Thursday, June 09, 2011


... climbing on a road bike. And so does the fancy of older, more mature dudes like the Titanium Cowboys. Wednesday evening Titanium Cancellara and I linked together a simply nasty series of climbs which I've deemed the City Steeps Sufferfest.
In this photo included for aesthetic purposes only, Titanium Cancellara (Scott Young) huffs it up a climb not on our route. This one's on Camano Island.
In 41.6 miles, we climbed 4,760 feet and here's the kicker: we were never more than six miles (as the raven flies) from my house in the Columbia neighborhood. Here was our route: to Fairhaven where we headed east on Old Fairhaven Parkway to Steep 1, Col d' Steps-40th St.-Samish Crest. Already written about in the below post, this beastie climbs 600 feet in 1.5 miles.
Steep 2 was nearby Governor Street (climbs 200 feet in 0.4 miles) which sorta led to sorta steep Yew Street Rd. which sorta got us over to the Lake Whatcom side of the world. Steep 3, L'Alpe d'Academy Road was the first real spot-of-bother maker, rising relentlessly straight up from the shores of Lake Whatcom. It climbs 550 feet in 1.3 miles and my Garmin GPS doohickey was pinned on 14-percent for the longest while.  
The author, himself on a climb not included on the City Steeps Sufferfest. This one is Hurricane Ridge.
Academy Road is on the southern flank of Squalicum Mountain; the next two are in the middle and north side of the hill. Steep 4, Toad Lake-Squalicum Mountain Roads, was the longest and most like the Powerhouse Hill on Ride 542, the Mount Baker Hill Climb. In all, it climbs 885 feet in 2.8 miles with the toughest part (and where I sometimes do hill repeats) being the last 1.5 miles; it gains 580 feet with extended stretches at 10 to 12 percent.
Speaking of Ride 542, Steep 5 passed by RD Charlie Heggem's house on its way to climbing 650 feet in 1.1 miles. It's an obscene bugger, that's for sure, and with stretches of 18- to 20-percent, is by far the steepest of the route.
Except that it's not. For we headed just around the corner (sorta) to Steep 6, King Mountain, at the north end of James Street Rd. Pretty darn short, the 0.3-mile hill climbs about 250 feet with a sustained stretch at 24-percent. Crazy! Not only did I have trouble standing and turning the cranks on my 34-27, but it was all I could do to keep from yanking my front wheel up off the road.
Another non-included climb. This one is Lion Rock near Ellensburg.
That was supposed to be the last one, but then I unwittingly suggested Sehome Arboretum--another great spot for hill repeats--and of course T.C., who was just getting warmed up, was all over it. So that became Steep 7; it climbs 380 feet in 0.9 miles.

Looking at a map, the only steep that's sorta on the route and that we didn't include was Alabama Hill. At one point T.C. did suggest it, but I pretended not to hear him.

Killer ride!

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