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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hate to even ask this in the middle of the summer but...

My wife and I moved to Seattle from the Bay Area about a year ago. We are avid mtn bikers and are enjoying many of the trails in the NW. I am wondering though, if any folks have suggestions for training rides once the weather gets wetter. That is, paved (sigh) roads to ride that have significant hill climbs.

We really love Seattle - so we aren't knocking it - but I haven't been able to find any really good, close to Seattle road rides that can challenge a mountain biker :) For example, something with at least a 7-8% grade (10-12% would be better) over 5-6 miles or more.

Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks so much for your help!
 

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How about Squawk Mountain in Issaquah . Its got all the grade you want only the distance is half of what you are looking for so you will have to do it two or three times. You can climb Squawk from three different directions all leading to Forest Rim. The steepest would be Wildwood Blvd. Start out behind the fish hatchery on Newport Way. You have steady 8 per cent grade all the way to the top. There is one section called Forest Drive if you want to fall of your bike that will hit 12 or more. After I think about 2.6 miles you will have climbed about 1300 feet toping out on the back side of the forest rim loop. Another killer climb is the Klein Hill Road off of Newport Way up Cougar Mountain. The road is between exit 15 and 17, there is not much traffic on it but watch out because its kind of narrow, steep with lots of switch backs. The grade is at least 10 percent. It goes to about 1300 feet in short order then levels off. You will go west up and down some dips and then turn left on Cougar Mtn Drive turn left and you can continue the climb topping off at about 2000 feet. You will be where all the antennaes are for some of the FM radio stations. In the winter when its cold you need to look out for ice, particularly on the Klein Hill roade which doesnt get much maintenance. Both of the climbs have northern exposure and tend to get icy in the winter. Nice thing about both climbs they are easy to access from Newport Way and the I-90 route out of Eastgate. The two mountain are close together and you could easily do both, in fact Klein Hill and the 12th Ave route up Squawk Mtn are only three miles apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Those sound like great suggestions...

Thanks very much for the response.

Just to further clarify what I am looking for, something like the road up Mt Constitution on Orcas Island would be ideal. Little traffic, lots of views, good climb. Of course, this is not an easy one to do as a morning ride from Belltown :)

The climbs you mention sound really great. I will definitely try both of those once the weather starts getting rough.

Any other suggestions others might have are appreciated.
 

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the Eastside is full of small hills....

arnobarno said:
... I am wondering though, if any folks have suggestions for training rides once the weather gets wetter. That is, paved (sigh) roads to ride that have significant hill climbs...
The Northeastside (Bothell, Kirkland) is full of small hills that when connected up can make a nice little training ride. The example route I attached starts at the 108th Ave. Park and Ride just off of 520 on the south side of Kirkland. It starts out with a warm up down Lake Washington Blvd., climbs Market Street Hill, Finn Hill 3 times, Norway Hill, Kings Gate, picks up the BG in Woodenville, then loops back over itself up 100th Ave. from Wayne Golf coarse, then back up the Market Street Hill but this time turn left up 15th Ave. and ride back on the rollling grade of 6th/108th. Can't remember the mileage (easily 30+) but it's a healthy little ride. This is just an example route, there's many different ways to ride the Eastside. I live on Finn Hill, near St. Fred's, and routinely ride the area. None of the climbs are "sustained" but have some nice grades and are fairly close together making for some nice up/down mileage.

Here's another fun little ride to introduce you to the area, the SOB. I'm not sure about the route, but it looks like fun to me. I'm guessing the route will include Finn and Norway Hills.

Edited to add: The map below was made from the free King County Bicycling Map. You can get segments on line, pick it up at some of the area shops, or they'll send it to you. It's a good map to have for planning local rides and it's free.
 

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The hill climb state championships are coming up. They ride up to crystal mountain ski area.

Hwy 20 out of skagit country has loads of climbing over 2 mountain passes. I believe the second pass is at about 5,000 feet elevation and the first pass is over 3,000 feet elevation.

Up in Bellingham you can ride up to the mt baker ski area. If you start in the town of Glacier it's a 24 mile ride with 4,000 feet of elevation gain to the ski area.
 

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Hey TB, Are you going to run the Crystal Mountain Hill Climb? I found the web page for it. It looks interesting, something a mountain biker might be interested in. The race climbs 1500 feet over 6 miles so its not very long. The record time for a man is 22 minutes and a woman is 28 minutes. Knowing how slow I am I figure anywhere from 30-33 minutes might be respectable. Besides age groups they have a weight to speed category. After watching the pros at Schwetizer hit that first hill going 20 something up hill, training aside some people are way faster than the rest of us.
 

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borregokid said:
Hey TB, Are you going to run the Crystal Mountain Hill Climb? I found the web page for it. It looks interesting, something a mountain biker might be interested in. The race climbs 1500 feet over 6 miles so its not very long. The record time for a man is 22 minutes and a woman is 28 minutes. Knowing how slow I am I figure anywhere from 30-33 minutes might be respectable. Besides age groups they have a weight to speed category. After watching the pros at Schwetizer hit that first hill going 20 something up hill, training aside some people are way faster than the rest of us.
I've always wanted to do this race. Can you provide the link to the event info?

1500 feet in six miles. That sounds similar to the chelan course, which was 1200 feet in I don't know how many miles to the very top. Each lap I did that climb in 30 minutes (which was faster than most other sport racers).

Since I've yet to race road I'd race in cat 5. This could be a fun race even if I get rocked.
 

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TB- Heres the link to the hill climb.
http://critracing.com/mod.php?mod=calendar&op=show_event&event_id=188

It looks like you need to sign up by wed. I am pretty sure I will give it a go. There is only one more mountain bike race left-Winthrop. They have added cyclocross this year and it looks like DH got dumped.
On this hill climb there might not be a lot of riders but they will probably be pretty good. I have worked up to about 15,000 feet of climbing a week. I was hoping to do ok in Schweitzer except my chain busted. I am going to have to dust off my road bike. I am thinking a few rides up to Blewett Pass and back should get me in shape. Coming off the mountain bike racing season with all the hill climbing I believe helps in a hill climb race.
 

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borregokid said:
TB- Heres the link to the hill climb.
http://critracing.com/mod.php?mod=calendar&op=show_event&event_id=188

It looks like you need to sign up by wed. I am pretty sure I will give it a go. There is only one more mountain bike race left-Winthrop. They have added cyclocross this year and it looks like DH got dumped.
On this hill climb there might not be a lot of riders but they will probably be pretty good. I have worked up to about 15,000 feet of climbing a week. I was hoping to do ok in Schweitzer except my chain busted. I am going to have to dust off my road bike. I am thinking a few rides up to Blewett Pass and back should get me in shape. Coming off the mountain bike racing season with all the hill climbing I believe helps in a hill climb race.
What winthrop race are you talking about??? is R&R promoting it?
 

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Heres the link for the Wintrop Race. They get a pretty good crowd. A lot of Wims racesr plus a lot of racers who for whatever reason avoid the wims races. The course is pretty much the same as for the wims race-fast single track.
http://mvsta.com/bikefest.html

The Hill Climb Race might be closed, I am checking, the web site wont take any applications and the mail in is closed.
 

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borregokid said:
Heres the link for the Wintrop Race. They get a pretty good crowd. A lot of Wims racesr plus a lot of racers who for whatever reason avoid the wims races. The course is pretty much the same as for the wims race-fast single track.
http://mvsta.com/bikefest.html

The Hill Climb Race might be closed, I am checking, the web site wont take any applications and the mail in is closed.
That looks pretty cool... I'll probably be doing the ECC CX races the prior two weeks so I don't know if I'll do Winthrop... But I sure would like to.

Thanks for the info.
 

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Cool routes. I'll have to check those out. I haven't done much road riding out that way.

Any other Seattle metro winter routes?
borregokid said:
How about Squawk Mountain in Issaquah . Its got all the grade you want only the distance is half of what you are looking for so you will have to do it two or three times. You can climb Squawk from three different directions all leading to Forest Rim. The steepest would be Wildwood Blvd. Start out behind the fish hatchery on Newport Way. You have steady 8 per cent grade all the way to the top. There is one section called Forest Drive if you want to fall of your bike that will hit 12 or more. After I think about 2.6 miles you will have climbed about 1300 feet toping out on the back side of the forest rim loop. Another killer climb is the Klein Hill Road off of Newport Way up Cougar Mountain. The road is between exit 15 and 17, there is not much traffic on it but watch out because its kind of narrow, steep with lots of switch backs. The grade is at least 10 percent. It goes to about 1300 feet in short order then levels off. You will go west up and down some dips and then turn left on Cougar Mtn Drive turn left and you can continue the climb topping off at about 2000 feet. You will be where all the antennaes are for some of the FM radio stations. In the winter when its cold you need to look out for ice, particularly on the Klein Hill roade which doesnt get much maintenance. Both of the climbs have northern exposure and tend to get icy in the winter. Nice thing about both climbs they are easy to access from Newport Way and the I-90 route out of Eastgate. The two mountain are close together and you could easily do both, in fact Klein Hill and the 12th Ave route up Squawk Mtn are only three miles apart.
 
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