What could be more enticing than an event that claims to be “The Toughest Hill Climb in the World?” A ride that attracts professional cyclists like Tyler Hamilton and Tom Danielson each year? We found out about Mt. Washington because we bought a book listing the 100 toughest cycling climbs in the country, and Mt. Washington ranks #1. Bryce Whiting and Bryan Pate went out to New Hampshire to see whether ElliptiGO riders could compete alongside cyclists on such a challenging course.
A Uniquely Tough Challenge
What they faced when they got there was no joke. Mt. Washington is a relentless climb with dozens of pitches that are steeper than 15% and many more that break 20%. This 7.6-mile ride has a 4,650 foot elevation gain with a 12% average grade. Unlike most other climbs, there are no breaks – it’s a steep incline from start to finish. To make things even tougher, about halfway through the climb the pavement ends and the riders climb on a dirt road for about a mile before the pavement begins again. There’s a reason that when you drive your car up to the top, they give you a bumper sticker that says “This car made it up the Mt. Washington Auto Road.” In fact, there are some cars that they prohibit from even attempting the climb for safety reasons.
During the ride, the ElliptiGO riders passed about a dozen cyclists who were walking their bikes up the mountain. As you might expect, the cyclists and spectators were shocked that Bryan and Bryce not only completed the climb, but beat a number of cyclists. Bryce established the elliptical running record for climbing Mt. Washington by reaching the top in 1:54:22 with Bryan finishing seven minutes later. Once again, the ElliptiGO proved up to the challenge of taking on one of the toughest cycling events in the world.