Climbs

Preview Some of the Design Options for the Slauson Segment of the Rail-to-River Bike/Pedestrian Path

I am currently working my way through Metro’s design concepts for Segment A (above) of the Rail-to-River project and will explore some of them more fully in a longer story ahead of next month’s meeting in South Central. But, in a year that has been mostly terrible from start to finish, it is nice to end on a positive note with happy drawings of how a blighted corridor might be transformed in a deserving neighborhood.

One of the more interesting things to note is that a survey Metro distributed this past fall (and we wrote about here) found that respondents would most likely use the path for walking and were much less likely to use it for biking or to connect to transit.

The survey was far from scientific, of course, and while many of the respondents live in South L.A. or are advocates for the area, the bulk of respondents were not necessarily folks that live along Slauson itself or ones that commute to work or school along the corridor.

Even so, such a finding does actually support the case I’ve made in previous articles for the project to be designed with South Central families in mind. Meaning that adequate space for walking, amenities (like benches, art, lighting, and fitness equipment), and even for the vendors who have been working along that corridor for a decade or more (as a way to help activate the space and make it feel welcoming and safe) will be key to making the project successful and community-centric.

Traversing Northern Italy by bike

From VeloNews.com by Chris Case

 

A JOURNEY ISN’T ONLY about where you go, but where you’re taken. The best excursions bring you back in time, across the sweep of history, and into other worlds. They take you to places you never thought possible, both physically and mentally. They add as much life to your years as they do years to your life. And, of course, at their core, they’re about exploring and understanding a bit about parts unfamiliar, those wild and scenic spots on few to-do lists.

The DuVine Dolomites Journey starts near the village of Aprica, in the Lombardy region of Northern Italy, near the base of the infamous Passo Mortirolo in the Alps. We then climb over the gargantuan Passo dello Stelvio, skate through the Adige Valley to Bolzano, and climb into the heart of the Dolomites before escaping into Slovenia. Finally we zigzag across vineyards until plummeting to the edge of the Mediterranean Sea in Trieste.

Over seven days, the group, which includes guests from their mid sixties to their early thirties, from all walks of life (including one famous chef, Seamus Mullen), rides about 400 miles and gains approximately 45,000 feet in elevation. (Slight variations in skill levels lead to a few bonus miles and climbs for some; my Garmin has me at 425.1 miles and 48,841 feet.)

We cross through fundamentally different cultural enclaves, drastically different climatic conditions, through fragile ecosystems and urban landscapes, past the quaintest of villages and over some of the greatest, hardest, and most historic climbs in cycling history. Every inch of it by bike, point to point to point.

Physically, anyone of any fitness level would find the days both long and rewarding. Others even more so. The food each night? On average it’s spectacular and always plentiful. But this isn’t the Italian cuisine you’re most familiar with. The pasta is hidden by the prosciutto, the pizza margherita obscured by the piles of speck. There is a definitive Germanic influence to this part of Italy.

The characters in this story are real, though their names have been changed to protect their identities. (What happens on a DuVine trip stays on a DuVine trip.) The stories are real, and have never been embellished for effect. The places are most certainly real; you can’t improve upon what must be one of the most divine cycling arenas on Earth.

Let the journey begin.

 

Day 1 || Aprica > Mortirolo > Passo Gavia > Bormio || 64.4 miles and 8,930 feet

Theme: Initiation

Quote of the day: “I’m not attacking, I just need to get warm.”
Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/10/feature/dolomiti-dreaming-traversing-north-italy-duvine-dolomites-journey_421787#CGvkHQkMxfB1bwrY.99

The pop of cycling cleats clicking into pedals signifies the official start of this wonderful journey. It’s a welcome note after the months of anticipating what for some is a dream come true. We are embarking into hallowed ground, dancing up and over and among some of the most famous climbs that cyclists have ever traversed, many because of their prominent roles in the history of the Giro d’Italia. Not that this means something to everyone. Most guests are here, generally, for the experience of riding through picturesque mountains in Italy. Others are here for the very specific experience of suffering on the same slopes that Coppi, Pantani, and Nibali have suffered on before.

Immediately, some of our respective cycling personas are revealed. We’re cyclists: There is a certain innate level of egoism to our sport. Maybe it lives in our bib shorts, however strange that may sound. When we don our chamois, we put on our uniform, and our character is revealed. Some have matching kits, socks, caps, and shoes. Others sport their favorite jersey from a charity ride. Some will take it easy from the gun; others can’t help but attack. In any case, we’re all here, together, riding through Italy’s majestic north, and we’re enamored with the thought.

After we reach the top of the Passo Mortirolo the group splits, with three guests (myself included) and one guide accepting the bonus challenge of the Passo di Gavia. It is a hearty one. It begins to rain as we drop down toward the town of Ponte di Legno, at the Gavia’s base. The poor weather continues to decline, which is perfectly appropriate for a spirited attack on this gruesome pass.

Cycling aficionados should be intimately familiar with what happened on this climb in 1988: Andy Hampsten’s bike sears skinny tire tracks in the snow-covered road, his face obscured by giant goggles and fluttering snowflakes. You must have seen the poster, and surely know the tale. Now it’s our turn to be like Andy.

By the time we reach the top, it’s 31.9 degrees and sleeting. The fog is thick, and scraggly rock outcroppings eerily loom on all sides. No, Andy didn’t have it this bad, we think. He had the luxury of riding in the snow, we tell ourselves. It’s all a lie, of course. We could never be like Andy. But it helps us feel tough. And hardmen never get cold.

We crack the top, snap some pics, and quickly turn our attention to getting down. I don five jackets and blaze the descent, cold to the core.

Our first day ends with supreme satisfaction, and very cold toes.

 

Day 2 || Bormio > Passo dello Stelvio > Rabla || 57.5 miles and 5,709 feet

Theme: Camaraderie 

Quote of the day: “I’m not attacking, I just want to get a good photo.”

We’ve bonded. We form small groups out of the gate. Today will be a milestone for many, climbing Passo dello Stelvio with the threat of snow scheduled for our arrival on top.

This climb, with its majestic switchbacks, never ceases to amaze. Never disappoints. Never seems to quit. An otherworldly vista is drawn before us, with grasses the color of seaweed surrounded by snowcapped peaks and low-hanging clouds giving the air a still, sinister quality.

I find myself riding most often with three men today: Tom is one of our DuVine guides, a veteran of 10 years leading trips around Europe, and someone who loves to look like he’s never ridden before. In his early 30s, he’s strong despite his hairy legs and droopy socks. Then there are Ricky and McGregor. We all like to hurt each other, if we can. We don’t like to lose. We punch it. I get in the habit of jumping ahead so I can stop to take photos. Then I find myself churning to regain the front of the pack. I stop again. Suddenly, I’m fairly certain I see Tom up ahead giving it gas despite the fact that I haven’t caught back on. So I go full-gas. It’s a hard chase, but eventually the small prize of a big Stelvio climb is mine.

(It’s the first sign that this week will be filled with imaginary finish lines atop summits and at town lines, dotted across our many miles.)

At the top, there are two things in abundance: camaraderie and minestrone. (Two bowls please!) As brains thaw and rider after rider enters the Albergo Tibet above the snaking scene of 48 switchbacks plummeting out of sight in the valley below, it dawns on each of us what we’ve done. And we share that sense of accomplishment with one another, hugging and connecting in many ways, tangible and not. These are the moments that we’ll say “changed our lives” when we think back on this trip. It’s not an embellishment. This place, the effort, the conditions, the history: together it takes on prominent cycling significance.

 

Read More

Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition

We all know advocating for safer streets is easier when we have the data we need that says where people are moving, how they’re moving and where we need improvements.

In the effort to provide our community with better resources, BikeSGV is conducting a two year data collection project. Part of this is this short survey. Please help us gather more opinions, knowledge, feedback and facts by, one, completing the survey and, two, forwarding it to your friends, family and fellow riders and walkers who live and/or work in the San Gabriel Valley.

https://www.facebook.com/pasadenacsc/posts/1202064663186632

Take The Survey Here

Gran Fondo Santa Clarita

The inaugural Gran Fondo Santa Clarita is coming up and if you’re a serious rider or just a beginner, this is one you definitely won’t want to miss! Brought to you by Santa Clarita Velo and Road Bike Action; this one-day, chip-timed event will bring together cyclists from throughout California who seek to challenge themselves on the beautiful roads, rolling hills, and mountains of Santa Clarita Valley and beyond.

 

FEATURES

  • 100, 60, and 20 mile routes (Black, Red, Green) for riders of all skill levels, from beginner to pro
  • If you have mechanical issues, don’t sweat it! There will be professional mechanics on hand at the start of the event, MAVIC on-course supportthroughout the ride, and multiple feed zones and pits!
  • Preregistration (before October 1st) bonus stickers and stem / top tube decal of the route & pits
  • Event will be photographed by the prestigious Brian Hodes (VeloImages).
  • Prizes & Raffle Drawing (Enter for a chance to win some sweet gear & products!)
  • Ample indoor space available ensuring event & expo can go on, rain or shine!
  • Post-Ride Beer Garden with cold brews from Wolf Creek Brewery
  • Post-Ride lunch
  • Live music on the stage after the event
  • All day Kids Course on the grass at the expo
  • Each rider will receive a Gran Fondo Santa Clarita musette bag with nifty swag insideMedio and Gran route finishers will receive a special Gran Fondo Santa Clarita T-Shirt as well as their choice of Pint Glass or Mug embellished with the Gran Fondo Santa Clarita logo.
  • Custom Gran Fondo Santa Clarita jerseys by Primal available for purchase

 

More Info Here

Riding Centuries Makes You Smarter

From Bicycling.com

 

Ride lots! Sustained aerobic exercise—the kind we get on those long, luxurious bike rides—builds your brain.

 

e know you’re smart because, hey, you’ve made the intelligent decision to buy a bike (or several) and become a cyclist. Now here’s the best part: The more you ride, the smarter you’ll become.The most recent in a tall stack of supporting studies shows that regular, sustained aerobic exercise—like training for that century ride or wine country tour—promotes the birth of new brain cells (a process called neurogenesis) in your hippocampus, the part of your brain associated with learning and memory.

This study out of Finland was conducted on rats that either ran on wheels, sprinted on treadmills (to simulate high-intensity interval training), or lifted weights (yes, seriously; with their tails) for six to eight weeks. By the study’s end, only the distance-running rats, who voluntarily clocked an impressive 16 miles a week, significantly improved brain development in the hippocampus, enjoying two- to three-times more new neurons than they started with. The rats doing other types of exercise showed only minor improvement.

Yes, the study was on little furry animals. But there’s ample evidence that human brains grow from exercise, too, says John Ratey, MD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Spark.

“The major reason that growth is increased is that we are using our brain cells, spilling out all kinds of good stuff from dopamine to oxytocin to BDNF [brain-derived neurotrophic factor] and many other factors that promote growth,” he says. “This is hugely applicable to humans, though we don’t grow new cells so rapidly. I would suggest there is a lot of evidence that resistance training is in fact as useful and has similar effects.”

There’s even more good news for cyclists: Mixing exercise with other brain challenges, like coordination, reading terrain, and all the other reactionary tasks we do to stay upright at speed on two wheels is the best way to build our muscular brain, says Ratey. “You’re not just getting your heart rate cranked, but also using your brain in so many other ways.”

Now that sounds like a really smart reason to ride even more.

 

The California Incline Is Open Again

From LA.Streetsblog.com

For motorists, the California Incline was always a glorious and scenic way to journey between Pacific Coast Highway and the bluffs of Santa Monica along Ocean Avenue.

Bicyclists and pedestrians who traveled the Incline, however, may not have such fond memories.

The narrow, crumbling sidewalk that ran alongside the road made for a treacherous, crowded passage. Cyclists and pedestrians often had to move off the sidewalk and onto the roadway in order to pass each other.

The rush of speeding cars just a few feet away made it difficult to relax and enjoy the stunning beach views on the horizon.

That all changed on Thursday as city officials unveiled a new and improved California Incline with great fanfare, one they promoted as being more safe and inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The changes were part of a $17 million seismic upgrade for the Incline, which was closed in April of 2015 and eventually demolished to make way for the new span.

The four-foot-wide sidewalk that was once a crumbling lifeline for walkers and cyclists on the old Incline is gone. It’s been replaced by a much wider, smoothly-paved road with clearly marked lanes for bikes and people.

And pedestrians and cyclists are now shielded from passing cars by a concrete barrier.

These changes were welcome news to the scattering of pedestrians and cyclists who sampled the new Incline on Thursday after it opened to the public.  But some wondered whether the new designs went far enough.

Vince Malmgren, an avid cyclist, said he wished the new bike paths “were a little bit wider, but it’s definitely a lot better than what was there before.”

That sentiment was echoed by another rider, Julie Schy. “I don’t think it’s wide enough,” she said. “I personally think it’s too narrow. You have to be single file. I see accidents.”

But her cycling companion, Norman Meyers, disagreed.

“I think it’s plenty,” he said. He welcomed the opening of the Incline and said he planned on using it to bike into Santa Monica from the beach bike path. “Now we can get to all the shops and restaurants, no problem. This will be life-changing for us,” he said.

The new Incline has one pedestrian path and two bike lanes. If you stay within the lanes, each bike path is less than four feet across, as is the pedestrian path. At the bottom of the hill all three lanes merge into one that turns into a ramp connecting to a bridge that crosses PCH.

The bridge over PCH is also new, replacing an older, chain-link cage. The new bridge has a more open design so you can enjoy the final leg of the journey toward the beach from the Incline.

That’s a route that Graham Simon often took when he would hop on his beach cruiser and head down the Incline to play beach volleyball before the Incline was closed.  “It was sketchy because we would ride our bikes down the sidewalk and cars would be zooming up from the PCH and going pretty fast,” he said. Now, he says, “the barrier alone makes such a huge improvement.”

Even with the added safety features, cyclists and walkers will still have to contend with the fact that the Incline is, well, an incline. It features an eight percent grade.

“It’s a little bit steep, admittedly,” said Kyle Kozar, Bike Share Coordinator with the city of Santa Monica. “But I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal, even riding up it.”

Santa Monica city engineer Lee Swain had some advice for cyclist heading down the Incline: “Enjoy the views, but of course be safe. Make sure to test your brakes,” he said.

Swain said that the Incline was originally built as a dirt trail in the late 1800’s. It opened to vehicular traffic in 1905.

The last time it had serious construction work was almost 80 years ago, well before modern seismic codes were put into place.

The old bridge was actually a series or five partial bridges, according to Swain. The new bridge is one continuous, 750-foot-long span. It’s also 52 feet wide, which is more than five feet wider than the old bridge.

While the focus Thursday was on what’s new with the Incline, officials also pointed out what didn’t change.

As a nod to the past, the iconic, porcelain-coated Santa Monica sign that stood at the Incline’s base is back, spiffed up and featuring more energy efficient lights. The Incline’s new outside rail also recreates the archway motif featured in the old bridge.

The bluffs along the Incline look the same to the casual eye, which was the intent. But change happened here, too. More than a thousand special nails were drilled into the soil without defacing them, Swain said. This preserves the weather-worn appearance of the bluffs while at the same time making the area stronger in the event of an earthquake.

“A lot of people really loved the natural beauty of the erosion that has occurred over many, many years,” he said.

Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez said that more than 90 percent of the project’s cost was paid by federal funds.

A separate $2 million construction effort to renovate the nearby Idaho Trail Overcrossing is almost finished as well, and should be ready by the end of September, he added.

 

Vuelta a Espana: Teams presented in Ourense

The Vuelta: Galicia provides a tasty send-off for the peloton

The 198 riders of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana were presented in Ourense today in front of a glistening blue lake, but the teams were not the only entertainment for the fans.

 

After the traditional photo-op and brief interviews of the various favourites, the organisers put on a cooking show featuring 12 chefs from the Grupo Nove, 9 from the Friends of Galician Cuisine and 21 Designations of Origin, Protected Geographical Indications and Differentiated Quality Brands all with an aim at introducing the world to the unique gastronomic pursuits of the region.

“We will show the great value of Galician gastronomy; a combination of tradition, innovation and quality of products as well as the great potential and virtue of its chefs, who will unleash their imaginations, turning the show’s presentation and staging into a large-scale spectacle that will delight our five senses,” said Nava Castro, the Director of Galician Tourism, according to the race’s website.

The Vuelta marks its second start in Galicia in the past four years and the eighth time in the race’s history.

 

The race will go through all four Galician provinces, before crossing into Castilla y Leon in stage 7, which finishes in Puebla de Sanabria.

 

View the gallery here.

 

Tour of Utah ready to dish out punishment

Addition of Mt. Nebo increases the suffering quotient at ‘America’s Toughest Stage Race’

 

The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is back this year from August 1-7 to re-stake its claim of being America’s Toughest Stage Race, a slogan the seven-day 2.HC race has claimed for itself.

 

After the 2016 Tour of California pushed its difficulty level to new heights with multiple challenging climbing days and a Queen stage finish on Gibraltar Road, the Tour of Utah has brought back the climb over Mt. Nebo, which tops out at 3,635 metres. The traditional final two stages also return, making for another back-loaded race that should come down to the final two days.

Last year’s runner-up Michael Woods (Cannonadle-Drapac) will not be at the race this year as he is competing in the Olympic Games road race later this month, but he said it looks like the 2016 Tour of Utah will be even harder than it was last year, although the “toughest” moniker is still up for debate.

“I think the guys that did Tour of California this year may want to argue that,” Woods told Cyclingnews from Spain, where he was preparing for Rio.

“I mean, on paper, from an altitude perspective, it is certainly the toughest terrain on the American circuit; however, what really matters most is how it is raced. Last year when I raced there, until the final two days, the race was a pretty controlled affair, which led to some relatively easy racing. It was only in the last two days where things became pretty difficult. However, I think with this year’s additional climbs, it could be significantly harder.”

 

The Contenders

The Cannondale-Drapac team has returned to defend the three consecutive overall wins of Tom Danielson (2013 and 2014) and last year’s winner Joe Dombroswki. The 2015 champion will have a super domestique in Andrew Talansky, firmly placing Dombrowski at the top of the favourites list.

BMC Racing has Colombian Darwin Atapuma and 2014 Tour of Utah standout Joey Rosskopf, while Trek-Segafredo has Peter Stetina, who will benefit from the lack of a time trial in the race.

Former Giro d’Italia winner Damiano Cunego will lead Pro Continental team Nippo-Vini Fantini. UnitedHealthcare will field Matthew Busche, who was second here in 2012, for the general classification, along with recent climbing revelation Jonny Clarke. ONE Pro Cycling will debut in the race with several Tour of Utah veterans, including James Oram and Dion Smith.

Among the Continental teams, Chris Horner, winner of the 2013 Vuelta and twice runner-up in Utah, will return with Lupus Racing. Horner finished second to Tom Danielson in 2013 and 2014, and the 44-year-old was fifth last year.

Jelly Belly’s Lachlan Morton has had success in Utah in the past and will lead a motivated team, while Rally Cycling comes into the race with proven GC rider Rob Britton and newcomer Adam De Vos, as well as 2015 stage winner Eric Young.

Axeon Hagens Berman brings 2015 stage winner Logan Owen and national champion Greg Daniel to the race, along with GC contenders Tao Geoghegan Hart and Tour of California revelation Nielson Powless. Holowesko-Citadel features recent Cascade Classic winner Robin Carpenter, and Canada’s Silber Pro Cycling is fielding Redlands Bicycle Classic winner Matteo Dal-Cin.

Team Jamis has 2011 stage winner Janier Acevedo on their roster for the general classification, plus a talented lineup for the sprint finishes that features Lucas Sebastian Haedo.

 

 

The Route

Stage 1 – Zion Canyon Village to Cedar City, 135km

The first day of the race will be the most scenic; the peloton starts with a 20km neutral rollout through Zion National Park. Racing begins when the peloton leaves the park through the east gate heading for the first sprint of the week in Orderville. From there it’s all uphill to the KOMs at Duck Creek and Bristlecone, the first, but not last, time the race reaches 3,000 metres of elevation.

Despite the climbing, a long descent to the finishing circuits in downtown Cedar City makes a sprint finish likely for stage 1.

 

Stage 2 – Escalante to Torrey, 159.3km

Stage 2 has a similar profile to the opening day, with the main climb, the ascent of Boulder Mountain, coming much earlier in the day at 65km, followed by a jagged profile leading to Torrey and a short finishing circuit.

 

Stage 3 – Richfield to Payson, 191.5km

This day will see a return to the race of Mt. Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. The climb, which was last used in 2013 when Lachlan Morton soloed away on the climb to take the stage win in Payson, tops out at more than 3,000 metres. The climb summits 40km from the finish, but Morton managed to hold off the chase the last time the race was here. This could be the first shuffling among the GC contenders.

 

Stage 4 – Lehi to Kearns, 154.4km

This transitional stage has a sawtooth profile that could favour a breakaway, and with the general classifications starting to sort itself, don’t be surprised to see a move stick here. If the stage does come down to a bunch sprint, it will likely be from a reduced group as the pure sprinters could have a rough day on the constantly up-and-down course.

 

Stage 5 – Antelope Island to Bountiful, 183.4km

A repeat of last year’s stage won by Owen, this stage could also favour a motivated breakaway. Similar stage 4, however, if a group does come to the line, the short, steep climbs on the finishing circuits in Bountiful should eliminate the pure sprinters.

 

Stage 6 – Snowbasin Resort to Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, 183.4km

The traditional Queen stage at the race throws more than 3,000 metres of climbing at the peloton, including the climbs over Guardsman Pass and up Little Cottonwood Canyon to the finish at Snowbird. This stage has been the launching pad for multiple overall winners, including Dombrowski’s solo win here last year.

 

Stage 7 – Park City to Park City, 125.5km

This is no parade stage. While not having the volume of climbing as the previous day, stage 7 ends with the climb up Empire Pass, which 2015 runner-up Woods says is the hardest climb of the race.

“In my mind, Empire Pass has to be the most difficult of the three [Guardsman, Little Cottonwood and Empire],” Woods said. “By virtue of it being the final climb of the race and it’s steep gradients, it is a really tough one. In terms of the other climbs, I would put Gaurdsman above Snowbird, as it is also steeper and tops out at almost 10,000 feet. When you hit the top of Guardsman, because of the altitude, you just feel like you are crawling.”

After summiting the Empire Pass, a screaming, twisting descent into Park City leads to the new finish on Upper Main Street and the crowning of the 2016 champion.

Just How Hard Are the Tour de France Climbs?

From Outsideonline.com

The mountains of the Tour de France determine the winner of the stage race. It isn’t until the peloton hits the craggy peaks of the Alps and Pyrenees that the GC starts to shake out and it becomes clear who the strongest riders are. If you’ve ever wondered how you’d stand up to those leg-burning beasts, you’re in luck. (And you don’t even have to travel to Europe.) We took four iconic climbs of the 2016 Tour and compared them to U.S. ascents. Hill climb, anyone?

 

Col du Tourmalet to Mount Baldy Road, Claremont, California

The Tourmalet is the most climbed pass in the history of the Tour, with 78 ascents including two different stages in both 1974 and 2010. The Mount Baldy climb in southern California is a hallmark of the Amgen Tour of California. It’s steep at the bottom and the top, with a heart-breaking kicker to the finish. An ascent under two hours is considered fast. Under an hour and you’re Tour-caliber.

Col du Tourmalet

Length: 11.8 mi
Base elevation: 2312
Summit elevation: 6938
Total gain: 4626
Average grade: 7.4%
Max grade: 11%

Mount Baldy

Length: 12.9 mi
Base elevation: 1644 ft
Summit elevation: 6419 ft
Total gain: 4775 ft  
Average grade: 
7.0% 
Max grade: 15%

 

 

 

Col d’Aspin to Rabbit Ears Pass, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

While the Col d’Aspin doesn’t have the huge elevation gains of the Tourmalet or Ventoux, it’s consistent 6.5 percent grade has exposed the weaknesses of Tour contenders since its first inclusion in 1910. Rabbit Ears Pass offers the same steady grade as it climbs out of Steamboat Springs to its western summit. A time under 45 minutes is excellent. Under one hour and you’re at the top of the amateur pack.

Col d’Aspin

Length: 7.3 mi
Base elevation: 2312 ft
Summit elevation: 4888 ft
Total gain: 257 6ft
Average grade: 6.5%
Max grade: 9.5%

Rabbit Ears Pass (West)

Length: 7.4 mi
Base Elevation: 6925 ft
Summit elevation: 9394 ft
Total gain: 2469 ft
Average grade: 6.3%
Max grade: 8%

 

 

Mont Ventoux to Onion Valley Road, Independence, California

Mont Ventoux is nicknamed the Giant of Provence for good reason. From Bedoin, on its south side, the landscape looks lunar, providing little respite from the long, unrelenting ascent. Onion Valley Road is considered one of the hardest climbs in the country. The altitude, summer heat, and steep, relentless grade make this a genuine sufferfest. Bring low gears. If you can tackle this beast in under two hours, consider racing in Europe.

Mont Ventoux

Length: 13.3 mi
Base elevation: 984 ft
Summit elevation: 6272 ft
Total gain: 5288 ft
Average grade: 7.5%
Max grade: 12%

Onion Valley Road

Length: 12.5 mi
Base elevation: 3994 ft
Summit elevation: 9163 ft
Total gain: 5169 ft
Average grade: 7.8%
Max grade: 12%

 

 

 

Col de la Ramaz to Little Cottonwood Canyon, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Col de la Ramaz is gaining popularity, having appeared in three of the past 13 Tours. It has a particularly nasty section of 9 to 11 percent grade, much of which is inside a tunnel. The Little Cottonwood Canyon climb, a fixture of the Tour of Utah for many years, has like the Ramaz, a section in the middle called Tanner Flat that’s especially taxing. Completing the ascent in under an hour is exceptional. If you can do it under and hour and a half, you’re still looking good.

Col de la Ramaz

Length: 8.6 mi
Base elevation: 2076 ft
Summit elevation: 5311 ft
Total gain: 3235 ft
Average grade: 7.1%
Max grade: 11%

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Length: 8.6 mi
Base elevation: 5140 ft
Summit elevation: 8530 ft
Total gain: 3390 ft
Average grade: 7.5%
Max grade: 10%

Gravel Grinder Sunday out of Golden Road Brewery

The gravel bike/cyclocross/I love doing awesome rides movement has been exploding and there’s no better way to introduce yourself than this Sunday’s SoCal GRAVEL Trofee #3: L. A. ROUBAIX v2, which is also hailing itself as the “Hell of the North”.

If you’re going to do the full 45 mile route, you’ll roll out of Golden Road and head straight for the Verdugos covering a section I covered just yesterday.

You’ll descend into La Tuna before shuffling your way up the Angeles Crest Highway before coming down the Gabrieleno Trail leading you up the Fern Truck Trail.

 

Learn more here.