Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Comparing the Terrible Two, Climb to Kaiser, and Death Ride: Profiles

Last time I used grade histograms and total climbing versus climbing threshold to compare three really solid one-day riding challenges: the Death Ride, Climb to Kaiser, and the Terrible Two.

What I left out is sort of the obvious: the route profiles. Every big ride shows its route profile, and they all tend to sort of look the same: up and down. So to compare the three, I plotted them on the same axes. I use km for distance and meters for altitude:


That one's worth more than the measly 100 kpixels shown here, so if you click on the plot you should see a higher resolution version.

Anyway, the Death Ride and Climb to Kaiser look sort of imposing here. The Terrible Two is almost lost under the giant altitudes of those other two rides. Climb to Kaiser is perhaps most striking of the three, starting down in the lowlands before rising to and beyond the lofty altitudes of the Death Ride. Indeed, Climb to Kaiser is a very special ride, one I often recommend to those who think the Death Ride is the best thing since the invention of the cable-actuated derailleur.

Next time I'll introduce yet another way to plot the altitude data: total climbing versus distance, where for each distance the ride segment was chosen to maximize the climbing.

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