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Hammer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work in a small city that I refer to as The Burg. An old mill city with over 40 little climbs that make for a fun workout. Over half of these little burners have sections of 20-32% incline. Many of the roads aren't in great shape, but doesn't effect the climbing, it's the descents that can be fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5px87JmfH8
 

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I work in a small city that I refer to as The Burg. An old mill city with over 40 little climbs that make for a fun workout. Over half of these little burners have sections of 20-32% incline. Many of the roads aren't in great shape, but doesn't effect the climbing, it's the descents that can be fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5px87JmfH8
I have routes around me full of short steep climbs. Agreed, it's fun climbing and quick descents.
 

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I categorize short steep climbs as 'Avoid at ALL costs'... Also commonly referred to (by me) as "Fun Killers" ...

then again, I'm 6'5" and 235lbs. ugh...
 

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I'm an on-call technician so for one week out of every four, I can't stray far from home and my company vehicle.

Instead of far ranging rides, I do something like zipp2001 does. I ride through local neighborhoods, hitting all the streets and cul de sacs that most cyclists would avoid on normal rides. I mean, what gives these people the right to live on their quiet, no-traffic streets?! :D

Seriously; in 1-2 hours I can get a serious workout accelerating from all the stop signs and dead end roads.

Zipp and I may be on to a new, revolutionary training program...
 

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Hammer
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your more than welcome to come visit and ride for yourself. I call it the Burg, but it's Fitchburg, Massachusetts and drop me a line if ever around and we'll ride them.
 

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Your more than welcome to come visit and ride for yourself. I call it the Burg, but it's Fitchburg, Massachusetts and drop me a line if ever around and we'll ride them.
There are plenty of hills but I wasn't aware that any got up to 30%. I have mostly skirted the outsides though having been up alpine rd and ashburnham hill rd and haven't done much in the center of the city. Plus I hate hills. :p
 

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Hammer
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The center of the city behind the old high school is loaded with these little burners. Plus in the area where the old Gamache bike shop was.
 

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Hammer
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
https://www.strava.com/routes/5319848

Just went clicking around on the roads back in those areas. There are some that kick up to 20% but not much higher, but then the strava data isn't always completely accurate. Guess I'll have to check them out one of these days.
If your ever in the area let me know and we can go play on some of them. As I stated in my original post that they have sections of 20-32%. If you look at a road like Simond St for example the entire road doesn't average out over 20%, but there is a section of that road that is in the high 20's. Same with Spring, Taft, Davis Street and many other. The best one of the bunch in that area is not the steepest but is pretty tough. It's Jay Street and it's a one way cobblestone street that you don't get to generate much speed before you hit it because it's at an intersection. Oh ya you're going up it the wrong way, it's only a down road.

Like I said let me know if your around, I'm always looking for someone to ride these with.
 

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I know all about this "revolutionary training program." It's called stop, check for traffic, check for cops, check for unmarked police cars, see if any other bikers go though the red/sign w/o incident, then ride for another minute, repeat. :p

Some hills are more fun than others. I find that the slopes of parking garages and ramps are ideal. Whatever that standard grade is between levels, it actually feels good to climb.

The Williamsburg Bridge going into the city, fugghedabawdit. Not even that steep, but it sucks every time, especially when the wind is hitting your face. But if I pass a few people I'm happy.
 

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Finally got around to going up spring/taft yesterday. While it didn't seem to quite hit 30%, the ride data says it got up to 27% which is definitely the steepest thing I've ever gone up on a bike. Cut my ride short by 10 miles after going up it.

Looking at the other few people that have it on strava shows that some of their rides show it going above 30%, one shows it get up to 45% (obviously an error for this particular value), so part of the perceived 30% might be to garmin data variation. My garmin usually comes in on the low end compared to what some guys I ride with get on theirs.
 

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Hammer
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Taodemon I was up Spring/Taft not to long ago, my data was close to yours it had it max out at 28%. The other climb in the video was the climb that Taft connects with Simonds Street. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADCbAmjJ1e0 A climb that is far shorter but my data rated steeper is Granite street that is off of Water street rte.12. it is by Paul's plate and glass not far from Market Basket. You should try the cobbled stone street at the Spring/Taft junction. It's a one way but I ride up it anyway and it's not as steep but has it's own challenge.
 

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For me, anything above 14% is buzz kill.

At or above that it becomes an off the saddle smash fest that makes for achy knees & and an achy back.
 

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Holy F-waffles, those grades are insane! I did a couple dozen similar ones Saturday on the MTB but they were a few bike lengths long each. And they were absolutely killer! They were also on sugar sand and very technical... but SHORT. My knees are torn up. It was a challenge keeping the front wheel on the ground (or close enough) and getting traction with the rear wheel. Too far forward and spinning, too far backward and front wheel is eye level. Crazy hard 12 mile sand ride and I felt fine until after a shower... knees are toast.
 

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Zipp, now that I've been on those particular climbs I can tell where they are in the video. :) Looks like you took a breather between spring and taft, sort of wish I had thought of that instead of going straight up. I had planned on doing a few more climbs around that area but after doing spring plus taft I don't think I would have had it in me. I had already done the climb up alpine road before Spring st so I just went down simonds back to the center of town then did prospect to flat road and back down then across and up south street and back home.

I'll get out to check out some more of those when I have time. My daughter was born about a month ago and yesterday was only the second time I've managed to get out on the bike in that time so the drop in fitness didn't help. Granite and Essex were ones I had looked at checking out from playing around with the strava route builder (looking for roads crossing contour lines). I'm curious if the george stanton one is paved as that one seems to be a bit out of the way.

MMs, I'm skeptical of anything that shows up in the 45% range as those are likely gps errors. On Washington street for sure, and I've seen similar extreme grades when segments go over bridges, the gps must read the elevation of the what is below as the starting elevation. I've done washington a few times as that was the way home from the few gearworks rides I happened to catch before they closed and it isn't a bad climb at all. There is another short segment over a bridge out in gilbertville near that coffee shop I've mentioned that shows up as a category climb when its not even a real climb.
 

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It was a challenge keeping the front wheel on the ground (or close enough) and getting traction with the rear wheel. Too far forward and spinning, too far backward and front wheel is eye level.
This is the problem I usually have with really steep climbs. Even when I'm in good shape and my body can do them, the laws of physics challenge the bike to a degree of being life threatening to stay on.
 
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