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The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike) in California Paperback – February 1, 2010


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Paperback, February 1, 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Brigham Distributing (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979257123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979257124
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #989,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It has clearly written descriptions and technical data on good climbs in California.
Jim
I would be totally disappointed in going to Chico, and climbing the Honey Rd. climb...that is not a climb.
jbsonoma
It is a comprehensive compendium of the best climbing road bike rides in California.
oenomikey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By jbsonoma on August 15, 2010
Verified Purchase
As a guide, yes, the book is helpful, however, it can also be misleading, and, if you relied upon it to get you some of the best climbs, you could be very disappointed.

Living in the Northbay/Wine Country, the climbs in this guide are okay, but, not really the typical climbs....in fact, the epic climbs aren't even in the book. Trinity is okay and the review is okay, but, how do you not include Cavedale, Vedeer, Sugarloaf, Sonoma Mountain? How do you include Ft. Ross Rd., but not King's Ridge or Coleman Valley? Howell Mountain, okay, but no Atlas Peak or Spring Mountain?

Further, if you did use this as a guide, thinking from the point of not knowing the area, the description of Oakville Grade was totally misleading. The author sends you up from Napa on Hwy 29. You do not want to ride on 29 when you can ride adjacent to it on Solano Ave without having freeway traffic blowing by you. Also, how about putting more accurate mileage to the Oakville Grade turn versus saying travel north from Napa for several miles, especially if he has you on 29. Then he says, left on Oakville Grade, go 3.2 miles and at the bottom of your descent is the beginning of the climb....you actually just completed what is considered by most, the most difficult climb in the Napa/Sonoma area getting to the back of Trinity that he refers to as the Oakville Grade....(Page 61). Once you've completed this climb, at the bottom of Trinity at Hwy 12, does he expect you to turn around and go back the same way? That's another flaw that I found is you may have conquered the climb, but then what? In this case, you have the Trinity Grade climb to go back over and then another short climb to get back to Napa.....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JBL Bike Man on February 7, 2010
If you want to be familiar with cycling climbing and all of the many hill climbs in the state of California this is the resource. The book contains a section on climbing training but most of the book is devoted to 201 of the most difficult climbs in that state divided into 4 regions (northern CA, central, southern and Bay Area). There are also multiple rankings overall, by region, by distance, etc. It also contains an additional data section on each listed climb which has all of the data anyone could want. Some good pics and other resources add to the value and you cannot find this data in one place anywhere else. It makes you dream of a trip or trips to try to hit as many of these climbs as possible. Directions to some are a bit thin but with a map you will find them. If you like to climb in CA this is the guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EdwardJames on February 17, 2010
Do you know how many times you question a climbs stats or its comparison to other climbs? Well with this guide you have the answers in your hand. This is a great book, the bible of climbing in CA if you will. Skipping the debate of which climbs are the most difficult (which this guide quantifies as well as any I have seen) you will admire this book for its command of stats and facts. It is current and concise and these are climbs the author has made.

Stats on the book are that it includes 200 climb descriptions divided into 4 regions of CA. Each climb is well laid out with as much data as you could want. The book also has multiple ratings and rankings and I particularly like the regional rankings. Each region has a map that locates each hill climb. A lot of pictures are included which may motivate you to get out and ride.

It is hard to believe that this book may be better than the author's nationwide climbing book (The Complete Guide to Climbing by Bike) but I think it is. The book points out many climbs close to those I have done but just did not know they were there and has made me change my choices of which climbs to tackle in the future. I got several copies to give to other riders.
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This book contains loads of useful information about its topic - but the organization is awful. For example: you must refer to three different locations in the book in order to a) find the climb's number in the table of contents b) locate the climb on the map pages - found on pages 48-51 and c) read the climb info - which is NOT referenced by, and in fact does not even contain, the number obtained from the table of contents. This results in a lot of flipping back and forth, and searching through the book to track down basic info about a given climb. After all that you may want to refer to ANOTHER section of the book to get additional data...

The data is all there, it's just difficult to get at.
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I don't look at this as a complete guide; it's a guide written by someone who has found great climbs, and knows there are more out there to include in the next edition.

I would add Iowa Hill: Two miles of living heck (or something), followed by 16 miles of rolling up. Scenic and much more challenging than Honey Run.

I would add Oxbow Corkscrew Wall; 5 miles from 1,200 feet to 3,600 feet, followed by 20 miles of climbing to 6,500 feet. Your reward: An epic 18 mile descent from 6,500 feet to 1,200 feet. But don't be too proud of yourself, because you're then punished by a 9 mile climb back to Foresthill. The Mosquito Ridge-French Meadows loop is a full-day, 12 mph 75 mile ride with far too much climbing.
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