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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's hear em'! Which climbs in Wisconsin are you favorites/hardest? My personal favorite is Mounds Park road near Blue Mounds...about a 900ft climb...it's the crowning climb of the horribly hilly hundreds (www.horriblyhilly.com) which I'll be doing for the first time this summer.
 

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Agreed

I did that last weekend for the first time (also planning my debut HHH). It is the hardest I've done by a long shot. In the Milwaukee area, the only thing we have vaguely comparable are some Kettle Moraine rides like Holy Hill. But the climb up Ryan road and then to the top of the Mound is steeper and longer (a bad combo).

I've got a ticket for the Assult on Mt. Mitchell in Spartanburg, S.C. this year and hope to be able to compare them. Mt Mitchell is said to be in the top 10 hardest rides in the country.
 

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Yup

Won't argue with that one... In the Milwaukee area I've found a nice one out in Menomonee Falls -- "Tower Hill". Short but extremely steep... Maybe 13% ?? It's the biggest I know of without going out to Holy Hill...

-K
 

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Blue Mounds has to be the toughest, if you have to go from the base to the park at the top, but don't discount the Ammo Plant at Baroboo. Going up that hill four times in a road race, is quite a task.
 

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Others

That's a good one, as is Barlow also on the HHH route. One a little closer to me, is Bluff Road/Tower Road by Devil's Head Ski Resort in Merrimac. Also 600 or 700 feet of climbing. I did both this weekend, and think the Ryan Rd up to Blue Mds is harder due to the steepness than Bluff or Mds. Park Rd, since those you can get into a rhythm a little easier.
 

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Don't know the name, but a few years ago some friends and I did a week in Door County. Out at the very end of the county we turned right not knowing what we'd find. About 200 yards of pain! Tough climb.
 

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Milwaukee Climbs

I'm in Milwaukee too, and there isn't a lot around here to climb, but when I do want to climb and don't have time to get out to the Holy Hill area, I start downtown and head north doing the following hills:

the hill through Lafayette Park
the Watertower hill,
the hill through Lake Park
the hill up Linconln Memorial Drive
the hill up Big Bay Park (path up from the lake)
the hill up Klode Park (path up from the lake)
Beach Drive
the hill up Doctor's Park (path up from the lake).

I doubt that any of these have more than 150 of vertical, but some are steep and if you do each a few times fast, it adds up to a pretty good workout in the space of about a 20 mile ride.

Thanks.

kg1
 

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thanks for the tip!

This is my first time training in Milwaukee and I've been wondering how the heck I was going to get any significant hill workouts in. I've done a few of the hills on your list but hadn't thought of chaining them together like that. Brilliant :)

- K
 

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La Crosse Area

sbaryenbruch said:
Let's hear em'! Which climbs in Wisconsin are you favorites/hardest? My personal favorite is Mounds Park road near Blue Mounds...about a 900ft climb...it's the crowning climb of the horribly hilly hundreds (www.horriblyhilly.com) which I'll be doing for the first time this summer.
Hmm. In the La Crosse/Onalaska area, I'd say going up FO is pretty bad; and there's a reason that routes S&M intersect (S in Onalaska, AKA "Sheffelbine").
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fo....

Hmmmm...is that the county road that comes up sort of on the backside of Grandad's? Gotta agree that thing is seriously steep at the end. If I remember right it doesn't start too bad but then gets steeper, steeper, steeper all the way to the top!
 

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That's the one.

sbaryenbruch said:
Hmmmm...is that the county road that comes up sort of on the backside of Grandad's? Gotta agree that thing is seriously steep at the end. If I remember right it doesn't start too bad but then gets steeper, steeper, steeper all the way to the top!
Yep, starts out easy, then gets progressively harder until at the top it looks near-vertical. If you coast down that hill you'll be going well over 50 by the end of the first 1/4 mile.
 

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He's not bluffing, Wisconsin rules for riding

Andy M-S said:
Yep, starts out easy, then gets progressively harder until at the top it looks near-vertical. If you coast down that hill you'll be going well over 50 by the end of the first 1/4 mile.
I live in south central Minnesota, but I head to Wisconsin whenever I can. Because it's a dairy state, there's plenty of paved rural roads with little or no traffic. And you can generally find some nice little climbs.

Are you talking about Grand Dad's Bluff right in La Crosse. If you can decend those curves at 50 mph I salute you. As a young roadie a few years ago I tackled that beastly Old Man in a 39-23. It's super tough and long (I believe 2.2 miles), especially for the Midwest. I know right now I'd need all of my 26 now and probably then some. It's hard to find climbs like that around here. I love riding the bluffs on both the Wisconsin and Minnesota side heading north along the Mississippi toward Lake Pepin and Winona.

Is FO a highway? I live in Minnesota where roads are numbered, not lettered. I'd love more detailed directions, if you don't mind. I'm always on the lookout for great nearby climbs. I know a lot of riders from the Twin Cities head in the Hudson direction and north toward Taylors Falls for some steep challenges, although I don't think they match Grand Dad's in length. Most are less than a mile. Blue Mound is on my list of must do's but it's a bit of a drive for me.

The Apple Affair Ride every October in Trempelo is a fun and challenging ride. It accompanies a German festival celebrating that the apple orchards are ready for harvesting. They make the "World's Biggest Apple Pie." It's about 10 feet across.

Since we're close and they make a nice loop around the Mississippi, try crossing the blue bridge into Minnesota from La Crosse and head slightly south to LaCrescent. Follow the signs for the Apple Blossom Scenic Byway. I think its County Road 12. The road climbs about a mile through the orchards, which feature blossoms in late spring and magnificent colors in October. Once you climb around 600 feet, the road winds around and opens up to the most unforgettable view of Onalaska and LaCrosse I've ever seen. You can follow rural roads all the way up to Winona if you want. Incidently, when Greg Lemond lived in Minnesota he would sometimes in Winona on the Garvin Heights Road fairly close to the highway. The average grade is 9.2 percent, and it climbs 540 feet in just over a mile.

Happy Climbing!
 

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Directions...

I grew up around St. Paul, so I know some of the roads there...on an AIDSRide a few years ago, we crossed the St. Croix at Stillwater, and climbing that nasty hill up into WI was a real treat! They had a guy in a TdF polkadot jersey standing about the middle yelling "This is MY hill! NOBODY walks up MY hill!"

FO is sort of the "backside" of Granddad. I've never come down the front side at more than 39, and after I saw a deer on the final stretch, I decided that self-preservation might be a good thing. FO, on the other hand, will allow speeds well over 50 MPH...the curves are broad and the road is mostly straight and smooth.

Technically, the road you want is called Bliss Road. It starts at the base of Grandad, taking off from the end of Main St, and climbs up past the park entrance to run along the ridgeline, with a few saddles. About 1/2 mile (or so) before it ends at Route 33 (a hill that will take you to South La Crosse, but rather busy), FO departs Bliss to the left. It's a county road, and fairly recently repaved. You drop like a rock, and you can follow FO all the way to Barre Mills.

The area is starting to get more and more built up, but it's still a great place to ride.

La Crescent is a very nice area, and getting across the bridge should now be easier, as there's a new one with a reserved bike lane (and they're repaving the old one, so there won't be as much problem with the gridwork). And then there's Trempeauleau!
 

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YES, I AM AWARE THIS THREAD IS 15 YEARS OLD!!!!

But I want to bump it up! I'd like to hear more recent suggestions. Specifically Southern Wisconsin, like the OP mentioned (may he R.I.P. if he's dead and gone).
 

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I originally joined this community to look for tougher hills around me and also perhaps riding buddies. I'm in the Green Bay area, I'd also like to hear about any awesome climbs throughout the state. I only know of a few short steep ones close by.
 

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YES, I AM AWARE THIS THREAD IS 15 YEARS OLD!!!!

But I want to bump it up! I'd like to hear more recent suggestions. Specifically Southern Wisconsin, like the OP mentioned (may he R.I.P. if he's dead and gone).
Try the Kettles, west and northwest of Milwaukee for some longer climbs, but the best in that area is probably the Holy Hill climb.

Wildcat Mound State Park has a nice, paved climb. Best climbing in the state is around that Blue Mound/Mt. Horeb area. You get hit with short, sharp climbs one after another.

Places that haven't been mentioned elsewhere in the thread: Rib Mountain -- 4 km at 6%, the Starr Hill climb in rural Dunn County (along with many others in Dunn/Pepin/Pierce Counties) -- probably 1.5 km, but very steep. Used to separate the field for the pro race that used to be held in the Menomonie area. The Bayfield Peninsula is worth a trip for many reasons. One of them is for the cycling. Several extended ascents, one of which I clocked at 3 km, along with one of the magical road rides in the state on National Forest Road 236/Ino Road, with smooth tarmac and no traffic, taking you through pine barrens.
 
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