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  1. #1
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    Toughest climb in Chicago NW Suburbs?

    Anyone have an opinion as to where the toughest climb/hill is at in the Chicago NW suburbs? Thanks

  2. #2
    AIE
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    midnight melon mounter
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    I'm also curious to hear people's answer to this.

    If anyone is interested in offering their toughest climb in the Chicago area, I've got good picks for the North Shore. Shall we expand this thread to metro-wide?

  3. #3
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    I'm rather new but sometimes while riding in Barrington, I'll approach a quick but steep hill. The type of hill that once you finish, you almost have to get off and break.

  4. #4
    AIE
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    Braeburn Road?

  5. #5
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    He might be talking about signal hill road, north of Barrington. It's just north of Rt 22. It crosses Rt 59 and is a short steep climb.
    Braeburn is great for intervals. You hurt yourself going up it and then turn right on Spring Hill, and then follow the Harper route to the "stair steppers" and then right on Braeburn again. Repeat a few times.
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  6. #6
    now w/ commuting madness
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    Signal Hill, yep... there's one.

    When I first started out Rainbow Road off Cuba was also my first puke. I was coming down Cuba while there was some small construction. The flagger gave me a wave to cross and he asked, "how's it going?" and I got stupid cocky and said, "let's see how I climb this hill and if I make it, I'll be great".... went up cranking and cranking and reached the top. I coasted for quite some time because there is a short downhill. Once I reached one of those roads on the right I took a break and left my... you know.

    To this day, I consider Rainbow and Signal Hill to be great challenges in my backyard.

  7. #7
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    Tough hills in NW burbs

    A few of my favs:
    Braeburn, Signal Hill & Oak Knoll. Just a little west along the Fox River in Algonquin gets you Blackhawk, Huntington & Cardinal. Go further to Bull Valley for several more.

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    If you really wat an "eye-popper", and have a few hours to spare, drive up to Madison, and head for Blue Mounds State Park. The hills in the park are "normal tough", but the trip up to the ranger station will kill you. I did it with a 26, and almost died.
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  9. #9
    your text here
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    not sure if it qualifies as a hill, but casey road and almond road in libertyville/grayslake always gets me good. then, if i hop across 120 i can take the subdivision roads to huntclub rd south, hop on to andover, then take the main road through that subdivision. the road (leonard drive) has a nice rise, and then you can do the down and up of heather ridge road. problem with this is there is no shoulder on casey and almond road, and riding through subdivisions isnt all that fun.

    fairfield between chardon and 120 has a nice little steep. but none of these are too long.

  10. #10
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    I like Blackhawk. It's long enough and constant enough to actually get into a climbing rhythm. Where's Cardinal?

    Southbound Valley Hill (just south of Bull Valley) is the steepest - like a wall. Itís especially bad since you have to go up Bull Valley to get to it.

    I really have a hard time with southbound Valley View. Maybe that short flat-spot-that-isn't in the middle is what screws me up???

    There's a wicked little hill on the east side of Timber lake (E. Lakeshore Dr.) just south of Wauconda that no one has mentioned. Do a few laps around the lake and it hurts bad by number 3.

    If you are looking for some 'crit hill' practice, short & steep, go into the little neighborhood west of Rt 59 between Roberts and Kelsey. It's across from the end of Indian Trail. Take a left on Gateway and a right on E Lakeshore. The next three rights (Raleigh, Warwick and Oxford) are good for a quick burn.

    Signal Hill is mean - especially since you hit it from a stop at the bottom.

    Rainbow will teach you how to get in the little ring under power without dropping your chain.

    Coming up the bluff in Lake Bluff is no cake walk.

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  11. #11
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    Cardinal Drive

    Cardinal is in Algonquin, off of Edgewood Dr to the south. Just west of RTE 31 & south of 62. Go up & turn around at the top, you can hit 40+ going back down without pedaling.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBasso
    Cardinal is in Algonquin, off of Edgewood Dr to the south. Just west of RTE 31 & south of 62. Go up & turn around at the top, you can hit 40+ going back down without pedaling.
    Is that the one along the bike path where i ALWAYS see people walking bikes? If so, I can vouch for that (and many other algonquin/lake in the hills) -- it looks DANGEROUS in winter time.

  13. #13
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    How about Kenosha?

    Is there any hills I'm missing in Kenosha county? So far the best hills I have rode are Bull Valley. I will get my share during the dairyland dare on August 12th!!!

  14. #14
    AIE
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    I rode on Signal Hill for the first time today. That thing hurt. The stop sign at 59 is the kicker, no gliding into it.

  15. #15
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    I realize that this is a fairly old thread. I'd like to see if interest in the subject could be refreshed. How about if, when describing a tough climb (Chicago area, including southeastern Wisconsin), the comment poster use a mapping device, such as available on Google Maps, to provide the elevation gain and length of the climb in feet, thereby giving the grade as a percent? I found out that my favorite climb, South Valley Hill Road, Bull Valley, is a 8.7% grade, taking a 148 foot gain over distance of 1,691 feet. By comparison, Cardinal Drive in Algonquin shared by RedBasso is an 8.4% grade, taking 115 foot gain over a distance of 1,370 feet. In doing so, a user can compare different grades over varying distances. Some may choose steep and short distance over not as steep and longer distance or vice versa. The toughest, of course, is steep and long. Thank you!
    Last edited by tlnelsn; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:38 PM.

  16. #16
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    How about if, when describing a tough climb (Chicago area, including southeastern Wisconsin), the comment poster use a mapping device, such as available on Google Maps, to provide the elevation gain and length of the climb in feet, thereby giving the grade as a percent?

  17. #17
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    5.3% grade

  18. #18
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    Blackhawk was one of my early favorites in the area. It is a 9.3 % grade in the steepest section, from Short Street to the left 90 degree turn farther up, a 66 foot gain over a distance of 711 feet. I've been up Huntington, 6.7% average over a distance of 1,682 feet, about three times over the last five years. Current favorite is S. Valley Hill Road, Bull Valley, 8.7% over a distance of 1,691 feet.

  19. #19
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    Rainbow Road between Lake Zurich Road and Ela Road. It's a 43 foot climb over 0.6 mile, isn't it?

  20. #20
    your text here
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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed View Post
    not sure if it qualifies as a hill, but casey road and almond road in libertyville/grayslake always gets me good. then, if i hop across 120 i can take the subdivision roads to huntclub rd south, hop on to andover, then take the main road through that subdivision. the road (leonard drive) has a nice rise, and then you can do the down and up of heather ridge road. problem with this is there is no shoulder on casey and almond road, and riding through subdivisions isnt all that fun.

    fairfield between chardon and 120 has a nice little steep. but none of these are too long.
    yeah, these hills arent that bad. they were tough for me as a beginner, but they arent all that bad now.
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