The Climbs

While Gran Fondo NJ is a Ride, not a Race, the event offers some competitive challenges in our timed hill climbs.  There are King of the Mountain and Queen of the Mountain awards for the Gran, Medio and Piccolo routes, as well as Men’s and Women’s Team Awards.

When planning your ride, keep in mind that the timed climbs represent only a fraction of the climbs on the routes and there is still plenty of climbing in between.

Gran

The Doggone Hard Hill Climb is the first climb of the Medio and Gran Routes starting at mile 26.  As riders enter the climb, the first thing they notice is the drop in temperature (between 5 and 10 ºF) provided by the forest canopy as well as the Black River on the right.  Don’t get overconfident on the first half of the climb, which averages about 3%, because half way through the road kicks to the left and the real climbing begins and the gradient varies between 8% and 13% on the last half. The Finish Marker at the top is always a welcome sign, and once past the timing mat, the faster riders can wait at the side of the route for others in their group without the feeling of being penalized.
Doggone Hard
The Roller Coaster is the second climb of the Gran Route starting at mile 57. It kicks up to the right as you leave the Delaware River to your left, and unlike the first climb, starts off with a steep gradient (like the first climb of a roller coaster) and then once you crest the top, your momentum should help carry you through the series of rollers at the finish.
Roller Coaster
The No Pain, No Gain Hill Climb is the third climb on the Gran and in the opinion of many, the toughest climb of the event. By the time riders reach it they will already have 73 miles in their legs, and over 5,200 feet of climbing so far.  The climb is 2.2 miles of constantly varying gradient between 5% and 13% so you can’t establish any efficient rhythm.  About the only relief on this climb is the shade from the forest canopy, the cooling effect of the  stream beside the road, and the beautiful scenery if you can lift your eyes off the next 50 feet of pavement in front of you.
No Pain, No Gain
The Team in Training Hill Climb is the last timed climb of the Gran Route (at mile 80)  and the Medio Route (at mile 35).  It is a relatively relaxing ride up Frog Hollow Road under the shade of the trees and finishes off under full sun. Make sure you save enough gas in your legs for the short sharp kicker at the finish.
Team in Training

MiGran(e)

The Doggone Hard Hill Climb is the first climb of the Medio and Gran Routes starting at mile 26.  As riders enter the climb, the first thing they notice is the drop in temperature (between 5 and 10 ºF) provided by the forest canopy as well as the Black River on the right.  Don’t get overconfident on the first half of the climb, which averages about 3%, because half way through the road kicks to the left and the real climbing begins and the gradient varies between 8% and 13% on the last half. The Finish Marker at the top is always a welcome sign, and once past the timing mat, the faster riders can wait at the side of the route for others in their group without the feeling of being penalized.
Doggone Hard
The No Pain, No Gain Hill Climb is the third climb on the Gran and in the opinion of many, the toughest climb of the event. By the time riders reach it they will already have 73 miles in their legs, and over 5,200 feet of climbing so far.  The climb is 2.2 miles of constantly varying gradient between 5% and 13% so you can’t establish any efficient rhythm.  About the only relief on this climb is the shade from the forest canopy, the cooling effect of the  stream beside the road, and the beautiful scenery if you can lift your eyes off the next 50 feet of pavement in front of you.
No Pain, No Gain
The Team in Training Hill Climb is the last timed climb of the Gran Route (at mile 80)  and the Medio Route (at mile 35).  It is a relatively relaxing ride up Frog Hollow Road under the shade of the trees and finishes off under full sun. Make sure you save enough gas in your legs for the short sharp kicker at the finish.
Team in Training

Medio

The Doggone Hard Hill Climb is the first climb of the Medio and Gran Routes starting at mile 26.  As riders enter the climb, the first thing they notice is the drop in temperature (between 5 and 10 ºF) provided by the forest canopy as well as the Black River on the right.  Don’t get overconfident on the first half of the climb, which averages about 3%, because half way through the road kicks to the left and the real climbing begins and the gradient varies between 8% and 13% on the last half. The Finish Marker at the top is always a welcome sign, and once past the timing mat, the faster riders can wait at the side of the route for others in their group without the feeling of being penalized.
Doggone Hard
The Team in Training Hill Climb is the last timed climb of the Gran Route (at mile 80)  and the Medio Route (at mile 35).  It is a relatively relaxing ride up Frog Hollow Road under the shade of the trees and finishes off under full sun. Make sure you save enough gas in your legs for the short sharp kicker at the finish.
Team in Training

Piccolo

The Mendham Mile is the timed climb for the Piccolo riders starting at mile 28 and winds its way 1.5 miles through a quaint neighborhood in Mendam. The biggest feature on the ride is a trip past the former residence of Whitney Houston on your left at mile 1.2 of the climb.
Mendham Mile