Monday, July 26, 2010

Tour De France Withdrawal - Hill Gradients

Te TdF is over for another year.What will I watch now?(wink). Other than needing a life I have been inspired to train on hills in preparation for the stage race hosted by Breakaway Cycling in August. Watching those pros climb those mountains is awesome and it got me to thinking about the steepness of some of our local hills, specifically the ones I often climb.

Google is a wonderful thing and I found an equation that requires only a level and ruler to detemine your base measurements. By dividing the length of the level into the distance from the level to the road surface and then multiplying by 100 you get the % gradient of a slope.

So armed with the equation, a level and ruler I headed out to some of the gnarly climbs I often use to train upon. The results were surprising and I wish I could somehow verify my results.

Flamingo Drive.Description - 5 switchbacks and steep 1km till false flat for last.22km. Climb length - 1.22 km.Gradient@.25 km = 7.3%,gradient@.50 km = 12.6% and slope at.75km = 6.8%.

Main Avenue.Description - straight climb from Bedford Basin to CBC towers on top of Main. Steep for the first.45km, moderate climbing for 1.76 km and steep for final.52 km. Climb length - 2.72 km. Gradient@.33km = 13.1% and gradient@2.4km = 7.7%

Mount St. Vincent/Seton Road. Description/climb length -.66kms of straight climbing.Gradient@.24km = 12.2%

Central Avenue. Description - straight climb for 1.2kms. Steepens at.42km with peak at .72km. Gradient@.72km = 9.1%

Sure makes you appreciate the pro riders who climb several mountains on a stage for several kilometers at grades averaging 7-9+%. Wow! Now that's climbing.

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