Magnolia road, Boulder, CO: one of the state's steepest climbs.

Discussion in 'Trail & Ride Reports' started by newleaf150, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. newleaf150

    newleaf150 Deranged Touring Cyclist Tavern Member

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    I've read about Magnolia road near Boulder,CO for a while now, but haven't had the chance to check it out. It's billed as one of Colorado's steepest climbs. I ran across it purely at random yesterday while out rambling in the car, and decided to take a look.

    The road gains 2100 feet of altitude over 4.5mi. That's moderately steep, but also only an average of the grades this road offers. Sections get much steeper. Also, we're only talking the paved section - higher up, the road turns to dirt and the climb continues :cool:.

    Having driven it, I can't say I'm sorry to have been caught there without my bike :eek:. The initial grade is steep to the point it felt like I was riding a roller coaster, being pulled to the top of the first big drop - easily a15% grade. My legs hurt after the drive from merely imagining what it'd be like to ride it under my own power :D

    In addition to the steep grades, the road sports insanely tight hairpin curves, with many marked at 10mph. According to the link below, a couple of these turns approach a 25% grade on the inside. The pavement is decent, but it's been there a while.

    Fortunately, there's little automotive traffic since Magnolia is a secondary road immediately adjacent to a larger, less steep arterial. Between the 25mph speed limit and crazy curves, I imagine the descent will pose its own challenges.

    I don't expect to do this right away, but I want this climb in the medium term. For now, I need to develop more ascending fitness, coupled with added experience descending through hairpin curves at speed. That last, preferably, when the pavement is not fouled with sand and various leftover snow detritus as it was yesterday.

    Link to a description of the climb:

    http://303cycling.com/magnolia-boulder-hill-climb-bike-ride

    Has anyone done this ride, or any of the races associated with the route? I know the mountains of the Eastern US offer grades sufficient to make this ride look flat, but since I'm out West, I'll take steep where I can find it :)
     
  2. carlharsch

    carlharsch Senile Member

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    OK, knee....tell me you'd tap that!
     

  3. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    guilty as charged. with that being said, I'd love to try to climb this on the trike, just to see if I could do it...It'd be a hell of a ride down too!
     
  4. newleaf150

    newleaf150 Deranged Touring Cyclist Tavern Member

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  5. synack

    synack The Back Row

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  6. kneedrachen

    kneedrachen Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    Well, I am contemplating trying to ride up Whiteface Mountain in NY this summer if we go up to the Adirondacks this year. If we take the Sin Bin (minivan) I can put the trike in the back, if we take the VW I will have to put the trike on the roof (I have a Thule roof system with two 594XT carriers) but it'll kill gas mileage.

    This is all up in the air as I want to ride a 106km brevet and after my commute yesterday I am having doubts about being able to do it let alone a 200, 300 etc.