"Humongus" Hill on Day 3

Does anybody know any of the specs and details on the “Humongous” hill reported in the day 3 pre-ride report. Wondering if its a killer or just another hill in Iowa.

23 Replies

Uncle Kraig, June 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm

I too am curious about this. Would be curious to hear some feedback from some locals or someone with first hand knowledge. I know one is out of the river valley into Boone, long and steep; don’t know the grade. The other is out of the Ledges State Park. Both are supposed to be real doozys. My niece rode the Boone Hill during a RAGBRAI in the last 10 -15 years or so and said it was a real beeetch….


Roy Trent, June 6, 2018 at 8:32 pm

Sorry, I can provide neither local nor first hand knowledge regarding the climbs. However, Ride With GPS says a 1 mile climb at mile 34 with a max grade of about 4.8% and the Ledges climb (also 1 mile)at mile 43 with a max grade of about 5.5%. So, they are noteworthy but not leg busters. Of course there is plenty of room for faulty readings with the GPS trackers. A good steady pace and some good tunes should get us over the top with energy to spare. Enjoy the climbs!


jwsknk, June 7, 2018 at 7:41 am

old 30 into Boone and the Ledges are the 2. I don’t think either are as bad as the last ones last day last year. But they both have pretty long flat stretches at the bottom so no carry over speed from the down hill side.


jwsknk, June 7, 2018 at 7:48 am

They also found you a couple in Ames. One right into town on R38 with the bonus climb over Hyw30, don’t know the grade on that but it’s a down and right up, no flat valley. Last one in Ames the turn on Beech. come down hill on Mortensen and make a left up on the west side of Reiman Gardens https://www.reimangardens.com/. then there is a right turn downhill to the north end of the stadium. BUT, the turn for the cyclone loop is before the bottom. And I think that is where all the welcome and info will be.


Bikingaddict, June 7, 2018 at 11:59 am

At the Ledges, there is a steady incline leading up to the big climb. The steep part of it is only about 1/4 mile long but hits an 8-9% gradient. Fortunately it’s not in Monona or Story counties :) – because the farmer at the top of the hill should be able to host several vendors to provide pickle juice, water, gatorade, etc. to the people that need to rest or regroup after the climb.


patrsnw, June 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm

If I recall, the hills aren’t really that bad. Kinda long, but not overly steep.

FWIW, my dad used to ride ’em on his single-speed bike – – but that was in the 1930s. He reveled in beating the old chain-drive trucks up the hill on the old Lincoln Hwy. ‘course, the trucks would do about 2 mph! Dad also rode the hills when he was in his 80s, also on a single-speed.


Gene, June 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Everything is down hill after we did Potter’s hill.


LawnchairMan, June 7, 2018 at 6:50 pm

I too used Ridewithgps for the whole day’s ride and thought there was only a 6.6% grade at Ledges Park. But if you start in the low part of the park and just go over the hill, it shows 11.8%. We had a discussion of this under the topic 2018 Hills. Another contributor calculated 14%.
So, I am giving this area the respect it’s due. I will be playing big band tunes on my Cycle Sound at this point to help my cadence. Trying to decide between St Luis Blues March or Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.


ratscallion, June 7, 2018 at 7:19 pm

“Humongus” LOL! I’m highly skeptical of the percentages I see published. It seems more like big fish stories… In 2016, I went over a little hill that had a paper sign posted as 11%, but was more like 6% grade with a kicker of maybe 30 feet of 8% at best. I thought to myself, “Was that it?” Hills are what gears were made for… Save your legs, go high cadence and use your gears, ride slower, have fun! Just keep in mind that sooner or later we’re going to run out of hills, and that will be a very sad day!


Ken Reed, June 8, 2018 at 8:31 am

As I recall, the hill right before Boone was a pain in the butt, but only because of the amount of riders climbing the hill at the same time. RAGBRAI-wise, nothing beats Potter’s Hill. That may be the single biggest leg-busting hill I’ve climbed in the state of Iowa.


Jerry Garcia, June 8, 2018 at 9:23 am

I realize nothing will beat Potter’s this year but will any hills this year even compare to the couple on the last day of last year coming out of the state park? Those were a fun challenge!


Scott, June 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Here is the hill coming out of the ledges, it’s short but pretty steep in some spots. 7% average grade but there’s a few spots strava has over 17%.



ppayne1959, June 8, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Bah! I eat hills for a light snack before lunch.


RDaryl Daryl, June 10, 2018 at 10:03 pm

My GPS shows a 135 climb over 0.26 miles. Short but steep. Steepest for the week.
Personal experience indicates your should get into your granny gear at the parking landing halfway up because after that it is too risky/steep to try to shift gears.
My suggestion is to granny gear it or walk it so that you can enjoy a second lunch in Luther.


DenBiker, June 11, 2018 at 9:20 am

This is what I posted in “2018 Hill” back in April.

“I know it is not Potters but the climb out of Ledges SP caught my attention. Using Google Earth I just mapped a 648 foot long segment that has a 91 foot gain. That calculates to just a bit over 14% for a couple of football fields. For those who are familiar with TOMRV’s “the wall” this one is a couple of degrees steeper – well off my fun index!”

I have found Google Earth to be pretty spot on in the past so I am sticking with 14%! On a good day that’s about my limit.


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)

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