The Fat Cyclist posted a great piece on grades and climbing yesterday that’s well worth the read. The article does a very nice job of not only explaining what grade percentages mean, but also how they actually feel, which I’m sure is a much more accurate gauge for most of us to go by.
After reading his piece, I spent some time on Map My Ride, which provides an elevation chart for each map created, to get a sense of what sorts of climbs we have around here.
More often than not, most of us ride the stretch of Wilmoth between Sutton and Laberdee from north to south. Going that direction, you have a quarter-mile section at 3%. The climb is actually more difficult if you go in the reverse direction, where you’ll hit a 4% grade.
Hawkins Highway, between Slee and Laird, has quarter-mile sections that hit 3% and 6%.
Meanwhile, the beast hill I climbed on Sugar Island while on the MUP tour has a quarter-mile section that hits 7%.
All things considered, I really don’t know how accurate this information is. What are your thoughts? I’m also interested in hearing what you have to say generally about climbs in our area. Are there others you’ve done that would provide good points of comparison (or that you think we should try on the next club ride)?
Speaking of club rides, we had a great turn out last night. Thanks to everyone who came. There is talk of a Labor Day outing to Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan, 30 miles each way with lunch in between. Chime in if your interested, and help spread the word.