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This ride was awesome, but I think it belongs to a new suffer score category called "stupid hard". There were too many 15% gradients to count and at least 17 sections with gradients of 18% or greater - of those there were several gradients above 20% including three spots with gradients nearing 30% (16th ave so, ruffner mountain second ridge, st vincents east water tower entrance ramp)
The 30% section wattages ... 650watts for 16th ave so ... 0watts (i.e., running with the bike) for the ruffner 2nd ridge ... and 675watts for the st vincents water tower ramp ... keep in mind those are wattages to keep from falling over
Blog with pics and ride/trail description here - http://toonecycling.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/red-mountain-1200s-revisited/
Looks like a ride where I'd definitely want to take my bike with a compact crank and bail out gear on the back, or wear mountain bike shoes so I could be more comfy walking the bike over some of those crazy grades.
Yes, mountain bike shoes would definitely help - I'm about to go clean out the dirt from my speedplays again - definitely not good cleats for running in!
Nice ride. This looks fun in an insane sort of way. Is Valley Hill steeper than South Cove? I have measured a 29% grade on Woodcrest but as we've discussed in the past, that is only for a pretty short spot.
My new bike will have 'mid-compact' gearing - 52x36 - which should help with some of these nasty-steep climbs.
Thanks Jacob ... Valley Hill definitely has a steeper max gradient than South Cove, but it's just for a short section where the road bends up before it "flattens" out to below 20%. South Cove, on the other hand, stays well above 20% almost all the way to the top. So South Cove has the higher average gradient but lower max gradient. Man, a 36 sounds awesome, especially if you pair it with a 27 or 28 - you could fly up some of the super steep stuff. I've only climbed Valley Hill once and I was grinding at something like 45RPM in my 39x28