By terryh on Jun 06, 2005
After seeing Trevor and Chris talking about hills recently, I thought I'd post the profile of my local training hill. There are plenty of hills here in the Coachella Valley, in fact flat routes are in short supply, but this is what I mean when I say the hill. Since I dropped my parents off at the airport this morning quite early, I had time to go and ride this before work. It is a simple out-and-back route, through housing estates for the first 3.4 miles (5.4 km), and then up to the base station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tram. This part of the ride is 3.6 miles (5.8 km), and goes up the aluvial fan which spreads out from Chino Canyon on the east side of Mt. San Jacinto. There is 1,900' (580m) of climbing total. I usually consider the climb to have two parts. The 3 miles up to the first of the parking lots and the "Welcome" sign forms part one. This averages around 9%, with a total of about 1500' (460m) climbing. The remaining 400' (120m) come in the last 0.6 miles (1 km) for a gradient of 12%, with some spots hitting 20% or so. That's the bit that I find ridiculously steep. In fact, I sometimes turn around at the welcome sign if it is hot or my legs already hurt.
To give an idea of how slowly I ride uphill, I did the climb from the 3.4 mile mark to the welcome sign in 38:36 and the really hard bit in 10:21. Of course it's a bit faster on the way home...