Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The old saw about someone who keeps doing the same thing but expects different results being crazy really doesn't apply to me. I keep trying new things, but the results are the same. I just returned from a fabulous trip to the north Georgia mountains, including my annual assault of Brasstown Bald. I had great weather (a tad humid) and a week of riding Wolf Pen Gap, Neel's Gap, Woody Gap, and some others I can't recall at the moment. When I wasn't riding, I was with family hiking the AT (Appalachian Trail). The switch to a triple gave me a couple of additional gears and my confidence level was high. Brasstown Bald starts you out with a 20% ramp (ok, maybe a quarter mile into it) just to get your heart rate moving. Most of the almost three miles I saw 16%-18% and only once for a short period did it drop to a single digit. But then came the wall (24+%). Once again this year my heart rate was 10-14 beats short of max but I couldn't access them and had to stop and let it drop back to the 80% range. At least I didn't have to walk any, just got back on the bike and trudged up. The two stops were only about 30 seconds long. It took slightly less than (because I didn't stop the computer immediately) 33 minutes 58 seconds to make the climb; 4 minutes and 35 seconds to make the descent; 5 minutes 5 seconds to decend in my car.

I was looking forward to the cool graphics my Garmin gives. Bummer! When the whole ride is uphill, the graph is more or less a straight (angled up, but straightish) line from 3000 feet to 4338 over 2.45 miles. When I do my "hill" ride at home, the line spikes when I hit the hills, but the only spike on this graph is my heart rate.

There is a lot more to tell, some of it will be posted here, some at and of course family and friends will have the full narrative and pictures of the whole trip.


  1. Hi Jerry,

    How do you calculate grade?

    I am a Austinite, but heading to Ruidoso, NM and I am going to attempt tackling the climb up to Ski Apache (9 miles & 4375ft of climbing). I would love to know the grade of it.


  2. Dustin, as you may have heard in Algebra, it is "rise over run." However, it is easier to go to and see if they have it listed. But to answer your question, 9x5280=47520; so 4375/47520=9.2%
    I did a little more research and while my general impressions were correct, I may have missed looking at the Garmin 305 on some of the lesser parts of the hill. I've done Alpe d'Huez and Col du Tourmalet. On these long climbs, you will find they slack off a bit, like 4 or 5% and you will feel like being on a flat. See my previous post about going around the bends.

  3. Thanks for the response Jerry. I was afraid that was the answer. I was hoping for a google integrated website like how bikely tells you the elevation, but with grade as well.

  4. I think it can be done on Google Earth, but haven't sat down to experiment, nor has anyone given me instruction.