Tag Archives: ibike

Climbing to the moon

Annotated ride map (click to enlarge)

It’s spring break this week in Alabama, and so my good friend Lennie and I took our families up to Huntsville to the space and rocket center. While they were enjoying exploring all about space, Lennie and I drove on over to Keel Mountain to explore it and Green Mountain. We ended up climbing Keel Mountain 3 different ways and Green Mountain from both sides. Then I headed back up the front side of Keel one final time. The descents were awesome hitting 55mph+ on four different descents. My favorite of the day was definitely the Green Mountain west side descent which has a horizon drop-off (i.e., where you can’t see over the horizon) at >50mph. Exhilarating. It was REALLY flat though between the mountains, but it was worth it to enjoy time riding with Lennie and to explore 5 new climbs! I’ve posted the iBike data for each of the five different climbs. The last climb up Keel (Blowing Cave Rd) was by far the steepest at 26% max gradient, although the east side of Green Mountain was steeper for longer sustained sections.

Annotated iBike data for the entire ride (click to enlarge)

KEEL MOUNTAIN NORTH SIDE (1st time up)
Dist:        1.61 mi (0:13:31)
Energy:     208.8 kJ
Climbing:     837 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  257.4   527  W
Gravity   -22  231.0   509  W
Speed     0.0    7.2  21.9  mi/h
Elev      469    896  1306  ft
Slope    -0.3   9.71  16.8  %
Caden       0   62.5    93  rpm
HR        104  150.3   163  bpm
NP:264W IF:0.95 TSS:20 VI:1.03
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 11:36 AM
90 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: We passed a HOUSE on the climb that was being pulled 
up the mountain. They got stuck in one of the switchbacks. 
There are two switchbacks on the climb. The descent is crazy
fast - you've just got to remember when to jam on the brakes
before the two switchbacks.
KEEL MOUNTAIN SOUTH SIDE
Dist:        1.90 mi (0:15:27)
Energy:     217.0 kJ
Climbing:     855 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  234.1   442  W
Gravity  -275  205.4   419  W
Speed     3.6    7.4  19.1  mi/h
Elev      479    938  1332  ft
Slope    -4.4   8.39  22.8  %
Caden      34   61.6    98  rpm
HR        110  140.3   156  bpm
NP:245W IF:0.88 TSS:20 VI:1.05
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 12:12 PM
87 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: This was a pretty steep climb. The 22.8%
max gradient was taking a diabolical inside path
on one of the switchbacks. This had a lot more
twisty sections and was a generally fun climb, but
tricky descent. The best part of the descent is 
at the top as you are coming off the mountain
as the descent starts out with a switchback 
that makes you feel like you are diving off
the top of the mountain for a free-fall.
GREEN MOUNTAIN WEST SIDE
Dist:        1.15 mi (0:11:07)
Energy:     169.5 kJ
Climbing:     690 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      76  254.1   371  W
Gravity    11  232.4   360  W
Speed     4.2    6.3  16.7  mi/h
Elev      462    805  1158  ft
Slope     0.2  11.20  23.9  %
Caden      41   56.1    96  rpm
HR        120  150.8   166  bpm
NP:263W IF:0.95 TSS:17 VI:1.03
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 1:19 PM
92 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: I've heard that this is one of the toughest
climbs in Huntsville. It was definitely steep with some
sustained 20+% gradients. At the last turn before the top
there was a car that had rolled and looked like it was left
there to warn people of the danger of the descent. It 
had police tape all over it with busted out windows. The
descent was amazingly fast but kinda dangerous. The 
car that had rolled was in a decreasing radius turn that
almost caught me off. Then you have a really fast section
into a sweeping turn that you can pretty much hit without
brakes leading into the fastest part of the descent. YOU
HAVE TO HIT THE BRAKES HARD LEADING INTO THE LAST LEFT!
I knew it and hit the brakes hard but I still almost didn't
slow down enough.
GREEN MOUNTAIN EAST SIDE
Dist:        1.82 mi (0:15:25)
Energy:     222.7 kJ
Climbing:     829 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  240.8   358  W
Gravity   -63  209.2   353  W
Speed     3.9    7.1  17.3  mi/h
Elev      458    853  1294  ft
Slope    -1.2   8.88  18.4  %
Caden       5   59.8    92  rpm
HR        103  148.0   164  bpm
NP:253W IF:0.91 TSS:21 VI:1.05
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 1:45 PM
87 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: I had climbed this once before, and it is still
really steep. It starts out with cement that has been
grated at the bottom to helps cars get traction. Then
it eases up a bit and rolls a bit on the way up. This
may be one of the coolest descents I've done with 
the rollers coming at 50+mph so that you have at least
one horizon drop-off.
KEEL MOUNTAIN BLOWING CAVE (STEEP!!!)
Dist:        2.19 mi (0:13:30)
Energy:     211.7 kJ
Climbing:     756 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      89  261.4   431  W
Gravity  -462  206.1   461  W
Speed     3.4    9.7  24.8  mi/h
Elev      563    921  1326  ft
Slope    -6.9   6.40  26.2  %
Caden      30   63.1    97  rpm
HR        119  156.8   177  bpm
NP:281W IF:1.01 TSS:23 VI:1.07
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 2:46 PM
85 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: This was by far the steepest climb
with several sections above 20% including one
26.2% section NOT in a switchback. There
is some gravel and dirt sections that are not
too rough but can catch you by surprise on the
descent. Still, you can get some speed on the
super steep sections because they are fairly
straight. Watch the dogs at the top and the bottom
of the climb/descent.
KEEL MOUNTAIN NORTH SIDE (2nd time up)
---------Selection Stats---------
Dist:        1.61 mi (0:12:29)
Energy:     213.6 kJ
Climbing:     820 ft (Strava CAT 3)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power      64  285.2   418  W
Gravity   -38  253.2   397  W
Speed     5.4    7.8  23.0  mi/h
Elev      561    976  1382  ft
Slope    -0.5   9.82  16.2  %
Caden      51   66.6    98  rpm
HR        131  169.5   179  bpm
NP:288W IF:1.04 TSS:22 VI:1.01
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 3/20/2012 3:15 PM
84 degF; 1012 mbar

NOTES: I wasn't going for the KOM, but I
was trying to put in a good time on this and ended
up 2nd behind Mark Fisher by almost a minute. That
would be a tough time to beat. Kudos to him!

Keel Mountain – north side – first time up

Keel Mountain – south side

Green Mountain – east side

Green Mountain – west side

Keel Mountain – Blowing Cave Rd

Keel Mountain – north side – 2nd time up

iBike, youBike, weAllBike

iBike graph for my entire ride – annotated from within iBike (click to enlarge)

Happy days are here again as I have remounted my iBike Dash with Power. Props to the good folks at iBike who repaired a broken enclosure bracket on my iBike Dash device and a broken LCD screen on my iBike Gen III device – for free, even though my Gen III was out of warranty. Those of you who know me well (or even partially well), know that I’m pretty much obsessed with topographical maps, bike riding, and analyzing bike ride data — especially climbing related data. The screenshot above is from my commute home from work.

The iBike Dash clearly has the best in-ride graphical user interface of all bike computers/GPS devices — making full use of the color iPhone touch screen (see this post for screenshots – http://toonecycling.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/equipment-update-ibike-dash-power-meter-wheels-and-tires-galore/). But the best two features of the iBike for me are the internal gyrometer for measuring slope and the iBike ride analysis software, which in my opinion, is the best graphing software for displaying power, cadence, elevation, heartrate, and slope all on one screen. The slope is obtained using an internal gyrometer, which is much more accurate than a barometric obtained gradient as the barometer can never catch up with the slope changes in a severely rolling area (such as where I live).

iBike slope graph for a particularly insane section of rollers

On my way into work today, I figured out a topic for my next journal article — developing an algorithm for analyzing ride data from any device, combined with data reported from other devices for the same segments, combined with survey-based and/or radar acquired elevation data to come up with a “best fit” elevation profile. On my way home from work, I was inspired to do a climbing route with some of the steeper climbs on Shades Mountain and Little Valley Mountain including a nearly 30% driveway off of Altaloma. Here is the topocreator map:

Annotated topocreator map of a climbing route home from Samford (click to enlarge)

About the journal article I am going to write, look at the complete iBike stats below, particularly note the “Climbing” amount. The iBike only registers 4000′ of climbing, whereas the Garmin registered nearly 5700′. The zoomed in iBike graph below the stats shows why. Even with a 29% gradient climbing at least 30 feet, the barometric sensor only registered a 2 foot climb for the entire driveway since I turned around and immediately skidded my way back down the driveway across the road and into the grass on the other side (I can’t imagine the wear and tear on the brakes of whoever lives in that house). Even the iBike gyrometer couldn’t turn around fast enough from the extreme climb to the extreme descent with it only registering a 2 or 3% descent even though it should have been -29%. Interestingly, the Garmin registered 30 feet of climbing for the driveway and 25 feet of descending even though I noticed that the % gradient was pegged at +17% the whole way down the driveway. I guess the % display only updates itself at a slower rate than the internal elevation recording.

Dist:       34.55 mi (2:27:57)
Energy:    1631.9 kJ
Cals Burn: 1560.1 kcal
Climbing:    3997 ft
Braking:   -270.5 kJ (-16.6%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  183.8   717  W
Aero        0  102.7  2471  W
Rolling     0   25.6   101  W
Gravity -3620  -11.0   548  W
Speed     0.0   14.0  56.3  mi/h
Wind      0.0   15.3  49.0  mi/h
Elev      188    477   851  ft
Slope   -20.2  -0.24  29.2  %
Caden       0   73.9   118  rpm
HR         66  123.1   164  bpm
NP:216W IF:0.72 TSS:128 VI:1.18
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0055
168 lbs; 2/10/2012 11:28 AM
56 degF; 1013 mbar

Zoomed in S Cove Dr descent (56mph) plus Altaloma driveway climb (29%) – click to enlarge. Demonstrates fundamental problem with barometric pressure sensors for altitude measurements in constantly changing terrain.

Altaloma driveway climb
Altaloma driveway climb
Renfroe climb – S Cove descent – Altaloma driveway climb (click to enlarge)