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  1. #1
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    toughest cat-2 climbs you've ridden

    I just came back from Hincapie in Traveler's Rest S.C. and it got me thinking there are some tough category 2 climbs out there. The two hardest I can recall doing at the moment are Devil's Kitchen and Skyuka Mountain. There may be some others but I'm lacking sleep.
    6.3 km Ride Segment in Columbus, NC on Strava

    3.8 km Ride Segment in Saugerties, NY on Strava

    What else is tough or tougher?

  2. #2
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    Why not HC's??
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Why not HC's??
    If you want to discuss h.c.'s make a new thread. i find h.c. climbs easier to research. It's not my interest at the moment , that's why. I've done a fair number of H.C.'s and believe it or not, i've had more trouble on some cat-2 & 3 climbs

  4. #4
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    These are the 3 most miserable I've done personally. What usually makes climbs extra miserable is when they have lots of steep pitches. There are many Cat2s I've done that are a steady 7% which I don't find nearly as miserable.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/7806678
    Once past the lower part of the road where it isn't as steep you have about 2 miles of 10-12%

    https://www.strava.com/segments/1489971
    This one just seems to play with your mind as it always seems to kick up after next bend and I've always done it after doing a Cat 1 and a Cat 2 before going up it.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/752471
    This is part of what can be an HC climb depending on where you start out but this is definitely the worst part of it with lots of double digit pitches.

  5. #5
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    Forgive me Trek_5200...a bit off topic, but what makes any climb tough is the speed. To be fair I can't climb a freeway overpass w/o struggling though. Skinny people

    Eat a damn sandwich.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodys737 View Post
    Forgive me Trek_5200...a bit off topic, but what makes any climb tough is the speed. To be fair I can't climb a freeway overpass w/o struggling though. Skinny people

    Eat a damn sandwich.
    I'll agree that doing a climb faster makes it harder, but when the gradient gets into the double digits speed goals morph into just making it up to the top

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    ... there are some tough category 2 climbs out there. What else is tough or tougher?
    So, you're looking for the toughest climbs of intermediate toughness?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    So, you're looking for the toughest climbs of intermediate toughness?
    That's funny.

    Head and shoulders above what you usually bring to the table.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    So, you're looking for the toughest climbs of intermediate toughness?
    not necessarily. most h.c. climbs are simply longer. many cat-2 climbs can be back breakers. i've done some very steep cat 1, 2& 3 climbs. Never done an HC climb that averaged more than 9 tops and usually 7-8 apx. the math makes gradient and distance interchangeable. I'm not sure the pain threshold works that way. ironically i've done more h.c. level climbs than cat-2 ones.

    cycling trips naturally include epic climbs but locally we mostly have cat-3 and barely many cat-2's.

  10. #10
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    How do you know if they are Cat 2 climbs? In Europe the climbs are categorized for the KOM competition in the grand tours. Over here in the US we have very few serious stage races with KOM challenges, so we have fewer passes or mountain top finishes that have been so categorized.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

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    "Never done an HC climb that averaged more than 9 tops and usually 7-8 apx. the math makes gradient and distance interchangeable."

    Brasstown Bald in Georgia. It's only a little over 5km long but averages well into double digits. It was used several times in the Tour de Georgia and classified as HC. Lance Armstrong's comment on it was (paraphrasing here): "When we passed the 10k to go sign I was thinking there is no way we are getting up there in just 10k, but when you go straight up the side of the mountain you gain elevation quickly."
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    So, you're looking for the toughest climbs of intermediate toughness?
    Bingo!

  13. #13
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    I don't really understand this question and know little about catagorization of climbs but if you want an easier climb that's harder than a harder one all I can think of is do hill repeats on it, do it at the end of a long difficult ride, or use the wrong gearing.

    Lincoln Gap in VT is one I can think of that's absolutely brutal but may not be considered such by some formula because its not that long though.

    Explore the course | VT Gran Fondo
    "With a 24% maximum grade and an average grade of 15%, the east side of Lincoln Gap is reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S."

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    not necessarily. most h.c. climbs are simply longer. many cat-2 climbs can be back breakers. i've done some very steep cat 1, 2& 3 climbs. Never done an HC climb that averaged more than 9 tops and usually 7-8 apx. the math makes gradient and distance interchangeable. I'm not sure the pain threshold works that way. ironically i've done more h.c. level climbs than cat-2 ones.
    "The math" usually just multiplies the length of the climb by the gradient, so it is really basing the classification on the vertical distance. If you climb 1000m, for example, it will be HC regardless of how long the climb is. Do you think you are more likely to find roads that average 5% for 20km or 10% for 10km?

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    Well if it really get's tough, we could just call it a C3 and turn around! CYA for coffee!

    And how do you know what C it is?
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    How do you know if they are Cat 2 climbs? In Europe the climbs are categorized for the KOM competition in the grand tours. Over here in the US we have very few serious stage races with KOM challenges, so we have fewer passes or mountain top finishes that have been so categorized.
    pretty sure it is by strava metric.
    cats in any stage race is also determined by when in the race etc. Dauphine Libere has had climbs with higher rating as the exact same climb a month later in the tour.

    edit: or we can go old school and determine cats roughly by what gear a car has to drive up it in
    Blows your hair back.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    I just came back from Hincapie in Traveler's Rest S.C. and it got me thinking there are some tough category 2 climbs out there. The two hardest I can recall doing at the moment are Devil's Kitchen and Skyuka Mountain. There may be some others but I'm lacking sleep.
    6.3 km Ride Segment in Columbus, NC on Strava

    3.8 km Ride Segment in Saugerties, NY on Strava

    What else is tough or tougher?
    Hope you had a good time, I was there also. Heard there was a wreck early on, just glad I worked extra hard to get towards the front ASAP.
    Skyuka is rough but all the switchbacks help take the sting out a little IMHO, PM me next time you're in town, we'll hit some other climbs I know of.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
    Quote Originally Posted by merckx56
    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

  18. #18
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    If you're talking about Strava ratings, "Level 2" seems to be pretty broad...

    In the Bay Area (mostly South Bay or Peninsula), a few examples are OLH, Sierra, Mt Umunhum, Kings, and Page Mill... all rated "2" but OLH while beautiful is not super tough at least compared to Mt Umunhum which is a death march...

    Anyway personally I found Sierra very hard and Mt Um to be ridiculous. OLH, Kings, and Page Mill all much more manageable for me personally.

    Edit: + to get to Mt Umunhum you have to go up Hicks first so you've already been sapped a bit.
    Last edited by jetdog9; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:38 PM.

  19. #19
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    All the gear and no idea

  20. #20
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    I just ride.
    Oh my, a troll who doesn't know the difference between your and you're. What will they think of next?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by upstateSC-rider View Post
    Hope you had a good time, I was there also. Heard there was a wreck early on, just glad I worked extra hard to get towards the front ASAP.
    Skyuka is rough but all the switchbacks help take the sting out a little IMHO, PM me next time you're in town, we'll hit some other climbs I know of.
    Thanks, Skyuka wasn't too bad, I had a harder time on Howard's gap. I was good for almost all of it but after 1.26 miles from the start i didn't see the end and mentally didn't have it. I might have been able to push it if I knew the end was that near but I guess playing that game in one's head is useless. If I go next year I'll take you up on it. If I do it again I'll have to get the hotel in Traveler's Rest. I did not enjoy staying in Greenville by the mall.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I don't really understand this question and know little about catagorization of climbs but if you want an easier climb that's harder than a harder one all I can think of is do hill repeats on it, do it at the end of a long difficult ride, or use the wrong gearing.

    Lincoln Gap in VT is one I can think of that's absolutely brutal but may not be considered such by some formula because its not that long though.

    Explore the course | VT Gran Fondo
    "With a 24% maximum grade and an average grade of 15%, the east side of Lincoln Gap is reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S."
    The nice thing about tough cat-2 rated climbs is they tend to be steep but not 8-12 miles long and to be honest those long climbs don't exist where I am. We only have one local cat-2 rated climb and its not particularly hard. I've done some nice cat-2 rated climbs in Girona El's Angels but that's not a particularly hard climb, it's just fun

    Oh and I hate repeats. I find the concept boring. To train for an event I did 5 repeats up a local climb a few months ago called Bear Mountain. It did nothing for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    I don't really understand this question and know little about catagorization of climbs but if you want an easier climb that's harder than a harder one all I can think of is do hill repeats on it, do it at the end of a long difficult ride, or use the wrong gearing.

    Lincoln Gap in VT is one I can think of that's absolutely brutal but may not be considered such by some formula because its not that long though.

    Explore the course | VT Gran Fondo
    "With a 24% maximum grade and an average grade of 15%, the east side of Lincoln Gap is reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S."
    Not sure if Strava's Segment Explore works if you aren't signed in or don't have an account but you can filter by climb category (cat 2 or higher etc) and pan around the map and it should show if there are any in that area assuming a segment was created for it.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/explore

    Most of the gaps around Lincoln are Cat 2s, including Lincoln gap and from guys I know who have ridden these Lincoln sounds like the toughest. A few of the guys I've ridden with did a 6 gap ride earlier this year which looked pretty brutal, 132 miles with 12361ft of climbing. They hit Brandon Gap, Middlebury, Lincoln, App gap, Roxbury, and Rochester. I have yet to get up into VT for riding so I haven't had the pleasure/pain of doing any of these.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by taodemon View Post
    Not sure if Strava's Segment Explore works if you aren't signed in or don't have an account but you can filter by climb category (cat 2 or higher etc) and pan around the map and it should show if there are any in that area assuming a segment was created for it.

    https://www.strava.com/segments/explore

    Most of the gaps around Lincoln are Cat 2s, including Lincoln gap and from guys I know who have ridden these Lincoln sounds like the toughest. A few of the guys I've ridden with did a 6 gap ride earlier this year which looked pretty brutal, 132 miles with 12361ft of climbing. They hit Brandon Gap, Middlebury, Lincoln, App gap, Roxbury, and Rochester. I have yet to get up into VT for riding so I haven't had the pleasure/pain of doing any of these.
    thanks, i just ran it, i forgot about this function. some really odd climbs come up. sometimes people string together something that rates as a climb but doesn't really feel like a natural segment.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    thanks, i just ran it, i forgot about this function. some really odd climbs come up. sometimes people string together something that rates as a climb but doesn't really feel like a natural segment.
    Yeah, sometimes there are some dumb segments that cross busy roads or some 15 mile cat 2 at 2% average that people have created but if you are looking for climbs it is a pretty good way of finding them .

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