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2009-06-11 10:12 PM

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Holland, MI
Subject: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
Hey all, I've been hunting around online and can't seem to find a good answer to my question.  Basically I"m looking for the best "climbing" routes in the Midwest (specifically in MI but other areas in the Midwest are also of interest).  We used to go hiking in the Porkies every couple of years and it seems like there was a pretty big potential climb to an observation point there but I can't remember for sure... at any rate I"m just looking for some suggestions.

I'm hoping to do some massive ascents/descents this year after IMKY.  I just think it would be cool to do some serious "climbing" to finish the year out but don't know where to start.

Any help is appreciated. 


2009-06-12 6:21 AM
in reply to: #2212296

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Ferndale, MI
Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
Midwest North Carolina
2009-06-12 8:45 AM
in reply to: #2212296

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Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
Michigan is pretty devoid of decent climbing. You can get OK rollers up in the Traverse City / Petoskey area, out onto the peninsula, but in the southern tier, it's not climbing unless you're on a MTB.

To get real climbs, you're looking at 4-6 hours drive in any given direction:
   - South, to Southern Ohio toward the KY/WVA borders - that's where they run the TTT, 
   - South, to Bloomington, IN has a great tri community and some decent hills,
   - West, to Wisconsin where they run IMWI and the HHH century, or
   - East (my favorite), to the NY Finger Lakes. Awesome riding, rides, wine country, and beaches.

Someone from PA might be able to weigh in on the riding around Pittsburgh; it's hilly enough, I just don't know if it's cycling friendly. That may be a good option. Also the U.P., don't know much about riding up there, but I know there's a hill. Just don't know if there are roads.

Once you extend your drive to 8 hours you're bringing Kentucky, TN, WVA, more of NY, and Central PA into play, which all have hilly riding and great roads.  

2009-06-13 9:42 PM
in reply to: #2212296

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Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
From my recent experience, I found Gaylord to be quite a trip.  I also have done some running through Charlevoix and that's a bit of climbing also.  Unfortunately I cannot tell you the exact roads.

You could check out the DalMac tour routes.  The west route has a section that is called "the wall"
2009-06-14 10:49 AM
in reply to: #2212296

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Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest

The Shelby/Hart area has some nice climbs.  There is a 23-ish mile loop that I did all of long rides on for IMCDA last year that has about 1600 feet of climbing per loop, including a couple of 600-800 foot ascents.  It certainly isn't Lake Placid, but I was very well prepared for CDA and it is close to home.  PM me for details if you are interested.

2009-06-14 11:22 AM
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Fenton, MI
Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
The best climb that I know of, is Brockway Mountain.  Its probably not worth the trip, just for the climb.  Its in Copper Harbor.    Its one of the only switchbacked roads that I know of in MI.

You've just got to find the hilliest areas around you and really work them.  I have a 3 miles loop around my house that is about 110 ffet of climbing per mile.  The problem is, I can do the loop about three times before I am bored out of my gourd.


2009-06-23 10:10 AM
in reply to: #2212296

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Brighton, MI
Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It'll kick some and it's absolutely beautiful.
2009-06-23 11:24 AM
in reply to: #2212870

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Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in (the Midwest) Pittsburgh
rkreuser - 2009-06-12 9:45 AM
Someone from PA might be able to weigh in on the riding around Pittsburgh; it's hilly enough, I just don't know if it's cycling friendly. That may be a good option.


There's beginning to be more of a bike community around here, so it's starting to get less dangerous, but there's still a lot of bike-unfriendly drivers around (but then, where aren't there?). 

In general there are a lot fewer roads in the Pittsburgh area than in Washtenaw Co. where I grew up, and a much higher proportion of the roads seem to be paved---I've seen very few unpaved roads left.  Cities around here have a lot of roads built out of concrete and Belgian block (like brick, but worse), but the out-county areas I've seen are almost all asphalt.  However, road conditions vary wildly; as in Michigan, city roads tend to be more pothole than asphalt, while out-county areas are in better shape.  However, oiling-and-chipping seems to be the dominant patch method outside the cities, so many roads can be bumpy and have lots of gravel.

Oh, and shoulders are almost non-existent.  Many, many, *many* roads in this area are not much wider than your average lane on a Michigan freeway.  Especially enjoyable are the two-way one-lane roads with parking on each curb. . . . and a 12% grade.
2009-06-29 10:49 AM
in reply to: #2212296

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Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
After this weekend and some map verification, M22 from Manistee/Newland area north to Frankfort will give you some half way decent climbs from 3% to 5% for .5 to 1.5 miles at a time. An out and back from Newland to Frankfort is around 50 miles. Roll all the way north to empire and back to complete a century.
2009-07-02 11:54 AM
in reply to: #2212870

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Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: Bike Climbs in the Midwest
rkreuser - 2009-06-12 9:45 AM

Someone from PA might be able to weigh in on the riding around Pittsburgh; it's hilly enough....


Just for an example, here's a ride kat_astrophe, rufola, vrocco, and I did a couple weeks ago: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/United-States/PA/Bellevue/79512442232...
24 miles, 1400 ft of climbing, and nearly 1400 ft of descent (including one hair-raising downhill I topped 40 mph on... on a hybrid with great big fat tires).

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