Scroll to minute 7:30 and watch the Altaloma descent, South Cove KOM climb (at 7:45), Panorama (at 8:06), Renfro Descent (at 8:32), and a second descent down Altaloma (at 8:42).
It all started with my teammate Nichole and her husband Paul posting the following comments on my Facebook page –
Nichole got right to work on it and did a search on Strava to download all the climbs in Birmingham along with the fastest time and number of times ridden. From that selection of climbs, Nichole and Paul narrowed it down to a nice variety of climbs of varying lengths and steepness. I put together a website using the Strava API so that all somebody has to do is copy the Strava URL for their effort on the climb to have it recorded alongside everyone else.
This week’s climb, South Cove Dr, starts less than 1 mile from my house as the crow flies, 1369.4664 meters to be exact. I’ll give it the steepest climb in Birmingham designation given that you can hit nearly 60mph on the descent (and it is only 0.2 miles long). I do know of a few climbs that have higher max gradients, but none of them sustain those max gradients for as long as South Cove sustains its max.
Two more things to emphasize how steep this climb is:
1) As I was doing a max effort on it today, I kept on pulling the front wheel off the ground slightly on every pedal stroke and had to back off on how hard I was pulling on the bars
2) This climb is 1/4th the length of the Pumphouse climb, yet climbs 30 feet higher, and would take longer than Pumphouse with similarly applied power on both climbs
3) Minimum of 385 watts not to fall over through the steepest section (see the ibike data from a ride from February earlier this year and elevation profile below) –
---------South Cove Dr Monster--------- Dist: 0.22 mi (0:02:50) Climbing: 229 ft Energy: 52.0 kJ Cals Burn: 49.7 kcal Braking: 0.0 kJ (0.0%) Min Avg Max Power 226 306.0 403 W Aero 0 10.9 17 W Rolling 5 6.3 10 W Gravity 198 291.0 385 W Speed 3.5 4.8 7.6 mi/h Elev 512 634 740 ft Slope 9.0 18.01 24.3 % Caden 31 41.3 65 rpm HR 132 158.3 165 bpm NP 309 W; IF 1.114; TSS 5.9
South Cove Dr – less than a mile from my house, this climb has the highest average gradient of the monsters.
Here is a 3D annotated view of the climb: contour intervals are 40ft