Bike Rides with Lots of Elevation Gain

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.

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5 Responses to Bike Rides with Lots of Elevation Gain

  1. Aleksey says:

    Starting preparation for HTT? 🙂

    The downside of the 5.1 mile loop is riding down the Fiddlers. Never done that. But you are right that if you want to gain 3km on a 100km ride in NJ it would be looping somewhere close to the Montana hill. Last summer I tried doing laps around the famous stadium at Rutgers. 3 min per lap! Had to change direction from time to time -) Not exactly sure what is the gain there. I suspect MMR estimate isn’t really accurate.

  2. Hilly time trials? No way! But a hilly loop is a good thing to do for a high intensity workout. I’m sure you’ll agree with me on that.

    Riding down Fiddlers is no joy. I’ve done it. However, having a steep downhill lets you tackle the elevation gain in the loop with a less steep incline. Thus making the laps bearable I suppose. In that 5.1 mile loop the max incline the rider has to conquer is just 9%. The 4.0 mile loop requires the rider to tackle double digit inclines.

    If I try to do a metric century with 3000m of climbing this summer I will probably use the 5.1 mile loop. Not too sure whether I will try it at all, though. All the races I’m aiming for this year are flat stuff.

    Great to hear from you. I won’t be out on the roads riding until March except for the one metric century I have to do in February. But I expect to be doing quite a few metric centuries in March in order to establish a quality amount of base miles for my riding fitness in 2015. Maybe we can get together and do some rides then? I don’t plan to offer any PFW rides this year. My schedule doesn’t really allow it.

  3. Aleksey says:

    Hillier Than Thou — I actually wanted to join last year, but that happened to be a very warm day. Neither of my pairs of shoes is comfortable enough for a 100mi that hard in a weather that hot, so I decided not to register.

    Well right now the weather is way to cold for me to hit the roads on bike. As for riding together in March, that would be great.

  4. Andre says:

    Never mix miles and metres. Just don’t ever use miles, feet or any of that nonsense. But if you have too 100 kms = 62.14 miles not 65.

    • I love your comments. Nonsense? I had forgotten about that pesky “.14”. I grew up with the kilometer being a time trial on the track and the number that always stuck with me and my buddies was a kilo was .62 of a mile. That’s how I could always remember it was 62 miles for 100 kilometers. Keep those comments coming because they fuel tremendous laughs from me! I’m rolling in laughter right now.

      I only used the number of 65 miles because that is the number one of my loops would require to get in the 3000m of vertical gain – not 62.14 miles. I guess the question is whether someone would get credit for an achievement of 3000m of climbing in a metric century if the ride was 65 miles. Technically that would not be “3000m per 100km.”

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