CO's Bigest Climb

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CO's Bigest Climb

Postby David R » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:32 am

There are many ways do define a "CO's Bigest Climb". Could be steepest, or longest or hardest. As I look back there are two climbs that I'm in no hurry to repeat. Both of these climbs have several things in common. One, the grade is very consitantly up and steep, two, they gain over 3000' of vertical, three, one was 9 miles and the other was 8 miles.

The two climbs were 2004 Lake Selmac to Jacksonville and this years Rattlesnake climb on day two.

Rooster Rock SP to the top of Larch MT is close but just dosen't seem as brutal to me.

Any one want to offer up other contenders?
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby PdxMark » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:58 pm

I think the grades on the climb from Lake Selmac were far steeper than the usual CO climb. I recall hitting steady 8% sections with a few 12% (and maybe even a couple 14%, but that could be Memory Inflation). I don't think Rattlesnake gets much above 8%, and most of the Larch Mtn climb is 4%, or less.
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby johnncarol » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:26 pm

I seem to remember Jonathan telling us about 15% grade on the ride from Lake Selmac to Jacksonville. I vividly remember hitting the steep part and going until Carol started to upchuck. We got off and walked what seemed like a very long way to the top. After the accident we took the bus down. Not one of our best days.
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby lochmond » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:48 pm

Bear-Camp
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby Force 5 Robert » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:37 pm

For me the biggest total climb was probably Crater Lake in 2007. It was full day of climbing that nearly took it all out of me - yet that day was still one of the best ever on a bike for me.
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby Alex from Eugene » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:58 pm

Worst for me personally was the option ride in 2001 from Frenchglen to Roaring Springs Ranch. Only one mile but 16% grade as I recall. My bike had a double chainring but I was thinking that my knees were indestructible. I stood up and cranked, got to the ranch which was beautiful - but for the rest of the week I had L knee pain later diagnosed as patellar tendonitis which bothered me for years afterward.

One could argue it was more a problem of stupidity rather than steepness :roll: ......
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby Red Zinger » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:26 am

lochmond wrote:Bear-Camp

Oo-ooh yes, Bear Camp Hill. :twisted: Anyone still have that T-shirt that says, "I survived Bear Camp Hill"? Etched in my brain forever is the sign on the side of the bluff on the way up that said, "Tow rope ahead, knot"! Those A.M. sign team people always have had a keen sense of humor.

I was fine on the uphill on that day to Jacksonville, but the steep downhill was not fun. I was very relieved to arrive safely at the next rest stop. But then I walked by the medics station there and overheard them say there had been a serious crash back up the hill. It will be fine with me if we never do that one again.
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby HalfBent » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:07 pm

I've been fortunate in my 20 weeklong CO's that I've had the right combination of gearing and training to manage all the nasty climbs mentioned. I missed Bear Camp in '94.

But, with the mention of big, bad downhills, 3 quickly come to mind: 1997 - top of coast range down to Yachats on Day 7 to the finish. It was wet and cold when I arrived. I just missed the cut-off before they closed the road due to too many accidents and medical response. They released people in small groups and told us to ride 7 mph. The forest road was slick, steep and narrow. My hands were so fatigued trying to play by the rules (and keep the rubber side down). Everyone was darn near hypothermic at the bottom of the descent and we just rode as fast as possible through the rain on the last flat portion to the finish just to warm up.

Second - Lake Selma to Applegate/Jacksonville mentioned above. Lastly, in 2007 the final major descent from above Steamboat to Dorena Lake (Sharp's Creek Road near Cottage Grove). Steep, windy, and poor road surface in later afternoon shadows. Lots of potholes (that are hard to miss). Just as nasty as I remembered it on Tour de Lane Baby's Bottom version in 1997. Only in 2007 I didn't have a tandem to worry about.

The descent can almost be worse than the ascent.

Regardless, I'll keep coming back. Cycle Oregon is such a great experience - on and off the bike. Can't wait to learn next year's route...

Tailwinds,

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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby Red Zinger » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:04 pm

Oh, yeah, Cycle Oregon 10, Day 7 to Yachats. That treacherous downhill was much easier on my Tour Easy recumbent than it would have been on my road bike. It was easy to take it easy! At the rest stop at the end of the downhill, the volunteers had hot chocolate for us. It was most welcome. I remember telling them I was glad to be alive and well. :)
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby mcmoonter » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:18 pm

I've only ridden two COs but nothing there has compared to Mt Ventoux in Provence. As a climb its relentless.

http://www.grenoblecycling.com/MontVentoux.htm
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby wayneh » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:14 am

Mt Ventoux. Someday I hope to ride. it. 2 years ago my son and I went to hear Bob Roll speak in Seattle, and at the end there was a q & a and I asked him, of all the climbs usually part of the Tour de France which was the toughest and he said without any hesitation "Mt Ventoux - without a doubt". I believe he also used the term "relentless".
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby mcmoonter » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:56 pm

Relentless pretty much sounds how I remember it. Watching the pros ride it gives no impression how hard it really is. They are superhuman.
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby Force 5 Robert » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:51 pm

wayneh wrote:Mt Ventoux. Someday I hope to ride. it. 2 years ago my son and I went to hear Bob Roll speak in Seattle, and at the end there was a q & a and I asked him, of all the climbs usually part of the Tour de France which was the toughest and he said without any hesitation "Mt Ventoux - without a doubt". I believe he also used the term "relentless".


"The mountain became famous on the 13th July 1967 when the British cyclist Tom Simpson rode himself to exhaustion on the slopes and died. "

Does not sound very smart to me. No mountain is worth that. Sheesh.
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Re: CO's Bigest Climb

Postby mcmoonter » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:42 pm

There is a very good book, Put Me Back on My Bike, which were Simpson's last words which details the build up to his death.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Put-Me-Back-My- ... 0224061879

In those days there were no team cars handing out waterbottles etc. Domestiques would raid bars for whatever they could to quench their thirst. The understanding of adequate hydration was years away. On the fateful day on Ventoux one of Simpson's domestiques came back to the peloton with a bottle of Brandy which when mixed with the amphetamines he was taking created a deadly cocktail. The temperatures in Provence that day were sky high.

The day I rode Ventoux it was so cold I could barely hold a cup of hot chocolate at Chalet Reynard as my hands shook so much.
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