Big climbs in the vicinity of Florida

Hey guys, my climbing sucks and I need to do something. I’m looking for the biggest climbs somewhere near central Florida. Yeah, I’ve done repeats on sugarloaf mountain…but we’re talking under 200ft vertical. What’s the closest big climb in Georgia? Dirt, gravel, singletrack, or pavement, does not matter. Just requesting “no cars”. Anybody have any tips? Thanks :slight_smile:

This might take a while …

If anyone has a great answer, please let me know the biggest climbs in the Chicago area :wink:

“At 345 feet (105 m) above mean sea level , Britton Hill is the highest point in Florida and the lowest highpoint of any U.S. state. Much of the state south of Orlando lies at a lower elevation than northern Florida, and is fairly level. Much of the state is at or near sea level.”


Re: Chicago, there are a few good climbs out in Bull Valley…short, but steep.

Maybe a KICKR Climb and the right trainer programs? I think you’re pretty much stuck with simulation in Central Florida.


Back in 2015 before I knew what an indoor trainer was, I drove up to Blue Mounds in WI for a training ride before the Leadville Silver Rush. That’s how desperate I was to find some hills!

Another option is to ride a fat bike with low tire pressure on gravel trails - eg somewhere like Waterfall Glen or Swallow Cliffs. Not quite the same as climbing, but the increased rolling resistance approximates gravitational resistance of climbing (i.e. approx linear with speed).

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I know … that’s technically closer to Rockford than Chicago … but I get your point :wink:

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Only ~25 miles from my location….with a detour through Barrington on the way back home, it makes for a decently hilly 80 mile jaunt.

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I live in south Florida and this is why I like doing low cadence intervals for sweet spot and tempo. Sometimes I’ll get threshold efforts low cadence too. It doesn’t replicate the angle of climbing but it gets my legs ready.

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Hi Joe,

I live in Miami so it’s pretty flat here. We usually go to Clermont (Orlando) for a few days from time to time. There are no big climbs but plenty of short ones so you can get some elevation in your legs.

With that said if you suck at climbing you’ll still suck just on a climb. My point is having hills is not that important, you can still do climbing technique in flats. To prove that you can check top 20 finishers in any big climbing race in USA on the east coast, for instance 6 Gap and 6 Gap gravel, you’ll see that there are many Floridians in top 20. On top of that riders that mainly ride in hilly areas usually struggle in Miami or any longer flat rides because it’s harder to maintain power for 3h+. In the end you want to learn and perfect your climbing techniques and how to sustain higher power for longer. You can do it on flats no problem.

If you want bigger proper mountains you can go north of Atlanta, Ellija, Dahlonega, Hellen, etc.


I train for big climbs by riding on pancake flats outside my front door. Lower cadence, tempo/SS, and keep going for 45-90 minutes. Better if you have a headwind. Originally got the idea from a GCN video back in 2016. It works.

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Look up 6 gap century, that has plenty of vert, Near helen. Also look up skyway epic, it has a mix of washed out dirt road and paved. Also can extend and ride up anniston SP ( maybe the highest point in alabama).


That’s about 6 1/2 hours away

And just under 7 for

So solid suggestions, thanks :slight_smile:


So you guys will take a few days and go to Clermont for hills? Like a training camp kinda thing?


When I lived in Rockford this was pretty nice Ten Thousand Full - A bike ride in Freeport, IL

Although Blue Mound is a good option too. The problem is those Wisconsin bars…one thing usually led to another!


You might get some good segment ideas from this ride. I thought I saved a Clermont loop but I was wrong.

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I find Zwift replicates the experience of riding long climbs extremely well.


I’ll second Clermont. Another area I used to do a weekly ride in was San Antonio, just north of Tampa.

As mentioned above, you don’t need hill or mtns. You need watts/kg and the ability to hold watts/kg for the length of a climb.


I do like my zwift rides, no doubt about that.

Your logic is irrefutable…but I think there is more to it than watt/kg. I can’t explain it. It’s probably not even right. But I feel it’s true.


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The Dutch have a history of good climbers.

They also have the benefit of reliable headwinds, though.

Whatever you can do to increase torque and the range of power in your pedal stroke will help. Maybe it’s just slower speed/smaller gear on the trainer.