Posts tagged ‘topocreator’

10,000+ feet of climbing


10000 feet of climbing in one ride – the garmin edge 800 cannot display 10,000 feet because it only can display 4 digits in any one column as shown in the red circle! As a side note, the yellow circle indicates what in my opinion is one of the best new features of the Garmin 800 – the ability to display your climbing rate (instantaneous and 30second average).

So how does one climb 10,000 feet in Birmingham? Here’s the maps and data! 10,000 feet of climbing in one ride – annotated with climb names and a line indicating all the descents approaching 50mph.

It’s Birmingham, so what would a ride be without a few greater than 20% gradients per the red iBike slope data above – 21% on Renfroe and Double Oak Way, 24.7% on the climb to Greystone Crest off of Hugh Daniel

10,000 feet of climbing in one mega-climbing loop! Click the map for the medium version. Or download the huge version to see all the residential road names.

January 19, 2011 at 11:53 pm 2 comments

Cold and Icy Double Oak Mountain

Great ride today – very cold though! I climbed up Double Oak Mountain to see if there was more snow and ice up near the top because of the elevation difference. I was surprised to find trees sagging under the weight of a lot of ice. I think we dodged a bullet here in Birmingham with what could have been a terrible ice storm!

Double Oak loop icy ride

Cold temperature – look at the temperature dip because of the elevation and ice/snow cover on top of Double Oak Mountain

Garmin statistics – small problem with regards to daylight

Beautiful icy sunset from the top of Double Oak Mountain

The Double Oak roller coaster section with icy roads and bent over trees from the weight of the ice

January 13, 2011 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

Last ride of 2010

The weather forecast for today included a winter weather advisory with really cold temps. We went to visit some friends about 30 miles away near Hayward, WI. I took my bike along to try to ride back to Shell Lake if the roads were clear enough. I mapped out a route that took me near the highest point in the area – Meteor Hill. Even though I was on my mountain bike, I was flying home with a stiff wind coming from the northeast, mostly a tailwind. Wonderful ride, and I’ll let the video and pictures below tell the story.


Heading out from near Hayward, WI


Beaver lodge a few miles into the ride. I saw several more of them throughout the ride.


Interesting historical marker in the middle of the Indian Reservation that I rode through.


My Garmin tried to take me down this road. I don’t think so.


Frozen river.


Icy road near Meteor Hill


Beautiful winter scene looking from near the top of Meteor Hill back down into a valley to the east.


Another beaver lodge – this one had lots of beaver tracks in the snow.


A very frozen Shell Lake – with a pickup truck driving out to the ice fishing huts.


Near the very end of my ride, at the Shell Lake boat landing, frozen beard icicles, 18degrees F


Garmin Connect ride data – annotated

TopoCreator map and elevation profile for the ride
(Or download the huge version)

January 1, 2011 at 2:28 am Leave a comment

A very rainy Pine Mountain climbing loop

I explored three new climbs today on a somewhat epic 103 mile ride in the rain with nearly 8500′ of climbing. Classes ended last week, and my students finished up their finals online today. With the icy roads and a very busy day of grading yesterday, I decided to take yesterday completely off. That opened up the opportunity in my training schedule to go for a super long ride today. The only thing that didn’t cooperate completely was the weather. Today was much warmer than yesterday with temps in the mid to upper 50s, but it was still quite wet. It wasn’t raining when I left my house, but within 1/2 mile it had started to rain, and another mile later it was a veritable rain shower. Unfortunately, the rain shower was tracking the same direction as the route I had planned out. So I ended up riding in the rain for almost 10 miles straight before it let up. Then it was nice, cloudy, and nearly 60 degrees for the next 40 miles. Then right about the halfway mark of the ride, the rain picked back up again and didn’t stop all the way home.

About the ride – awesome – well, except for all the dogs and the rain. Seriously, as one set of dogs chased, you could hear dogs barking at the next house up the road. The dogs were heavily concentrated in the Annie Lee, Blackjack, Mountain View area. Two of the new climbs were on Pine Mountain just outside of Springville. I had done part of one of the climbs, but never turned to continue climbing the rest of the way to the top. Also, I descended off the backside of Pine Mountain into the valley containing Alabama Hwy 75 near Remlap, and then climbed the backside of Pine Mountain all the way to the Pineview Rd towers. Also, near Clay I climbed Goodner Mountain for the first time. Great view on a nearly bald exposed top (unusual for Birmingham) looking back towards Pine Mountain and Cedar Mountain.

The view from Mountain View Rd near Springville looking south towards Bald Rock Mountain. Kelly Creek Rd would be in the valley in front of the highest ridge in the distance.

Heartrate data annotated with road names

Arriving back home – wet, tired, and reflective

December 16, 2010 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

Gotta love the commute

Double Oak Commute
What do a midterm exam, excellent students, and a beautiful day all equate to? Answer: a 55 mile commute with nearly 5000 ft of climbing. In the map above, I have numbered and labeled the six major climbs on the route. Also my ride crossed four different river valleys – Shades Valley, Cahaba Valley (2x), Little Cahaba Valley (2x), and Shoal Creek!

My computer architecture students have done really well this semester and are way ahead of schedule, so when I gave them their second take-home exam yesterday, I also decided to give them the day off from class. This meant I had the opportunity to go for a long ride on the way in to work, how long? My longest “commute” yet at 55 miles and over 5000 ft of climbing. I did one of my favorite climbs in Birmingham (Double Oak Way), and I also discovered a cool addition to the Grants Mill climb from the Cahaba River.

Contents of my jersey pockets for the 55 mile commute: 2 powergels, 1 chocolate milk, 2 powerbars, 1 set of keys, 1 wallet in a grocery bag, 1 saddle bag with holes.

The ride was awesome, and my legs felt good so I attacked the hills pretty hard. I had ridden all these roads before with one exception – the cement path down into the Cahaba River (literally) for the Grants Mill climb. There is a cement path that leads from a parking area on Grants Mill Rd down a 24% gradient to the Cahaba River. Near the river, there is a ramp leading to a canoe/kayak landing with a gradient of at least 35% maybe even 40%.

Annotated Grants Mill / Cahaba River bridge area.

The ramp down to the landing is pretty short as shown in the satellite image above at about 15-20 ft long and leads to a 6′ by 6′ landing. So when you are heading toward a flooding river with your brakes completely engaged and the bike not stopping, you contemplate life a bit right before you roll to a stop at the edge. Then you get to turn your bike around and attempt a standing start climb of a 35+% gradient ramp. It might not work so well, and you might tumble back down the ramp onto the landing again. Or if you are lucky like me, you manage to clip both feet out of the pedals and catch the bike as it starts to wheely over backwards onto you. Then you might reasonably decide to walk the bike back up the ramp and remount to tackle the 24% gradient back up to the road to begin the 2.8 mile climb up Grants Mill onto Old Leeds Rd with 665′ of climbing and a vertical elevation difference of 540′ (a lot for Birmingham).

Lastly, here is a picture of the Double Oak Way ridge and my iBike elevation data for the ride … the climb looks much bigger in person when you are at the bottom of it.

Double Oak ridge with neighborhood off of Co Rd 41 in foreground.

Double Oak Commute iBike elevation data

December 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm 2 comments

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