Sunday, November 25, 2007

Five Summits Of Seattle, Once Again Hit 50+ MPH

Dennis & I hammered out yet another edition of the "Five Summits of Seattle" yesterday, a knee-killer that goes over five of Seattle's toughest hills & streets:

  1. Queen Anne Ave heading South, up and over Queen Anne Hill
  2. Delridge climb in West Seattle (Othello St)
  3. Beacon Hill (12th Ave)
  4. Aloha Ave heading East UP Capitol Hill (that's got to be an 18% grade or something, for two blocks, followed by cobbles and more climbing once you get past 23rd ave.) to Volunteer Park
  5. Climb from Green Lake up to the Woodland Park Zoo & Phinney Ridge
He came up with the route after we talked about trying to find all the good climbs in Seattle, starting with the list of the highest elevations in Seattle. Some construction on Othello screwed up the route a bit in West Seattle, but we just ended up riding down Othello from the top, then turning around and coming back up, just to get the climbing in. Othello St is probably 10% for 1/2 mile, so there was no way we could skip it and still say we did the route.

Even though it was apparently 34 degrees when we started, it 'warmed up' to 45 degrees or so, with some sun here and there. I can't wait for warm weather!! But at least it was dry.

Ride Stats:

Total Distance: ~44 mi (including coming from/to my apt on Capitol Hill, which actually means I end up climbing Capitol Hill twice!)
Elevation Gain: 3,102 ft (plus the 300 for me to get back on The Hill)
Max Speed: 52 mph (coming down Highland Park Way SW in West Seattle)

On the big downhill in West Seattle I watched my speedometer steadily rise from 50 km/h (~30 mph) at the top of the hill to about 84 km/h (52 mph) towards the middle of it! The 53x11 helped in pushing the speed, and I could keep pedaling the whole way it seemed.

If it wasn't for a pickup that was slowing in front of me, I probably could've pushed it up to 54 mph or so! We'll have to go out there late at night sometime and see just how fast we can go...

Anyway I love that we don't even have to leave the city to hit 50+ MPH! Seattle's got to be one of the best cities to cycle, for the terrain if nothing else.

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