Author Topic: Steepest Climb in an Audax  (Read 6605 times)

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2014, 10:40:47 am »
'cording to the File of the Slopes of Europe, the toughest climbs in the British Isles are (in ascending order of difficulty):

  • Bwlch-y-Groes
  • Great Dunn Fell from Dufton (HardKnott is about 90% of Bwlch)
  • Bealach na Ba from Tomapress
  • Mount Leinster from Bunclody
  • Mount Leinster from Borris (as difficult as Alpe d'Huez from Rochetaillée)

But there's about 1,200 European climbs that are tougher!  :o
Jennifer - Walker of hills

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2014, 10:48:17 am »
'cording to the File of the Slopes of Europe, the toughest climbs in the British Isles are (in ascending order of difficulty):

  • Bwlch-y-Groes
  • Great Dunn Fell from Dufton (HardKnott is about 90% of Bwlch)
  • Bealach na Ba from Tomapress
  • Mount Leinster from Bunclody
  • Mount Leinster from Borris (as difficult as Alpe d'Huez from Rochetaillée)

But there's about 1,200 European climbs that are tougher!  :o

BUT as with other comments how are the gradients measured ? Went up and over Bwlch Y groes from llanuwchllyn to Dinas on Saturday; Garmin Etrex showed about 12% sustained section near Craig yr Ogof on ascent, and on descent at least 500m @ 26-28% ---neither of these sections shows up on above database gradients:(
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2014, 10:51:43 am »
On an event in the Midlands, at the First control, there is an incline which can be optionally negotiated that is 45 degrees. It has a rounded top and a 45 deg descent on the other side.

It doubles as a device to slow motorized traffic.
 ;D

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2014, 11:04:36 am »


BUT as with other comments how are the gradients measured ? Went up and over Bwlch Y groes from llanuwchllyn to Dinas on Saturday; Garmin Etrex showed about 12% sustained section near Craig yr Ogof on ascent, and on descent at least 500m @ 26-28% ---neither of these sections shows up on above database gradients:(

It seems they measure height difference over a kilometre. I don't think you can expect greater precision than that. It is frustrating though: I know of several short local slopes up to 20%, but MapMyRide tells me there's nothing worse than around 3%!  ::-)
Jennifer - Walker of hills

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2014, 11:23:44 am »
Strava tells me there is a grade 4 climb along the Cardiff Bay Barrage.   ;D
It's quite typical isn't it, building slopes into piers, barrages and other stone/metal/woodwork to protect the calm waters of a bay?  ::-)
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2014, 11:33:18 am »
Interesting - I find the front wheel lifting is peculiar to being seated.  Mind you, I've never ridden in the New Forest.

Front wheel lifting is related to frame geometry and weight distribution.
As a heavy-hipped, light-shouldered girlie, using a bike with a short stem, it could be a problem almost anywhere if I didn't use low-rider front panniers.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2014, 11:55:18 am »
Strava tells me there is a grade 4 climb along the Cardiff Bay Barrage.   ;D
It's quite typical isn't it, building slopes into piers, barrages and other stone/metal/woodwork to protect the calm waters of a bay?  ::-)

Strava is prone to reporting duff gradients recorded by crappy GPS recordings. There's one near me that was recorded as 75%! I reported it and they erased that segment, which allowed it to be re-entered from a decent recording (it was about 10%). Some of the less good GPSs (probably older smartphones) record a flat road as a series of significant but short climbs and descents.

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2014, 12:45:55 pm »


BUT as with other comments how are the gradients measured ? Went up and over Bwlch Y groes from llanuwchllyn to Dinas on Saturday; Garmin Etrex showed about 12% sustained section near Craig yr Ogof on ascent, and on descent at least 500m @ 26-28% ---neither of these sections shows up on above database gradients:(

It seems they measure height difference over a kilometre. I don't think you can expect greater precision than that. It is frustrating though: I know of several short local slopes up to 20%, but MapMyRide tells me there's nothing worse than around 3%!  ::-)

Yes I think that`s how they do; GPS also ---for me---gives reproducibly different gradients depending on whetehr I`m going up or down the same hill; I think that`s due to GPS doing timed sampling of current height / distance and then calculating gardient from the two---downhill is LESS steep than UPHILL presumably as at a lower speed GPS will have more time to sample steeper short sections and represent them whilst faster downhill it will average it....I think :facepalm:
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2014, 12:46:30 pm »
Misery is an event which twists and turns, with infos everywhere, just to take in the hills.

On the whole, I'd agree, but the Invicta Grimpeur does just that and it's a fantastic 100. It includes York's Hill, which ramps up to a mere 25%, iirc, but the biggest problem with York's is not so much the gradient as the road surface - it's more a gully than a road, and you can easily lose traction up there on a grisly Sunday in March.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

CommuteTooFar

  • Inadequate Randonneur
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2014, 12:51:07 pm »
The ultimate steepness does not matter.  As everyone who climbs knows, if you are climbing moderately steeply the effects of the earlier hills build up in your legs.  So a climb like Penheol Ely Road up onto Mynydd Eglwysilan past Pontypridd golf course is rideable by most people by itself.  At the end of the 100km super grimpeur Trefil Travail many people fail to get up the steepest section at the top.  At the end of Rode 'Round Rhondda 200km AAA 4.75 nearly everybody found it too much.

[Ride 'Round Rhondda is no longer run. It was too difficult. If people don't care to ride it I will not organise  it.]

   

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #35 on: January 13, 2014, 12:54:10 pm »
Misery is an event which twists and turns, with infos everywhere, just to take in the hills.

On the whole, I'd agree, but the Invicta Grimpeur does just that and it's a fantastic 100. It includes York's Hill, which ramps up to a mere 25%, iirc, but the biggest problem with York's is not so much the gradient as the road surface - it's more a gully than a road, and you can easily lose traction up there on a grisly Sunday in March.

There was a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek.  I regularly rode the Kidderminster Killer, which zigged and zagged across the Quantocks. It usually included Triscombe Hill, which doesn't even have tarmac.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2014, 12:56:53 pm »
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

caerau

  • SR x 3 - PBP fail but 1090 km - hey - not too bad
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #37 on: January 13, 2014, 01:23:27 pm »
The ultimate steepness does not matter.  As everyone who climbs knows, if you are climbing moderately steeply the effects of the earlier hills build up in your legs.  So a climb like Penheol Ely Road up onto Mynydd Eglwysilan past Pontypridd golf course is rideable by most people by itself.  At the end of the 100km super grimpeur Trefil Travail many people fail to get up the steepest section at the top.  At the end of Rode 'Round Rhondda 200km AAA 4.75 nearly everybody found it too much.

[Ride 'Round Rhondda is no longer run. It was too difficult. If people don't care to ride it I will not organise  it.]

   


I have yet to manage Penheol Ely Road even when fresh :(  Soon time to give in another go though...


I wonder if the original poster is regretting starting this thread. :/  Far better to say what a nice ride it is for me.  A ride from London to Oxfordshire is never going to compete with the super grimpeurs in the tough climbing stakes.  Although I bet you could still make it well tough with a treasure hunt like info-control fest to go up all the hills available.
It's a reverse Elvis thing.

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2014, 01:32:42 pm »
The ultimate steepness does not matter.  As everyone who climbs knows, if you are climbing moderately steeply the effects of the earlier hills build up in your legs.  So a climb like Penheol Ely Road up onto Mynydd Eglwysilan past Pontypridd golf course is rideable by most people by itself.  At the end of the 100km super grimpeur Trefil Travail many people fail to get up the steepest section at the top.  At the end of Rode 'Round Rhondda 200km AAA 4.75 nearly everybody found it too much.

[Ride 'Round Rhondda is no longer run. It was too difficult. If people don't care to ride it I will not organise  it.]

   

It`s not only that what you`ve done before the `hill`----having ridden both Devils Staircase and the unnamed climb out of Pont Rhyd Y Groes on numerous occasions on same ride I have often found Pont climb HARDER than Devils Staircase---DS is  short very steep, Pont climb for me is a relentless 12+% 2km grind with no let up :( 
This now opens an entirely new type debate on how hard is a hill which is not same as how steep is a hill..........

Going Continental Tre Cime de Lavaredo ( http://www.climbbybike.com/profile.asp?Climbprofile=Tre-Cime-di-Lavaredo&MountainID=3753  ) is IMO vastly harder than Devils Staircase / Bwlch Y Groes  (  http://www.climbbybike.com/profile.asp?Climbprofile=Bwlch---y---Groes&MountainID=7527 )as it is 4km avg 12% with a 500m @ 17-20% included--it is also above 2000m so effect lower air pressure felt too---whereas despite 25% + on both UK climbs they are so much shorter
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above

marcusjb

  • Full of bon courage.
    • Occasional wittering
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2014, 01:42:08 pm »
Triscombe Hill, which doesn't even have tarmac.

I note the fire signal pit on the map.  When are they going to get the Internet around there?


Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #40 on: January 13, 2014, 04:04:26 pm »
Triscombe Hill, which doesn't even have tarmac.

I note the fire signal pit on the map.  When are they going to get the Internet around there?

Well, on the one side you have Exmoor and the frost-bitten remains of Sir Ranulph, and on the other the Levels, which are under water. In the middle there's only deer, so what would you need it for?

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #41 on: January 13, 2014, 06:48:26 pm »
Can this be true ... 41 replies, and no mention of OCD?!?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

αdαmsκι

  • Twitter @Dr_AAY Instagram @ucfaaay Strava @ucfaaay
  • Look haggard. It sells.
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2014, 07:00:50 pm »
RideHard is KidsCan and ICMFP ;D.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #43 on: January 13, 2014, 07:44:13 pm »
RideHard is KidsCan and ICMFP ;D.

 :) :)

At least it's stealth marketing for a £5 proper Audax, so fair play in my book.

RideHard

  • The London Grimpeur
  • ACH Organiser
    • Steam Rides & Chiltern Grimpeurs
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2014, 12:02:34 am »
I wonder if the original poster is regretting starting this thread. :/  Far better to say what a nice ride it is for me.  A ride from London to Oxfordshire is never going to compete with the super grimpeurs in the tough climbing stakes.  Although I bet you could still make it well tough with a treasure hunt like info-control fest to go up all the hills available.
[/quote]


 Looks like I may have found some OCD 'ers :/, (my next challenge, after current FWC)  :thumbsup:

 I was also planning on organising a AAA ride, out of London (TheLondonGrimpeur) possibly for December... for AAA RRTY in the SE

AAA Century Award  (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/audaxaltitudeaward/page32.html) holder, on Mille Alba 2012 (Ben Lawers  is the highest mountain in the southern part of the Scottish Highlands and the 10th highest mountain in Britain, ~4000ft) my biggest climb to date, had trouble keeping the front wheel on the ground at the beginning of the Ben Lawers ascent :D

 I'm planning a trip over to French Alps, last challenge for the new ACP SUPER RANDONNEE (Randonneur 10000) award.
So training for the hillzzz..

I came into AUDAX from cycle-touring, so for me I like a ride with a destination and a theme.
 In the meanwhile, it's nice feeling to give something back, not only to the CTC and AUDAX community..
but maybe more people will start gettin' on their bikes too, rather than using the Coach/Rail service Oxford to/from London :thumbsup:
 I hope you enjoy the LOL 200 (be interesting to find out, how many 'rise' to the challenge and make the climb, on their bikes), as much as I'm enjoying organising it  :)
ACH SR: Dean 300; Steam Ride LOL 200; Quainton Express 100; University Challenge 600; London Circuit 400; C2C; Hadrian's Wall; Chiltern Pub Crawl

RideHard

  • The London Grimpeur
  • ACH Organiser
    • Steam Rides & Chiltern Grimpeurs
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2014, 01:14:24 am »
Steepest over what distance?

Good point.. I'm on Fixed Wheel this year and found climbing (42x16=72") a challenge.. Richmond Park clockwise, has a longish gradual climb which starts at 8%, and peaks at 12%.. so 1st attempt was the 1st drain, then gradually each week got further up the hill.. so now holds no challenge.
 Ditto Bledlow Ridge after Chinnor, an even longer climb. Out of the saddle for the whole climb after rbt. the turn, is particularly steep.. but by a wide arc, can be easily (relatively) managed...

And so.. the LOL 33%, I'm thinking zig-zagging may hold the key.. :-\

And then there's the issue of duration/distance... the lactic-acid buildup over-time necessitates sitting in the saddle, at some-time...
so on the Dorset coast Abbotsbury 10% incline http://www.mapmyride.com/sc/victoria-english-river/abbotsbury-hill-only-route-4425694 after 1 km, you end-up sitting in the saddle to finish it... and of the 7km+ ascents in the Alpszzz, I think they are 7-8%... ???

ACH SR: Dean 300; Steam Ride LOL 200; Quainton Express 100; University Challenge 600; London Circuit 400; C2C; Hadrian's Wall; Chiltern Pub Crawl

RideHard

  • The London Grimpeur
  • ACH Organiser
    • Steam Rides & Chiltern Grimpeurs
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2014, 02:05:42 am »
Interesting - I find the front wheel lifting is peculiar to being seated.  Mind you, I've never ridden in the New Forest.

Front wheel lifting is related to frame geometry and weight distribution.
As a heavy-hipped, light-shouldered girlie, using a bike with a short stem, it could be a problem almost anywhere if I didn't use low-rider front panniers.


A few tips from a mate, you may like:  ;D

Rode up a 23% gradient the other day; the fear that I would stall and fall over sideways still clipped in was much less than the terror that with every pedal stroke I was lifting the front wheel and could very easily summersault myself over backwards.
What's the consensus on the best way to climb silly gradients?
a) put your chin on the handlebars and sit so far forward on the saddle you are in danger of impalement
b) get out of the saddle and lean over the handlebars trying to rub your nose on the front tyre
c) fit low-loader front wheel panniers and fill them with sand
d) invest in a grappling hook to attach to a passing vehicle (hpv or motorised)
e) get a recumbent trike
f) get used to walking?

My tipzz..
g) Invest in a satellite-dish sized rear MTB casssette and long-caged mech  O:-)
h) Get your smallest Granny, to sit upfront  :o
ACH SR: Dean 300; Steam Ride LOL 200; Quainton Express 100; University Challenge 600; London Circuit 400; C2C; Hadrian's Wall; Chiltern Pub Crawl

Andrew

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2014, 11:07:01 am »
I know of several short local slopes up to 20%, but MapMyRide tells me there's nothing worse than around 3%!  ::-)

I believe MMY is notorious for its gradients and climbing figures. Something to do with the algorithm they use. I know for me, it can differ surprising from other sites. I live in a rolling/lumpy region, no long climbs and in truth nothing too severe gradient wise (though  I can find a few lumps that my Edge - itself not of renowned accuracy - measures at 18 - 20%). MMY always reports the lowest climbing figures on my rides... not that it matters. I ride what I ride, the numbers are just that.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2014, 11:25:29 am »
Do no audaxes go up Rosedale Chimney?
RideHard is KidsCan and ICMFP ;D.

 :) :)

At least it's stealth marketing for a £5 proper Audax, so fair play in my book.

Not especially stealth, is it?
Getting there...

Re: Steepest Climb in an Audax
« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2014, 06:00:48 pm »

Posted by: clarion: Today at 11:25:29 AM

Do no audaxes go up Rosedale Chimney?

Not to my knowledge now, but there used to be one "the North Yorks Moors Grimpeur" organised by Keith Benton which went up many steep climbs in the North Yorks moors including Rosedale Chimney.   It was this climb that persuaded me that a triple chainwheel was a necessity for my well being.

The Tour of Britain went up it at least once and many of the riders resorted to walking.

Nobody has mentioned the climb on the Yorks Moors and Wolds which goes from Staxton to Foxholes which I remember as a brute of a climb.