NEW RECORD UNICYCLE CLIMB at FARGO STREET!

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by unigeezer, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. unigeezer

    unigeezer Over 50 and not '2' tired

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    Yesterday, 2/23/11, was a high watermark for me, and I set a new record for the oldest-and likely *only*-person to have ever successfully climbed the steepest and most famous street in Los Angeles, CA, and the 2nd steepest in the US! At a massive 33% grade, Fargo street hill attracts hundreds of cyclists...the two-wheeled variety!...to the yearly climbing event held there.

    Most don't make it to the top, even though they use ultra low gears to help them pedal their way some 528 feet to the top of this monster hill, which is more like a WALL! So I decided to try it myself...on just ONE wheel! Yep, my 24" mountain unicycle, with NO gears to help me climb, no clip in pedals that help you "pull" as well as push while pedaling. No frame, handlebars or second wheel for much easier balance. It would be just 1:1 fixed wheel all the way baby!

    On two previous attempts, I managed only about 300 feet of the total 528. Not a bad attempt, but it was still more than 200 feet short of the top! So yesterday, with fellow unicyclist Steve, visiting from NY, I gave it another try, and this time gave it everything I could muster...and I MADE it to the top!

    I still do not know where or how I found the strength to keep going, especially past the 1/2 way point, where most fail! At 55 years old, my "Max heart rate" is supposed to be 165. I've been riding hardcore trails and done 100 mile uni centuries, but my heart rate never exceeded 153bpms, and that was only when training on much less steep hills.

    On this climb I was wearing my heart rate monitor, and it was redlining at 171bpms, even before I got halfway up! My lungs were on fire and burning like never before, and just catching breaths was an ordeal! I was standing on the pedals, cranking down each and every half revolution, which required a herculean effort!

    When Steve finally yelled out, "20 feet to go", I felt an adrenaline rush that was enough to put me over the top! It was a great feeling...once I convinced myself I wasn't having hear failure! As someone said, this was "my personal Everest!"\

    Here's the video: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nak8TBvykkc]YouTube - RECORD MAKING CLIMB at famous Fargo street..on a UNICYCLE![/ame]
     
  2. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    You're crazy! What's that really steep hill by the new Getty? Have you tried that?

    By the way, I've driven a Kea camper up Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand. I think you need to give that go.

    :thumbsup:
     

  3. unigeezer

    unigeezer Over 50 and not '2' tired

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    Nothing in or near Los Angeles comes close to Fargo's 33% grade! There are lots of streets in the 15-22% range, but that's still a far cry from Fargo! It's the 2nd steepest in the US. I've heard about Baldwin street. It's very close to the same grade as Fargo, but longer!

    Btw, many cars and especially trucks, cannot drive on Fargo because of its extreme angle. This goes big time for garbage trucks, and I feel bad for mailmen and other delivery people! That's got to be the WORST route for them! But, on the bright side, it'll sure get you in shape!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  4. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    If you're going to do the SoCal steep streets, there's also either Oak or California in Ventura, which is at least mercifully short, (and by the beach, which is always nice) and Sapra Street, in Thousand Oaks. Might make a fun project to seek them all out and video them. For you, not me. ;)
     
  5. photosbymark

    photosbymark New Member

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    Going up would be a bear, but can you imagine going down hill on one wheel? Be bad enough on a fixed gear.
     
  6. unigeezer

    unigeezer Over 50 and not '2' tired

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    Actually, after Steve stopped the camera, I did ride back down! I do have a brake on it, which is a must for Fargo! But down is a piece of cake compared to going UP! /