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The thread about Palomar made me kind of think, over spring break I got to climb my first two mountains in NC, Pisgah and Mitchell. I live in Illinois, so it was a kind of (very) new experience for me, and I <i>loved</i> it. Both of them, the lowest gear I went into was 42-25, I'm equipped with a 30-25 if I really need it as a bailout gear
On Pisgah the guys at Liberty Cycles told me 1:45:00 was a good time for climbing Pisgah, I pulled a 1:35:00... go figure. I don't know if that's a good time, the guy might have been trying to make sure I felt good about my time... whatever.
But so here's my question - I really loved climbing the mountains, and from what I saw in climbing them, I can climb a lot higher, a lot farther, and up steeper stuff.
As such, I want to know what really steep climbs there are in the US. I'd like to say within 10 hours of Central Illinois, but realize that's not happening, so I'm basically open to any climb anywhere in the Continental US, and heck, if it's not too far north, some of the stuff in Canada.
What climbs are available?
Thanks in advance!
-estone2
 

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The view is the reward
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estone2 said:
The thread about Palomar made me kind of think, over spring break I got to climb my first two mountains in NC, Pisgah and Mitchell. I live in Illinois, so it was a kind of (very) new experience for me, and I <i>loved</i> it. Both of them, the lowest gear I went into was 42-25, I'm equipped with a 30-25 if I really need it as a bailout gear
On Pisgah the guys at Liberty Cycles told me 1:45:00 was a good time for climbing Pisgah, I pulled a 1:35:00... go figure. I don't know if that's a good time, the guy might have been trying to make sure I felt good about my time... whatever.
But so here's my question - I really loved climbing the mountains, and from what I saw in climbing them, I can climb a lot higher, a lot farther, and up steeper stuff.
As such, I want to know what really steep climbs there are in the US. I'd like to say within 10 hours of Central Illinois, but realize that's not happening, so I'm basically open to any climb anywhere in the Continental US, and heck, if it's not too far north, some of the stuff in Canada.
What climbs are available?
Thanks in advance!
-estone2
California has lots of steep climbs especially in the Sierra-Nevada but also in the coastal regions like Sonoma, Marin and Santa Cruz counties. Google Ebbetts Pass, Sonora Pass, Everest Challenge, Death Ride, Terrible-Two. For elsewhere google Mt. Evans, Colorado; Mt. Lemmon, Arizona; Snake Mountain, NC; Mt. Washington, NH.

Canada doesn't have many massive road climbs but google Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island and Icefields Parkway, Alberta (highest paved road in Canada). British Columbia has lots of good mountainous cycling especially around Nelson, British Columbia.
 

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Brasstown bald.

I went to the Tour De Georgia last month. I was a pain just walking the 3 miles to the top much less riding it. The surrounding area is a superb destination to take a few days, rent a cabin and do some training. I highly reccomend it.

If your back in NC ride Beech. It is a healthy climb as well.

Cheers
 

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Mt. Evans espciale

While there are steeper climbs than Mt. Evans, and Mt. Washington probably has a higher chance of bad weather in the summer, the fact that the top of Mt. Evans is over 14K feet certainly adds a bit of challenge! I've never ridden it, but I've driven it twice, and I would say it has to be one of the toughest paved climbs in the USA. Probably a little more than 10 hrs from central IL. :)
 

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come to Colorado...

I've done Mt. Evans four times in the last four years. It's a 28 mile classsic, that starts out easy from Idaho Springs, but get tougher after about 6 miles. The record time was around 1:50, until Tom Danielson blew it away a couple of years ago, with a ride of 1:41:20.

My best time at age 52 was 2:44 (solo). Better climbers of my age can get down around 2:20 in the actual race. I have no idea how much benefit a rider might get from drafting or pacing other riders in the race. I'm still hoping for better this year, but the weather plays a big role. I've reached the top in August when it was 38 degrees, with winds of 20-40 mph. Temps much over 50 are rare and the record in around 63 degrees, so you have to dress accordingly. http://www.bicyclerace.com/about.htm

Here's a link to a large number of Colorado rides.
http://www.teamevergreen.org/HTML_MAIN_PAGES/roadrides.html

The altitude is a major factor with all of the Colorado rides, since many start at altitudes that are as high as the peak of other mountains.
 

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Brasstown Bald Buster

akrafty1 said:
Brasstown bald.

I went to the Tour De Georgia last month. I was a pain just walking the 3 miles to the top much less riding it. The surrounding area is a superb destination to take a few days, rent a cabin and do some training. I highly reccomend it.

If your back in NC ride Beech. It is a healthy climb as well.

Cheers
I'm riding the Brasstown Bald Buster Century this weekend. Did it last year and it was tough! This year, I'm 5 pounds heavier and threw out my back this morning so I'm not too psyched about it at the moment.

Still, it is a great ride and measures right up there with Mt. Washington (which I did in 2000). Washington is longer, but Brasstown has some steeper pitches.

www.brasstownbaldbustercentury.com
 

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More in Colorado:

Monarch Pass

Grand Mesa between Grand Junction and Delta

Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park

Between Durango and Silverton. Race the train in the Iron Horse Classic (something like 47 miles and mostly all climbing). You leave with the train in Durango and try to beat it to Silverton.

Or, the Triple Bypass -- West of Denver 120 miles west to Avon, CO. Three mountain passes in the same day. That'll cure you from climbing.
 

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Tioga Pass Road...ride into Yosemite from Mammoth Lakes.

North of Pemberton, British Columbia, on 99, is a killer climb. not long, but insanely steep.



those "extreme grades" came out to be around 14 - 15%. riding from Whistler to Lillooet would be a good ride. lots of climbs.....
 
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steephill said:
Canada doesn't have many massive road climbs but google Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island and Icefields Parkway, Alberta (highest paved road in Canada). British Columbia has lots of good mountainous cycling especially around Nelson, British Columbia.
??????????????????

Have you looked at a map?

Western Alberta and British Columbia are all mountain, great mountain passes everywhere you look.

Eastern Canada, Ontario and Quebec in the Laurentian Shield, basically the same mountains as the Appalachians - steep mountain climbs everywhere you look.

This the first time I have ever heard anyone suggest there are no climbs in Canada.

Good Gawd!

There is a 6200 ft pass 45 minutes from my front door - but I guess that isn't really a climb.
 

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estone2 said:
The thread about Palomar made me kind of think, over spring break I got to climb my first two mountains in NC, Pisgah and Mitchell. I live in Illinois, so it was a kind of (very) new experience for me, and I <i>loved</i> it. Both of them, the lowest gear I went into was 42-25, I'm equipped with a 30-25 if I really need it as a bailout gear
On Pisgah the guys at Liberty Cycles told me 1:45:00 was a good time for climbing Pisgah, I pulled a 1:35:00... go figure. I don't know if that's a good time, the guy might have been trying to make sure I felt good about my time... whatever.
But so here's my question - I really loved climbing the mountains, and from what I saw in climbing them, I can climb a lot higher, a lot farther, and up steeper stuff.
As such, I want to know what really steep climbs there are in the US. I'd like to say within 10 hours of Central Illinois, but realize that's not happening, so I'm basically open to any climb anywhere in the Continental US, and heck, if it's not too far north, some of the stuff in Canada.
What climbs are available?
Thanks in advance!
-estone2
IMO, any significant climb can be made much worse if it's at the end of the ride, such as towards the end of a century or at the end of a 3, 4, or 5-hour ride at a fast pace. You don't have to drive so far, just get in a lot of miles first.

Lou.
 

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Ahaaa!

Just the question I love answering!

I would have to say, in my humble opinion, that there is a climb in Tucson, Arizona called Mt. Lemmon that might suit your climbing cravings. 27 miles of sheer joy and bliss. Even better on a weekend morning (early!) when all the other local cyclists are out hammering up this beaut. If you are ever planning on doing this climb in the summer months...do it early...5-6 a.m. were talkin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
upstateSC-rider said:
IMO, any significant climb can be made much worse if it's at the end of the ride, such as towards the end of a century or at the end of a 3, 4, or 5-hour ride at a fast pace. You don't have to drive so far, just get in a lot of miles first.

Lou.
I agree wholeheartedly.
However in Illinois we do our hill training on highway overpasses. :p
Dead serious. That's why I forego hill training and just ride the headwind.
As such travelling's my option. :(
-estone2
 

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Used to live in Illinois

It was so flat I'd get vertigo. Ruined me as a cyclist for a few years. No hills to climb, wind always blowing. Had I been smart I would have bought a single speed and rode the crap out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lone Gunman said:
It was so flat I'd get vertigo. Ruined me as a cyclist for a few years. No hills to climb, wind always blowing. Had I been smart I would have bought a single speed and rode the crap out of it.
yeah i'm saving up for a fixie.
on the positive side, it's damn near impossible to get lost in 1mi SQUARES.
gawd, i went to NC over spring break, pulled out a map, and was like "it's not square..."
it was so bad.
-estone2
 
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