Toughest climbs in Linn, Johnson counties?

Question: What are the toughest hard-surface roads to climb on a bicycle in Linn County? How about Johnson County?

There are enough big, nasty hills not far from my house in Cedar Rapids to put together a pretty strenuous workout – 30th Street Drive SE, Indian Hill Road, Rosedale Road – but I’d like to compile a more complete list. (I’ll pull it out next time the “Iowa is flat” myth comes up.)

Are there hills that even the toughest climbers dread?

Which ones do recreational riders go out of their way to avoid?

Which would be good training for Blackjack or The Wall on TOMRV?

Point me to the baddest hills around by leaving a comment here. Maybe we’ll dream up a special event for the spring. Thanks!

Pedal on.

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3 Responses to “Toughest climbs in Linn, Johnson counties?”

  1. 1 Nick Maddix October 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    I’d like to see what others put too! I’ll start off with a list…

    1. Sugar Bottom Road –,-91.54006&spn=0.01767,0.055275&t=p&z=14

    Just past Jordan Creek Rd & Poplar Ave

    The one before it is quite a challenge too, and the one before the turn to Newport is tough on the way back. Depends which way you are going!

    2. Cemetery Rd/CR-W38 –,-91.785021&spn=0.017673,0.055275&z=14

    3. Jefferson / Washington / Burlington etc. Hills, in downtown Iowa City,-91.536155&spn=0.008849,0.027637&z=15

    4. “Dill Hill” – Dill Street, Iowa City,-91.555896&spn=0.008848,0.027637&z=15

    5. Benton Street Hill (near Orchard / Miller St), Benton Street, Iowa City,-91.54727&spn=0.00885,0.027637&z=15

    That’s all I can think of…for now!

  2. 2 B.J. Smith October 9, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Linn County

    From a couple of guys on the HBA Forum:

    For me, it’s the hill on County Road E2W from Center Point to Urbana.



    Some Sunday morning take a spin up Edgewood Rd starting at Ellis. Not the steepest but very long. That should get the old heart a pumpin’.

    I would also vote for the ride through the state park in Anamosa in either direction. Definitely a b**l buster.

    Don’t forget about Rosedale Dr SE.

    One of my favs is Hall Rd off Tower Terrace. Nice little climb. Do a couple of laps around for maximum effect.

    Just about any gravel road in or around CR will eventually have a really tough hill. They don’t shave ’em down on the gravel. Try heading west out of Ely towards the Presbyterian church. It’s actually tougher headed the other way as it is gravel. Once you get to the church head north to Spanish Rd.

    Have fun!

    Big Dog

  3. 3 bjsmith October 16, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Another contribution from the folks on the HBA Forum:

    These come to mind, in addition to those mentioned by BikerHawk and Big Dog:

    East Post Rd, both directions; Mt Vernon Rd west from Rosedale Rd; Indian Hill Rd; Cottage Grove Ave toward Forest Dr; Coldstream Ave; Glass Rd (and the STEEP climb up the drive into the apartment complex just west of I-380); the climb both directions out of Stone City; and there are a couple of good gravel hills between Secrest Rd and Mt Vernon (one is a “Class B” road–less maintained).


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