Northwest Hills

Hills, especially for those of us that don’t climb, are often debated, considered, and argued about during rides or when prepping for the big race. “What’s the grade? Does it stair-step? Is there a wall? Mostly flat, or rollers?” While we debate if it’s a climber’s race or power hills and what wheels to ride, a reader sent in meInnovations Rides, a definitive guide to the hills of the northwest, including Cougar Mountain.

The guide has most of them, but doesn’t include the Col de Roy in West Seattle. The climbed was named for Rob the Roy Chalmers who had to get off and walk up it after bragging for weeks about his climbing prowess (he may have puked as well, that’s also debated). The climb follows Marine View Drive (Marine View Dr, SW 125th, Shorewood Dr SW), descends down to the coastline and right back up about a thousand feet at 20%. That’ll break your legs or Rob’s legs at least. Pam told me to f-off one time up it and we never climbed it together again (riding with your spouse is a whole other topic for another post).

Another is the Col de Kent (West on 216th, 37th Pl S) that’s now disrupted by a housing development and roundabout. The Col is a 22% monster that climbs up the ridge to Military Road. Near Orillia Road, also in Kent and featured on the REI Legendary Lunch Ride is the Graveyard Berg (West on South 204th, past the graveyard, joining Orillia) – while just a blip, in relative terms, it’s relentlessly attacked and gives no quarter to the unsuspecting riding who may have tragically chose the wrong gear.

What famous climbs are in your neighborhood or city? Back in the day, when I rode more in the Tri-Cities it was Clodfelter Road and Finley Hills.