Bike Rides with Lots of Elevation Gain
Somewhat recently I was informed that there was such a thing as an “Achievement” for riding 65 miles with an elevation gain in excess of 3000 meters. “Meters” I said to myself, this is America. What does that translate into in terms of U.S. terminology? Well, a Web page on the Internet tells me there are 9,843 feet in 3000 meters. So a 65 mile bike ride with 9,843 feet of climbing does sound to me to be quite an achievement.
Is a 65 mile ride with 3000 meters of climbing an equivalent achievement to lets say a 100 mile ride with 3000 meters of climbing? I’m not sure I’d say so. And the reason why is because the average grade of the climbs in the shorter ride have to be steeper in order to accumulate the elevation gain. And the steeper the climbs translates into “more difficult.” If you don’t believe me, then take a look at A Handy Guide to Climbing Grades.
In NJ it is not very easy to find enough hills to squeeze 3000 meters of elevation gain into a 65 mile ride. And if you do a 100 mile ride with 3000 meters of elevation gain does that really qualify as a 65 mile ride with 3000 meters of elevation gain? I think not! But I have found two loops somewhat close to my home that if done multiple times you can squeeze the magic 3000 meters of elevation gain into 65 miles. In fact, one of the loops will let you do it in 59 miles and you won’t have to do a grade in excess of 9%. CLICK HERE to see the 5.1 mile loop with 850 feet of elevation gain, and CLICK HERE to see the 4.0 mile loop with 610 feet of elevation gain.