the top of the arch, and added the bike lane in the process. Raising the road of course raised the grade too.

Bayonne Bridge wiki
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Old 07-06-20, 11:18 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I have never done an HC. I have done some Cat 1 climbs in Colorado, although none of those were in the top 10 most difficult in CO.
A climb's rating really does not indicate how hard the climb is. I have done many HC climbs, and many are just long 5% grinds. I have done Dawson Saddle, which is over 7000 ft of climbing on a single segment, but it is nothing compared to climbs like Las Flores mentioned above. It is "only" a Cat 2 climb, but it includes a 1.29 miles section of 12% AVERAGE. https://www.strava.com/segments/8940969 You cannot stop to take pictures because it is hard to restart!

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Old 07-19-20, 02:37 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I love how Gaimon crushed Thorfinn Sassquatch by a full minute & a half.

Classic.
He also crushed Sepp Kuss. Though to be fair, he is now 2.5 years stronger and what he did in the Vuelta was pretty impressive.
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Old 07-19-20, 03:39 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
There's a stretch of road on Rt 36 going from St Albans, VT up to Fairfield, that's an avg of 9%, with a smattering of 20%, for 1 mile https://www.strava.com/segments/830880. I've made it twice when the legs were fresh and the ride was short, and I walked the last 100 yds to the peak, a couple of times when it was towards the end of a 50+ mile ride.

I've also done Mt Evans (altitude of 14,000', and 6,510' of climbing in 27.5 miles) from Idaho Springs, CO, https://www.strava.com/segments/642991. Third highest paved road in the world. Mostly 6% grade, but the lack of O2 above 12,000' made that one tough towards the end.
But why, the last yards are almost flat, or did you mean you walked the 20% ramp?
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