What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?

Source: rec.bicycles.racing - 1998

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From:Roger Merrill
Subject:What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/01
I appologize in advance if this has been asked many
times before, but all the arguments over the relative
difficulty of the climb up Alpe D'Huez brought to
mind an interesting question:
    
What are the toughest climbs in the United States?
    
Just to keep things sane, let's assume variants of a
couple of Bruce Hildenbrand's rules.
    
First, the road must be a public road. That is, it
must be open to the public for the majority of the
year. Winter closures are okay, so long as the road
is reopened as a public highway for the remainder of
the year.
    
Second, the road must be paved.
    
I'll start things rolling with the nastiest climb in
my neighborhood: the climb up Palomar Mountain in
northern San Diego county, California. South Grade
Road (S6, I think) from Pauma Valley up to the top of
Palomar Mountain climbs 4200' in 11 miles. If I did
the math right, that comes out to an average grade of
7.2 percent or so. In fact, in an article written for
the Rec.Bicycles FAQ, Bruce compared it favorably with
the 1st Category ascents in the Tour de France.

I am intrigued by a couple of other possibilities, although
I must confess I have never ridden them and don't have
specific information about their length, altitude gains,
or average grades.
    
The first is Highway 143/148 from Parowan up past the
Brian Head ski resort and over the top of the mountain
to Cedar Breaks National Monument in Southern Utah. I've
seen that road require chains in July.
    
Another intriguing possiblity is Highway 550 from Ouray
over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton in Southwestern
Colorado. Spectacular canyon, although with almost no
shoulder, it might be suicide to ride through.
    
Okay, the question is on the table: What's the nastiest
climb in your neighborhood?
    
    
Roger Merrill
San Diego, CA

From:Trispoke
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/01
Okay, I'll bite:
 
Mt. Diablo, east of Berkeley, is a great climb. I don't have the info on me,
though I know it's listed in multiple Bay Area climb web-sites. One of the
aspects of the climb which can make it very difficult (speaking from
experience), is that the area can become quite hot, and there is little shade
for the majority of the climb; you can feel the heat rising up the slopes, but
unfortunately it doesn't seem to provide any propulsive force!

Another fave, which used to be listed on the KOM site I think, is Mt. Greylock
in Massachusetts, from the North Adams side. I have to lobby for it, having
gone to school nearby and having run up it on both road and trail, as well as
biking the road, several times in training and racing situations. They have a
great hillclimb TT there, usually around the last Sunday in September or so,
run by the local shop (The Spoke, (413)458-3456 I THINK, say hi to Paul for
me!). It was once voted "Most Obscure" in the old Bicycle Guide listing of
great climbs in the US, as one pretty much has to ask at the shop to find out
about the race, which rarely has a crowd of any kind. It is not that high
(3490-ish), and isn't CONSISTENTLY steep throughout, but alternates between
flatter sections and steep wooded switchbacks with an occasionally crappy
surface. Actually, I always thought it was very "European", being all narrow
and twisty.

Oh, and it's not CONUS, but it's hard to leave out Maui's Mt. Haleakala. Where
else can you climb for almost 40 miles? It's quite gradual for most of it
(after the initial bump on the main highway), with a good road, but I'm pretty
sure it's the only place you can go from sea level to 10,000+ feet in a
single-day's ride.

Sorry, don't have the numbers to back up these climbs...
Ian
The Alameda Cycle Touring Club's website has a "Billy Goat List" that gives
the
statistics for a whole host of climbs East of the San Francisco Bay area.
(See http://www.actc.org/billygoats/bg list5.htm). Their site states that
Mount Diablo climbs 3170 feet in 11.2 miles.

From:Gerry Bouchard
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/01
I did the Haleakala climb in 1992 while on my honeymoon. I rented a Marin
road bike and brought my own pedals and shoes. I started in lower Paia and
went to the top, and then back down. 80 miles round trip but only about 50
pedaling miles. The descent wasn't fun! By the time I reached the top the
cloud line had formed around 7000 feet and light rain was coming down.
Coasting for 20 or so miles got real hard especially when the road was slick
in spots and my body temperature was falling.

Would I do it again? You bet!!! This time I'd bring a little more clothing
for the ride down, though.

Gerry Bouchard.
From:Mike French
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
I used to enjoy riding the canyons from Salt Lake City into
the Wasatch mountains. I measured these statistics from
a 1:100,000 USGS map, the climbs are accurate to about 50m,
and the distances to about 500m. All of these canyons rise from
the suburbs of SLC, except Big Mountain which is accessible
from Emigration Canyon.

Name                          Climb         Distance     Grade     Comments

Emigration Canyon	    400m         12.0 km        3.3%  -> Big Mt (S) or
Parleys (top half)
Parley's Canyon	    750m         15.5 km        4.8%       I80 toward
Park City
Big Mountain (S)      350m           4.5 km        7.8%
Big Mountain (N)      450m           6.5 km        6.9%
Mill Creek            750m         13.0 km        5.8%
Big Cottonwood        1125m         19.5 km        5.8%       Solitude,
Brighton
Little Cottonwood    1250m         17.0 km        7.4%       Snowbird, Alta

The Snowbird Hillclimb race covers the steepest part of
Little Cottonwood Canyon, with a warm-up section before
leading into the canyon. The record was set by Levi Leipheimer,
at 43:06 for the 10-mile 3500' race route. 
(which also has an article on the LoToJa record ride -
 203 miles in 7:26! )

Now I'm in Austin, and they call this the Hill Country !

Mike
From:David Casseres
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
Well, if everyone is posting all their favorite tough climbs, I'll throw
in a couple of mine:

Whitney Portal Road goes 14 miles from Lone Pine, CA to the Whitney Portal
campground at the base of Mt. Whitney, climbing more than 4000 feet.  The
average grade is around 6%, but there's a very steep pitch that hits you
just when you're getting tired.  Also, almost the whole thing is exposed
to the desert/mountain sun, and since you start around 4000 feet ASL it is
possible to run low on oxygen.

The Angeles Crest Highway runs from Glendale (suburb of Los Angeles) over
the San Gabriel range to Palmdale.  I don't have the numbers but it's
long, partly steep, and hot.  A detour to the Mt. Wilson Observatory makes
it more rigorous.

Mind you, neither of these comes anywhere near "toughest climbs in the
U.S." status, and neither do most of the climbs people are mentioning
here.  If you want *tough* climbs, consider the eastern sides of Sonora
Pass, Ebbetts Pass, and Monitor Pass in the Sierra Nevada, in decreasing
order of difficulty.  I've done Monitor and most of Ebbetts but will
probably never attempt Sonora.  And then there's Old Priest Grade on the
west slope of the Sierra, going up to Big Oak Flat, which I *know* I'll
never try.

-- 
David Casseres
From:Chris Neary
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/04
Old Priest, I know it well. Something like 2000 feet in 2 miles (steep, but
short).

I know three folks who have ridden it: A female ex-racer who did it on her
mountain bike, a middle-aged strong tourist who did with a triple, and a
strong century rider who used a 39/23 gear combination. 

Fun to sit at the top and watch the cars pop up like corks as they try to
maintain their momentum.  :-)

Chris Neary
diablo@aimnet.com

From:Bruce Hildenbrand
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/04
Actually, Old Priest Grade is 1500 ft. in 2 miles for an average grade
of 14+%.  There are a couple of steep sections bordering on 20% right
at the top just to make sure you get the full effect.  What a groaner!

Bruce Hildenbrand
From:tkunich@diabloresearch.com
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/04
There is always Mt. Constitution, on Orcas Island in Puget Sound, Washington.
I seem to remember that it was a steady three miles of 12% rising some
2000 feet. Good road surface, but so steep that it's hard to descend what
with it's winding around so much.

Unbeatable view from the top. I had my Vitus with me because I hadn't
expected a climb like that in the islands. My low gear was a 42/23.
OUCH! Bandage my knees and call me Jobst.

The view of Puget Sound from the top is spectacular on a clear day.
Carry a map with you so that you can figure out which direction you're
looking. Canada in one direction and US in the other. After the climb
you probably won't have a real good sense of direction. And the map
in the midevel tower at the top is about as much help as a poke in the
eye.
From:David Garza
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/01
Roger Merrill wrote:
> Okay, the question is on the table: What's the nastiest
> climb in your neighborhood?

A mile away is Fargo Street in LA, .5 mile at 33%. Mountain bike-gearing and
tacking will get you up pretty easily, but you need to go straight up with a
39x23 to get the fastest times (50 seconds or so).

-- David

PS how's this for a formula:

(Vertical distance/horizontal distance) * ((average UCI points of participants)
- (average hematocrit count)) = toughness of climb.
From:Roger Merrill
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/01
A rider originally from Salt Lake City reminded me
of another possible addition to our list: Highway
210 up Little Cottonwood Canyon to the Alta ski
resort. If memory serves me correctly, that canyon
climbs 4,500 feet in roughly 13 miles. (Perhaps
someone who still lives and rides on the Wasatch front
could provide some more accurate information.)
    
If my memory is correct, it would definately qualify
as a first category climb.
    
    
Roger Merrill
San Diego, CA

--
From:Jim Moore
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
Roger Merrill <merrill@emeraldmail.com> wrote:
>The first is Highway 143/148 from Parowan up past the
>Brian Head ski resort and over the top of the mountain
>to Cedar Breaks National Monument in Southern Utah. I've
>seen that road require chains in July.

I've ridden the highway from the west side going from
Cedar City to Brian Head. Nothing spectacular - just
a long steady climb. You get views of Cedar Breaks as
you go up and that is spectacular. The lightning/hail
storm that caught me at the top was the real excitement.
    
>Another intriguing possiblity is Highway 550 from Ouray
>over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton in Southwestern
>Colorado. Spectacular canyon, although with almost no
>shoulder, it might be suicide to ride through.

This is a very difficult climb. It's steepest at the 
bottom coming out of Ouray and more gradual at the top.
The top still seems hard because of fatigue and altitude.
The scenery is incredible, although some of the mining
areas are eyesores. I'd rate this the hardest extended
climb I've done in Colorado.

>Okay, the question is on the table: What's the nastiest
>climb in your neighborhood?

The climb up Magnolia road west of Boulder is the one
that forced me the farthest into anaerobic distress. The
road is not paved the entire way, but it is paved
for the steep section that lasts a few miles. There
has been a race on this road the last several years,
so it is quite rideable on a road bike. I'd be
afraid to ride down this road for fear of over-heating
my rims. Similar feeling that I got riding down Alba
road in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Trail Ridge road through Rocky Mountain National Park
can be a bear. It is not steep, but is almost 5k' of
non-interrupted climbing up to 12k'. The hard part for
me was that once you get above 12k', the road stays 
up there for several miles of rollers. I'm used to passes
that turn into descents right after the summit. Those
rollers at 12k' seemed to never end and it was so cold
I could barely control the bike (it was July). I've never 
been so glad to start a descent in my life (and a great 
descent on the west side it was!).

cheers,
jim
From:OnThaBeach
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
For sheer steepness, in Oregon there are several passes over the Coastal Range.

Check out the climb to Bear Camp Pass from the east side.

And there are a series or Forest Service roads used by Cycle Oregon X to cross
the Coastal Range between  Alpine and Yachats.

On my home turf in the Southeast USA, the toughest climb is Richard Russell
Scenic Highway in north Georgia near Helen, where you gain about 3,000 feet in
seven miles to reach Hog Pen Gap.

Bryan in Fla.
From:htis@tesser.com
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
> >Okay, the question is on the table: What's the nastiest
> >climb in your neighborhood?
> The climb up Magnolia road west of Boulder is the one
> that forced me the farthest into anaerobic distress. 

I don't know if they overheated but I seperated the sidewalls on two fine
Campy Omega Strada XL clincher rims doing this. Other Boulder county grunts
include Sugarloaf, Sunshine Canyon and the top of Lefthand extended halfway
to Brainard lake. This latter (by rough estimation) takes you from 8700 to
10,500 in about three and a half miles.

>Similar feeling that I got riding down Alba
> road in the Santa Cruz mountains.

No one has  brought up Bonnie Dune Road, I guess it's small potatoes compared
to Bohlnman, but 1000 feet in a mile or so always gets my attention. There is
an eight mile loop around Perce' on the Gaspe' peninsula in Quebec that
nearly does this twice. It was contested as a circuit race in the Tour de
Gaspe' several times. The first hill is abtly named Mound Gargantua. (Note
Racing Content!)

> Trail Ridge road through Rocky Mountain National Park
> can be a bear. It is not steep, but is almost 5k' of
> non-interrupted climbing up to 12k'. The hard part for
> me was that once you get above 12k', the road stays
> up there for several miles of rollers. I'm used to passes
> that turn into descents right after the summit. Those
> rollers at 12k' seemed to never end and it was so cold
> I could barely control the bike (it was July). I've never
> been so glad to start a descent in my life (and a great
> descent on the west side it was!).

The wind can make a huge difference on this ride. Nobody has much recovery
above 11,000 feet, but on the right summer afternoons you can get blown right
up to Rainbow Curve and you hit timberline with four gears left to use and a
following breeze. People that cruised over Trail Ridge for breakfast in Grand
Lake had to walk on the west approach to Independance Pass.

If you place the emphasis on sheer altitude gain Lyons or Loveland (Dam Store)
to Trail Ridge is 7000 in fourty miles, Morrison to Mount Evans is close to 9000
 in about the same distance. I've done three great climbs from sea level, none in 
CONUS. One from Cabo Colnett in Baja Norte to the observatory at Sierra San Pedro 
Martir that is at about 8300. This is the most Jobstian ride on my resume, done on 
October '84 when the road through the Mehling ranch was less than 1% paved. The 
Observatory personnel said I was the first to have ever ridden a bike up there, if
 I wasn't please let me know. Since they had just started paving the hardest part to
 support the Observatory it may have lost some of it's epic quality, but one water 
source in 50 miles makes it a pretty serious endeavor. The other was out of Puerto 
Angel in Oaxaca over the Sierra de Miahuatlan. Without consulting maps that look like
 they were made in the last century I'd estimate that the crest was no less than 8000. 
(The city of Oaxaca is more than a mile high and you come down two hours from the crest 
to get there). There is a similar route out of Puerto Escondido that wasn't all paved then
 that was said to go higher. This through the vaunted cloud forest which I was suffering
 way too much to appreciate. I got up a hill pretty well back then, but they key to any 
serious climb in the Tropics is to catch it on the right day. The thousand foot rollers
 along the coast of Michoacan (Mexico's Big Sur) were easy in 75-80 degree temps in 
January, lethal in November when it was 95 with maritime humidity. Since San Pedro Martir
 is snowbound into April most years, your window is small. FWIW I needed every minute of 
October daylight to do it. I'd like to hear about Ten Sleep Canyon, North Cascades, and 
anybody who has done Durango-Mazatlan FROM THE COAST! My wife and I did it the opposite 
way in 87'. I'll save this for another thread, "Great climbs I did the other way." 
Dan Schoenherr htis@tesser.com 
From:wlim@my-dejanews.com
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
As far as Washington State, the toughest climb is probably to Hurricane
Ridge, on the Olympic Peninsula.  You can start at sea level in the town of
Port Angeles, climb slightly for a little bit to get to the base of the
climb, and then climb pretty constantly for 17 miles to around 5500 feet of
elevation. It's a beautiful, wooded climb for much of the way, and the
descent is twice as fun as the climb
From:htis@tesser.com
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/03
The Mt Wilson post sent me back to the map case just to verify that Scandia
Crest can rightfully call itself the highest paved road in the Southwest. The
brochure says 10,678 ft at the top, but seldom above 6% from Albequerque and
not that difficult.

In the same case was a map and elevation profile of Durango-Mazatlan. Someone
starting from the beach behind the Airport would go from sea level to 2600
Meters in 150 kilometers, then down 200 vert. meters at 8% or so before
cresting at 2800 meters 180 km from the beach. The worst part rises from 270
meters to 2000 meters in 45 kilometers (with one 150 meter drop in the middle
right where you cross the Tropic of Cancer). The parts that reduce the
average consist of 7-10% descents and don't really provide much physical
relief. By my approximation the total amount of altitude "climbed" to the top
would be 3600 Meters or 11,800 feet! There are two more 200+ vert meter rises
on the way down to Durango. Maximum grade 10%, maximum curvature 60 degrees.
The only paved road through these mountains in 800 miles, (there are only two
others of any description plus one of the world's great railroads) and a
steam bath on the coast for 50 weeks/year.

Don't think I'm going back. I'd be glad to e-mail a scan to anyone who's
interested. The other great climb that I was smart enough to ride down was
Going-to-the-Sun in Glacier National Park. I did it north to south. Bicycles
were banned through the middle of the day. This climb, like the ones on
Banff-Jasper is much tougher for northbounders.

Any Alaska riders want to contribute? Three Guardsman Pass always scared me
on the map, but nothing is as intimidating on paper as that one in Norway
with the 15% tunnels as relief intervals.

Dan Schoenherr
htis@tesser.com
From:Dan Connelly
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/03
Bonny Doon (sic) sustains no more than 10% or so.... it doesn't approach 1000
feet in a mile.  It's quite easy compared even to Alba, which doesn't
match Bohlman in difficulty.
The hardest thing about Bonny Doon is it tends to be exposed to the sun,
unlike most hard climbs on the peninsula.
I just checked "Roads to Ride, South" by Peterson and Kluge.
Bonny Doon's steep section gains quite close to 1000 feet
in 2.0 miles, approximately 9.5% . It then gains another
600 feet over the next 3.6 rolling miles before a short descent
where it merges with Pine Flat Road, which continues a gentle
climb to Empire Grade.  Alba and Jamison Creek Road are both
more challenging ascents to Empire Grade. 

Dan
From:beam1
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/08
I did the Mt Wahington, NH hill climb a few times and It's fun.
( I like hills and thrashed my knee training for it last year.)

It's been compare to Alps de Huez only 1000' shorter?

My perceptions at 185HR were that the first 2 to 3 miles were
steep ( 12 to 15 % grade ) then as you got to the tree line at 
4000, your attention was draw to external stimuli VS internal
so the effort seemed to lessen.  

Up here in New englend I don't know a climb that's more fun.

Matt B
From:Jim Burlant
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/02
Roger,

While it's not in my immediate neighborhood (3 hours away, actually!),
Arizona has one very nasty climb which Bruce H. has told me would definitely
fall into the description of first-category:  Mount Graham.  (It's my
opinion, based on the watered-down categorizations we've seen over the last
couple of years, that this climb could conceivably attain a rating of HC if
it came late enough in a stage.)
There's a map, profile, and record times at:

    http://www.azcycling.com/mg/mtgr.htm
This climb is 20 miles long and gains roughly 5600 vertical feet in that
time.  The foot of the climb is at roughly 3400', and the summit is at
9000'.  No, that's not a typo.  The first 4 miles or so are fairly shallow
(roughly 3 - 4%) but then the next two miles get STEEP (10 - 11%).  After
that, it goes up at a steady 6 - 8% for another 6 miles.  The first
"relief", if you could call it that, comes in the form of a false flat (all
of 100 meters long) at 12 miles.  Then there's more steady climbing until 14
miles, when you get an actual downhill (maybe 200 meters long).  You then
keep going up and up at 6 - 8% until the 18 mile mark, when you hit rollers
for a couple of miles.  At the 20-mile point, the pavement stops and you've
reached the summit. You made it!

Jim Burlant
From:Chris Neary
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/04
Two nasty Sonoma County Climbs:

Myers Grade: About 3/4 mile of 18% grade. Always memorable.

Skaggs Springs Road: In general none of the climbs are that long, and only
"moderate" steepness, but this is the most demoralizing climb I've ever
done.

The road consists of numerous 200-300 foot "rollers" of 8-12%. Every time
you get to a summit, the road plunges down 200-300 feet and then you start
over again. After 4 or 5 of these on a hot day, I was toast.


Chris Neary
From:John Fitzgerald
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/04
I don't have my copy of Topo on this computer, but one of the toughest
climbs in the LA area, I think, is the Mt. Baldy ride.  It starts at
about 1600 ft, and winds its way up to 6800 feet or so at the ski
lifts.  I think the distance is on the order of 15 miles.  However,
there are some very steep sections.  Plus, it is hot and dry.  

John Fitzgerald
From:Mike Rossi
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/04
Here in Houston that would be a toss-up between the T.C. Jester railroad
bridge and the Shepherd railroad bridge.  The Beltway overpass at I-10 is
higher but they don't let bikes on the freeway.  Neither climb is that long
or that steep but it's usually hot as hell and you never know when some
madman in a duallie pickup is going to try to run you into the curb or hit
you with a half-empty beer can.

For sustained climbing there's the spiral ramps in the downtown Hyatt
parking garage.  These have the added benefit of sprint training trying to
outrun garage security on the way out.

Sigh...

Mike Rossi
From:Tom Simonson
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/07
A followup on a few California climbs.
  Old Priest Grade: you might be interested knowing that there was an
all-junior stage race (Gold Nugget SR) that used OPG for a time trial for
all but the youngest juniors! I have the times for it somewhere. Some
riders brought walking shoes or special TT bikes, that rather than being
aero were essentially mountain bikes with super-low gears.
  Ebbetts Pass: Ebbetts (heading west) is my favorite Sierra climb. The
main climb itself is not bad at all, with only a few steep spots around
turns, but immediately after the main climb and descent into Hermit Valley
comes Pacific Grade. This is not long, but has *very* steep spots around
every switchback ~18% or so. My last time over this was in the rain, so
traction concerns made things challenging.
  Sonora Pass: the two sides of the pass have completely different
characters. The west side has a much straighter road, while the east side
is more curvy and the country is more arid. I have been over it in both
directions.

I prefer the east side for both climbing and descending. The descent is
quite challenging (in the tubular era it required *major* efforts not to
overheat the rims). The climb has protracted steep parts, but they are
okay if one has a reasonably low gear and fitness. There is one quite
steep pitch a little before the summit.

The west side has two very steep parts (~18% ? ): one near the beginning
of the main climb and known as the Q'de Porca, and the other near the 9000
ft. marker - known as the Golden Stairs.

-- 
Tom Simonson  (simonson@ccnet.com)  Oakland CA 
--------------------------
From:Kevin Wuertz
Subject:Re: What Are the Toughest Climbs in the U.S.?
News:rec.bicycles.racing
Date:1998/12/09
Cycle to the Sun in Hawaii is very hard indeed. It is a 34 mile hill climb
TT from 0 to over 10,000 feet. There are also other climbs in Hawaii some
going to 14,000 feet. Since all of these start at sea level I'd have to say
that they by far are the hardest climbs on a road bike in the US much less
the World. Back when the Coors classic came to Hawaii one stage that
climbed saddle road on the Big island devastated the field. The names of
some of the greats are still painted on the final stair case climb.
Kevin
   

what is your favourite climb?

2002 Luddo Oh