Friday, May 14, 2010

Making the grade

To prepare for my ride I've been going online to figure out the steepness of the hills on my route. The longest and steepest grades that I've been able to find are the ones coming out of Snake River Canyon and going up to Sherman Pass. The main climb for each is between five to seven miles at generally a 5% grade with some sections going up to 6 or 7 % grade. I'm sure I'll come upon some grades that are over 7% however, they won't be overly long. I've loaded my panniers with canned food (about 25 pounds) and have been doing my rides to include some hills around this area. Just to give everyone an idea of what type grades there are around here, I went out today and took some measurements. To give some perspective for my local readers, I started with Lower Peoh Point Road:

It starts out at a 7% grade but kicks up to 8% for the final grind; luckily, it's not too long but it definitely gets the heart muscles working.
The longest that I've come up with is Thorp Prarie Road; I haven't ridden it yet this year but it's one you don't forget.

It starts off at a modest 5% grade which continues for over a mile. Then, just as you start going around a curve, you notice the grade is increasing; because you're going around a curve you can't see the end of the climb or how much the grade is increasing. Finally, you see the top of what has become a nearly 9% grade but as you reach what you thought was the crest of the hill you see that it's merely a decrease to a 6% grade which lasts for another quarter mile. The feeling of accomplishment you have upon completion of a grueling climb is indescribable; plus, you get to relax and enjoy the scenery on the way down.


TheMegster said...

There are a couple higher mileage variations you can do around here... lots of roadies combine the Upper Peoh/Elk Heights route w/ Hwy 10 via either Thorp or Eburg, or to make an even bigger and more challenging loop hook it up w/ Hwy 97. The latter has a BIG grade coming back up into upper country, not to mention the final pull coming back out of Lauderdale.

Or you could just go for broke, load the bags to maximum capacity, and ride up to the Vistas over and over. :)

TheMegster said...

P.S. Husband says he'd love to ride his 'bent with you some time when you get back.

Roy said...

I've done both the loops you mentioned, but I'm too slow to combine them and be able to finish in one day; I'd like to ride with your husband but, have I mentioned...I'm slow? :-)

TheMegster said...

Hahaha.... we're actually pretty slow ourselves even when we're not loaded down! On the group mountain bike rides we've been doing we're usually in the back of the pack if not bringing up the rear. So no worries. Especially if we bring our daughter in the trailer. :)