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How flat are The Netherlands?



 
 
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  #31  
Old May 22nd 20, 09:58 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Posts: 8,791
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On 5/22/2020 3:55 PM, Axel Reichert wrote:
Frank Krygowski writes:

the Appalachians. Like most bike tourists, I found they were much
tougher than the Rockies, even though not nearly as high. Passes we
rode in the Rockies tended to be very long, but mostly moderate
grades. The Appalachian climbs are often much, much steeper, and when
you've conquered one, you're immediately looking at another.


Well, steepness correlates negatively with the length of a climb. I
played around with pass statistics a lot using the data from

http://www.salite.ch/struttura/default.asp?ultime=10

a huge database of 12000 (mostly European) climbs. Unfortunately the
English and German versions are broken for quite some time, so a working
knowledge of Italian helps.

An interesting question is: Which is the steepest climb for a given
length or (equivalent) the longest for a given average gradient? There
are not many of these "Pareto-dominant" (the mathematical concept behind
the question) climbs, some nice examples (this is not anecdotal evident,
but measured numbers).

- The village of Buitonne in Switzerland can be reached from the Rhone
valley. It is 2.92 km with an average gradient of 20.1 %. You read
that right. Riding this was quite an experience.

- In Italy there is Pozza/San Glisente, a dead-end road of 8.2 km with
17.7 %.

- In Austria there a five climbs from the Ziller valley to a panorama
ridge road. All sport 10 km 10 %. Try all for a nice day trip.

- In the US, there is Mount Washington with 12.4 km at 11.5 %. It is the
ONLY listed mainland US climb with a difficulty index (sum of L * p^2
over all sections, L being the length of the section, p the gradient
in percent) higher than 1200 (still bread and butter in the Alps, see
below).

- In Sicily, there is the volcano Etna with 40 km at 7.3 %.

- In Spain, El Teide, with 63.7 km at 3.6 % (sounds like Rockies ...)

- In the Andes, Conococha with 117.2 km at 3.5 %.

There are NO famous climbs ridden in Le Tour, Giro or Vuelta present in
this Pareto list.

The toughest fully paved one in France is the ski station Val Thorens
with 1396. All five climbs in the Ziller valley (above) are above
1400. The Monte Grappa in Italy alone offers 9 climbs from about 1200 up
to 1700. Italy has 28 climbs tougher than 1500, up to 2700 (this is
Pozza from above).

For comparison, the highest pass in the Alps, the Col de l'Iseran (48 km
at 4.1 %, steepest kilometer at 7 %) has a difficulty of a meagre
1094. The oh so famous L'Alpe d'Huez has only 1/3 of the length of the
Etna (see above), but roughly the same gradient. 913 difficulty is the
result, which is a Joe Average for the Alps. There are literally
hundreds of climbs more difficult.

On average, the French climbs are the easiest in the Alps (corollary: Le
Tour must have the best marketing), then comes Switzerland. Austria
builds tough roads, and the Italian roads are sometimes crazy. In all of
the Alps there are only 5 paved passes 10 km AND 10 %. Most of the
really difficult stuff are dead-ends.

Now I am very interested to learn which US climbs might have a L * p^2
difficulty higher than 1000. 5 km at 20 %, 10 km at 10 %, or 40 km at 5
% will do. And all climbs more difficult than, say, 1500 (a very rare
breed) will imprint a lasting memory into your brain.

Looking forward to your input!


I'm sorry I don't have any detailed input for you. But I'm interested in
the L * p^2 metric for climb difficulty. I've long wondered if there was
a widely recognized way of categorizing hilliness.

But I was wondering for a different purpose. For a long time our bike
club has made a point of describing the distance, pace and hilliness of
scheduled or proposed club rides. Pace has some vague guidelines
("Moderate" being something like 12-16 mph) but "Flat" or "Rolling" or
"Hilly" are undefined - because how could you define them? We left that
up to the volunteer ride leader's judgment.

We live where the glaciers once stopped, so rides to the north tend to
be relatively flat, while those to the south can be quite hilly. Once, a
new young club member led his first ride, a 50 mile ride heading south
that he described as "Flat." We were astonished that he could find 50
flat miles down that way.

It turned out he chose the route by driving his car; and with a gas
pedal, all hills seem flat! There was lots of good natured complaining
by the survivors.

But that does bring up a point: L * p^2 may describe a single pass or
long climb, but we're much more often dealing with a seemingly endless
series of short steep climbs followed by short steep downhills. They
beat a rider up without giving the reward of epic scenery.

I sometimes wondered about a rating system similar to the RMS metrics
used to describe roughness of machined surfaces, but never dug deeply
into the idea.

--
- Frank Krygowski
Ads
  #32  
Old May 22nd 20, 10:33 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
[email protected]
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Posts: 581
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:42:41 AM UTC-7, jbeattie wrote:
On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:04:25 AM UTC-7, wrote:
On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 9:09:10 AM UTC-7, Bertrand wrote:
Frank, you're a moron. On your best day you're a moron. I live adjacent to the coast range. I ride the Sierra Nevada often and I have ridden over the Rocky Mountains bother in California and in Washington. You have trouble with the Appalachians in Pennsylvania? Are you available for Saturday children's shows?

Take your medication and stop being a DF, if possible. First, there are no Rockies bother (both?) in California and Washington. You mean the Cascades. And have you ever ridden the Appalachians? The northern range including the White and Green Mountains has some ferocious climbs, including Mt. Washington. Southern portions have less dramatic peaks but lots of them. I haven't done the segment in Pennsylvania, but it has lots of peaks. Even the more southern segments through Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia that I have ridden have some significant sustained climbs, but its mostly like doing steep hill repeats all day. Frank is talking about touring cyclists who had to do a lot of mileage across a wide mountain chain filled with peaks. Imagine doing Empire or Ice Cream Grade over and over. I can believe it was tiring, even if the peaks weren't that tall. Could you string together harder climbing routes in the Sierra or Rockies? Sure -- but these are tourists and not day riders looking for a death ride. Really, if you travelling west to east, would you go over Monitor Pass . . . and then go back up?

Lincoln Gap in the Green Mountains of Vermont has the steepest mile of paved
road in the US. Another brutally steep climb, not as well known, is Tanners
Ridge Road in Virginia, which climbs from the Shenandoah Valley up to Skyline
Drive.


Then come here and ride the Death Ride. Then tell us about some measly mile of steep road. I did the full Death Ride three years in a row - 130 miles and over 16,000 feet of climbing and I think that the lowest valley is above 5,000 ft.


I did a five-pass Death Ride and finished top 20 (at least according to the signatures on the poster at the end) and also did the one-and-only six pass version, Death Ride the 13th, which was about 20K of climbing. I've also ridden the Sierra on many loaded tours and JRA. AND I've ridden all the ranges on the TransAm trail, including the Rockies and Appalachians. Having actually done parts of the Appalachians, I can attest that they are difficult and tiring. You can string together a lot of short climbs, and they will throttle you as much or more than grinding up Ebbetts or Monitor, although you will not be struggling for O2 -- but the Appalachians have heat and humidity and coal trucks.

-- Jay Beattie.


One of the years I did it, it had an extra pass with another 20 miles I think. That was when I was young and could ride up the face of Half Dome.
  #33  
Old May 22nd 20, 10:41 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Axel Reichert
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 15
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

Frank Krygowski writes:

I'm interested in the L * p^2 metric for climb difficulty. I've long
wondered if there was a widely recognized way of categorizing
hilliness.


The easiest is the average gradient over the full ride. Whether you do
two big Alpine passes or 30 nasty hills in Wales, you might end up with
3000 m vertical gain over 120 km, so 2.5 % on average (this is quite a
lot). This is of course equivalent to vertical gain per kilometer: Below
5 m/km is mostly flat, above 20 m/km (= 2 % average gradient) is
tough. All this is of course kind of arbitrary.

If out of academic curiosity you want a binary distinction, there is a
physics-based approach: You could argue that it is mountainous, if you
spend more energy for the vertical distance than for the horizontal one
and flat, if vice versa. Since aerodynamic drag is strongly non-linear
with the speed, that break-even point between flat and mountainous
depends on your speed over the ride. It did this approximately for my
"sporty tourist" style of riding, and came up with about 12..13 m/km.

Pace has some vague guidelines


If you are after an estimate for the riding time, I have an
astonishingly precise rule of thumb. If you know your flat speed, say,
25 km/h, you can try to gather the length, the total climb and the
riding time for, say, 20 rides. Then you do a linear regression
(e.g. with Excel) on

t = l/a + h/b

with t the riding time in hours, l the length in km and h the climb in
m. a is your flat speed, 25 km/h in my example, and the regression gives
you your climbing rate b (total climb per hour). Say, b is 1000 m/h for
you. Then the 30 nasty hills in Wales take 5 hours 12 min horizontally,
plus 3 hours for the vertical wall of 3 km height. (-: Makes for 8.2
hours for 120 km, with an estimated average speed of 14.6 km/h.

Usually, with my coefficients a and b, the estimate is within minutes
of the real ride. Once you have your coefficients and think that this is
a great method for years to come: Now watch these coefficients go down
....

L * p^2 may describe a single pass or long climb, but we're much more
often dealing with a seemingly endless series of short steep climbs
followed by short steep downhills.


Downhills do not count. But L * p^2 can (and should) be applied
piecewise for a roller coaster ride. Since these often are steeper than
the epic climbs (and the gradient goes in squared) you will end up with
a higher total difficulty. In my experience this formula (originated in
a Dutch cycling magazine) does an extremely good job in predicting how
you feel after a ride, no matter whether it is Wales or Wallis.

If you are touring for several weeks in a row, I would advise against
going higher than 2000 per day. 1500 might be more reasonable.

Best regards

Axel
--
-X- | in memoriam John Conway
--X | 1937-2020
XXX | A glider from his "Game of Life"
  #34  
Old May 22nd 20, 10:47 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 581
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 12:55:41 PM UTC-7, Axel Reichert wrote:
Frank Krygowski writes:

the Appalachians. Like most bike tourists, I found they were much
tougher than the Rockies, even though not nearly as high. Passes we
rode in the Rockies tended to be very long, but mostly moderate
grades. The Appalachian climbs are often much, much steeper, and when
you've conquered one, you're immediately looking at another.


Well, steepness correlates negatively with the length of a climb. I
played around with pass statistics a lot using the data from

http://www.salite.ch/struttura/default.asp?ultime=10

a huge database of 12000 (mostly European) climbs. Unfortunately the
English and German versions are broken for quite some time, so a working
knowledge of Italian helps.

An interesting question is: Which is the steepest climb for a given
length or (equivalent) the longest for a given average gradient? There
are not many of these "Pareto-dominant" (the mathematical concept behind
the question) climbs, some nice examples (this is not anecdotal evident,
but measured numbers).

- The village of Buitonne in Switzerland can be reached from the Rhone
valley. It is 2.92 km with an average gradient of 20.1 %. You read
that right. Riding this was quite an experience.

- In Italy there is Pozza/San Glisente, a dead-end road of 8.2 km with
17.7 %.

- In Austria there a five climbs from the Ziller valley to a panorama
ridge road. All sport 10 km 10 %. Try all for a nice day trip.

- In the US, there is Mount Washington with 12.4 km at 11.5 %. It is the
ONLY listed mainland US climb with a difficulty index (sum of L * p^2
over all sections, L being the length of the section, p the gradient
in percent) higher than 1200 (still bread and butter in the Alps, see
below).

- In Sicily, there is the volcano Etna with 40 km at 7.3 %.

- In Spain, El Teide, with 63.7 km at 3.6 % (sounds like Rockies ...)

- In the Andes, Conococha with 117.2 km at 3.5 %.

There are NO famous climbs ridden in Le Tour, Giro or Vuelta present in
this Pareto list.

The toughest fully paved one in France is the ski station Val Thorens
with 1396. All five climbs in the Ziller valley (above) are above
1400. The Monte Grappa in Italy alone offers 9 climbs from about 1200 up
to 1700. Italy has 28 climbs tougher than 1500, up to 2700 (this is
Pozza from above).

For comparison, the highest pass in the Alps, the Col de l'Iseran (48 km
at 4.1 %, steepest kilometer at 7 %) has a difficulty of a meagre
1094. The oh so famous L'Alpe d'Huez has only 1/3 of the length of the
Etna (see above), but roughly the same gradient. 913 difficulty is the
result, which is a Joe Average for the Alps. There are literally
hundreds of climbs more difficult.

On average, the French climbs are the easiest in the Alps (corollary: Le
Tour must have the best marketing), then comes Switzerland. Austria
builds tough roads, and the Italian roads are sometimes crazy. In all of
the Alps there are only 5 paved passes 10 km AND 10 %. Most of the
really difficult stuff are dead-ends.

Now I am very interested to learn which US climbs might have a L * p^2
difficulty higher than 1000. 5 km at 20 %, 10 km at 10 %, or 40 km at 5
% will do. And all climbs more difficult than, say, 1500 (a very rare
breed) will imprint a lasting memory into your brain.

Looking forward to your input!

Best regards

Axel

P. S.: Mouna Kea, Onion Valley Road, Mount Baldy and Mount Evans get
over 1000.
--
-X- | in memoriam John Conway
--X | 1937-2020
XXX | A glider from his "Game of Life"


There are certainly some very tough climbs in the world. But for any reason other than to say you did it why would you ride them? I certainly was NOT impressed with the stupidity of climbing 17 (St. I think but there are 17th Blvd may have the incorrect designation) and have never done it again. That must have been around 25% at least. There is one road over in San Francisco that is 30% and I sure wouldn't go looking for it. My practice it to go over hills that are in the way.
  #35  
Old May 22nd 20, 10:49 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
[email protected]
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Posts: 581
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:01:57 PM UTC-7, Bertrand wrote:
Lincoln Gap in the Green Mountains of Vermont has the steepest mile of paved
road in the US. Another brutally steep climb, not as well known, is Tanners
Ridge Road in Virginia, which climbs from the Shenandoah Valley up to Skyline
Drive.

Then come here and ride the Death Ride. Then tell us about some measly mile of steep road. I did the full Death Ride three years in a row - 130 miles and over 16,000 feet of climbing and I think that the lowest valley is above 5,000 ft.


I did a five-pass Death Ride and finished top 20 (at least according to the signatures on the poster at the end) and also did the one-and-only six pass version, Death Ride the 13th, which was about 20K of climbing. I've also ridden the Sierra on many loaded tours and JRA. AND I've ridden all the ranges on the TransAm trail, including the Rockies and Appalachians. Having actually done parts of the Appalachians, I can attest that they are difficult and tiring. You can string together a lot of short climbs, and they will throttle you as much or more than grinding up Ebbetts or Monitor, although you will not be struggling for O2 -- but the Appalachians have heat and humidity and coal trucks.


Yes, there are no high-altitude climbs in the Appalachians. And except for Mt.
Washington (which is closed to bikes except for the race), the climbs aren't
massive like some of those out west. But Whiteface Mt. (3566 ft gained, 8.4%
average), in NY rates harder than either side of Monitor (east side listed as
the toughest of the Death Ride at 3261 ft, 6.5%) or Ebbetts.

https://pjammcycling.com/climb/160.Whiteface-Mountain
https://pjammcycling.com/climb/217.M...%20Pass%20East


They are very long and in the area of oxygen starvation. They don't call it the Death Ride because its a walk in the park.
  #36  
Old May 22nd 20, 10:56 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
[email protected]
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Posts: 581
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 1:57:17 PM UTC-7, Axel Reichert wrote:
Rolf Mantel writes:

which is the longest/steepest descent without any sharp bends to allow
high risk-free speeds?


Well, as I mentioned I have ridden most of the big passes in the Alps.
By far the speediest I know is the Kuehtai (part of the famous Oetztal
Cycling Marathon) to the East. During the race, tons of hobbyists are
measured above 100 km/h. Fedaia Pass in the Dolomites comes next (also
to the East). Grossglockner to the North and Spitzingsattel to the North
also allow 80..85 km/h. Rossfeld close to Salzburg is also good (down
to Oberau). Susten to Wassen is not steep enough, even though it has a
very long (frustratingly so, when going uphill) straight stretch.

For me as a "tourist" (roads are not barred from traffic, I am not paid
to craze downhill), going over 90 km/h is exceedingly rare (Kuehtai,
Fedaia), even over 80 km/h happens only once in a while.

Best regards

Axel
--
-X- | in memoriam John Conway
--X | 1937-2020
XXX | A glider from his "Game of Life"


I used to do speed like that around here but now that I'm older I always thing of what could happen like a tire blowing off of a rim and the like So I normally keep it to around 70 kph.
  #37  
Old May 23rd 20, 12:06 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Andre Jute[_2_]
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Posts: 9,843
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

The Death Ride is where Jobst Brandt lost all his friends.

I must say, as someone who lives in hilly countryside and would love some safe flat roads to ride, I think you guys are crazy in the head, competing for the biggest climbs.

Andre Jute
I wonder where RBT can a get a group discount on a bulk buy of straitjackets
  #38  
Old May 23rd 20, 12:26 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8,791
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On 5/22/2020 5:41 PM, Axel Reichert wrote:
Frank Krygowski writes:

I'm interested in the L * p^2 metric for climb difficulty. I've long
wondered if there was a widely recognized way of categorizing
hilliness.


The easiest is the average gradient over the full ride. Whether you do
two big Alpine passes or 30 nasty hills in Wales, you might end up with
3000 m vertical gain over 120 km, so 2.5 % on average (this is quite a
lot). This is of course equivalent to vertical gain per kilometer: Below
5 m/km is mostly flat, above 20 m/km (= 2 % average gradient) is
tough. All this is of course kind of arbitrary.

If out of academic curiosity you want a binary distinction, there is a
physics-based approach: You could argue that it is mountainous, if you
spend more energy for the vertical distance than for the horizontal one
and flat, if vice versa. Since aerodynamic drag is strongly non-linear
with the speed, that break-even point between flat and mountainous
depends on your speed over the ride. It did this approximately for my
"sporty tourist" style of riding, and came up with about 12..13 m/km.

Pace has some vague guidelines


If you are after an estimate for the riding time, I have an
astonishingly precise rule of thumb. If you know your flat speed, say,
25 km/h, you can try to gather the length, the total climb and the
riding time for, say, 20 rides. Then you do a linear regression
(e.g. with Excel) on

t = l/a + h/b

with t the riding time in hours, l the length in km and h the climb in
m. a is your flat speed, 25 km/h in my example, and the regression gives
you your climbing rate b (total climb per hour). Say, b is 1000 m/h for
you. Then the 30 nasty hills in Wales take 5 hours 12 min horizontally,
plus 3 hours for the vertical wall of 3 km height. (-: Makes for 8.2
hours for 120 km, with an estimated average speed of 14.6 km/h.

Usually, with my coefficients a and b, the estimate is within minutes
of the real ride. Once you have your coefficients and think that this is
a great method for years to come: Now watch these coefficients go down
...

L * p^2 may describe a single pass or long climb, but we're much more
often dealing with a seemingly endless series of short steep climbs
followed by short steep downhills.


Downhills do not count. But L * p^2 can (and should) be applied
piecewise for a roller coaster ride. Since these often are steeper than
the epic climbs (and the gradient goes in squared) you will end up with
a higher total difficulty. In my experience this formula (originated in
a Dutch cycling magazine) does an extremely good job in predicting how
you feel after a ride, no matter whether it is Wales or Wallis.

If you are touring for several weeks in a row, I would advise against
going higher than 2000 per day. 1500 might be more reasonable.

Best regards

Axel


I'm very impressed that those ideas originated in a Dutch cycling
magazine. Back in the 1970s, when I began adult riding, American cycling
magazines contained similar technical thoughts. But now they've switched
to things like "The new bike you need NOW!" or "Shorts to make your legs
look sexy!"

Your post is worth saving and pondering. Thanks for that.


--
- Frank Krygowski
  #39  
Old May 23rd 20, 01:01 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
JBeattie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,855
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 4:26:43 PM UTC-7, Frank Krygowski wrote:
On 5/22/2020 5:41 PM, Axel Reichert wrote:
Frank Krygowski writes:

I'm interested in the L * p^2 metric for climb difficulty. I've long
wondered if there was a widely recognized way of categorizing
hilliness.


The easiest is the average gradient over the full ride. Whether you do
two big Alpine passes or 30 nasty hills in Wales, you might end up with
3000 m vertical gain over 120 km, so 2.5 % on average (this is quite a
lot). This is of course equivalent to vertical gain per kilometer: Below
5 m/km is mostly flat, above 20 m/km (= 2 % average gradient) is
tough. All this is of course kind of arbitrary.

If out of academic curiosity you want a binary distinction, there is a
physics-based approach: You could argue that it is mountainous, if you
spend more energy for the vertical distance than for the horizontal one
and flat, if vice versa. Since aerodynamic drag is strongly non-linear
with the speed, that break-even point between flat and mountainous
depends on your speed over the ride. It did this approximately for my
"sporty tourist" style of riding, and came up with about 12..13 m/km.

Pace has some vague guidelines


If you are after an estimate for the riding time, I have an
astonishingly precise rule of thumb. If you know your flat speed, say,
25 km/h, you can try to gather the length, the total climb and the
riding time for, say, 20 rides. Then you do a linear regression
(e.g. with Excel) on

t = l/a + h/b

with t the riding time in hours, l the length in km and h the climb in
m. a is your flat speed, 25 km/h in my example, and the regression gives
you your climbing rate b (total climb per hour). Say, b is 1000 m/h for
you. Then the 30 nasty hills in Wales take 5 hours 12 min horizontally,
plus 3 hours for the vertical wall of 3 km height. (-: Makes for 8.2
hours for 120 km, with an estimated average speed of 14.6 km/h.

Usually, with my coefficients a and b, the estimate is within minutes
of the real ride. Once you have your coefficients and think that this is
a great method for years to come: Now watch these coefficients go down
...

L * p^2 may describe a single pass or long climb, but we're much more
often dealing with a seemingly endless series of short steep climbs
followed by short steep downhills.


Downhills do not count. But L * p^2 can (and should) be applied
piecewise for a roller coaster ride. Since these often are steeper than
the epic climbs (and the gradient goes in squared) you will end up with
a higher total difficulty. In my experience this formula (originated in
a Dutch cycling magazine) does an extremely good job in predicting how
you feel after a ride, no matter whether it is Wales or Wallis.

If you are touring for several weeks in a row, I would advise against
going higher than 2000 per day. 1500 might be more reasonable.

Best regards

Axel


I'm very impressed that those ideas originated in a Dutch cycling
magazine. Back in the 1970s, when I began adult riding, American cycling
magazines contained similar technical thoughts. But now they've switched
to things like "The new bike you need NOW!" or "Shorts to make your legs
look sexy!"

Your post is worth saving and pondering. Thanks for that.


Actually, Bicycling in the '70s was not like that. It was pretty nerdy with Frank Berto talking about half-step plus granny and some pretty tame bike reviews, minor race coverage and lots about camping. https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...-magazine.html

It changed after the sale to Rodale, but then it changed more after the next sale.

-- Jay Beattie.
  #40  
Old May 23rd 20, 01:22 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
JBeattie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,855
Default How flat are The Netherlands?

On Friday, May 22, 2020 at 12:55:41 PM UTC-7, Axel Reichert wrote:
Frank Krygowski writes:

the Appalachians. Like most bike tourists, I found they were much
tougher than the Rockies, even though not nearly as high. Passes we
rode in the Rockies tended to be very long, but mostly moderate
grades. The Appalachian climbs are often much, much steeper, and when
you've conquered one, you're immediately looking at another.


Well, steepness correlates negatively with the length of a climb. I
played around with pass statistics a lot using the data from

http://www.salite.ch/struttura/default.asp?ultime=10

a huge database of 12000 (mostly European) climbs. Unfortunately the
English and German versions are broken for quite some time, so a working
knowledge of Italian helps.

An interesting question is: Which is the steepest climb for a given
length or (equivalent) the longest for a given average gradient? There
are not many of these "Pareto-dominant" (the mathematical concept behind
the question) climbs, some nice examples (this is not anecdotal evident,
but measured numbers).

- The village of Buitonne in Switzerland can be reached from the Rhone
valley. It is 2.92 km with an average gradient of 20.1 %. You read
that right. Riding this was quite an experience.

- In Italy there is Pozza/San Glisente, a dead-end road of 8.2 km with
17.7 %.

- In Austria there a five climbs from the Ziller valley to a panorama
ridge road. All sport 10 km 10 %. Try all for a nice day trip.

- In the US, there is Mount Washington with 12.4 km at 11.5 %. It is the
ONLY listed mainland US climb with a difficulty index (sum of L * p^2
over all sections, L being the length of the section, p the gradient
in percent) higher than 1200 (still bread and butter in the Alps, see
below).

- In Sicily, there is the volcano Etna with 40 km at 7.3 %.

- In Spain, El Teide, with 63.7 km at 3.6 % (sounds like Rockies ...)

- In the Andes, Conococha with 117.2 km at 3.5 %.

There are NO famous climbs ridden in Le Tour, Giro or Vuelta present in
this Pareto list.

The toughest fully paved one in France is the ski station Val Thorens
with 1396. All five climbs in the Ziller valley (above) are above
1400. The Monte Grappa in Italy alone offers 9 climbs from about 1200 up
to 1700. Italy has 28 climbs tougher than 1500, up to 2700 (this is
Pozza from above).

For comparison, the highest pass in the Alps, the Col de l'Iseran (48 km
at 4.1 %, steepest kilometer at 7 %) has a difficulty of a meagre
1094. The oh so famous L'Alpe d'Huez has only 1/3 of the length of the
Etna (see above), but roughly the same gradient. 913 difficulty is the
result, which is a Joe Average for the Alps. There are literally
hundreds of climbs more difficult.

On average, the French climbs are the easiest in the Alps (corollary: Le
Tour must have the best marketing), then comes Switzerland. Austria
builds tough roads, and the Italian roads are sometimes crazy. In all of
the Alps there are only 5 paved passes 10 km AND 10 %. Most of the
really difficult stuff are dead-ends.

Now I am very interested to learn which US climbs might have a L * p^2
difficulty higher than 1000. 5 km at 20 %, 10 km at 10 %, or 40 km at 5
% will do. And all climbs more difficult than, say, 1500 (a very rare
breed) will imprint a lasting memory into your brain.

Looking forward to your input!

Best regards

Axel

P. S.: Mouna Kea, Onion Valley Road, Mount Baldy and Mount Evans get
over 1000.



Powder Mountain is a hard climb in Salt Lake. https://pjammcycling.com/climb/93.Powder%20Mountain It has some ridiculous pitches. It goes to a ski resort, and I wouldn't want to drive it in the winter for fear of flying off a cliff descending.

I'm too old for the uber-hard climbs. You get to the 20% grades, and its just not fun. You run out of gears and just grind along until you say "f*** this." At least in the Alps you get some great scenery. Onion Valley and some of the So Cal climbs are just grueling, brown, hot and not particularly scenic. The grades are not that steep in the Oregon Cascades, but at least you get some nice scenery, and the elevation is not terrible O2-wise. When I go ride with my son in Salt Lake, I'm panting like some asthmatic pug. My son slows down and keeps saying "are you alright?" Yes, damn it! Must . .. . keep . . . riding.

-- Jay Beattie.

 




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