Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Hills Have Names – Clermont Cycling Training

Cycling Tip: If the hills have names you are in for a tough ride.

On Saturday I went to do hill training in Clermont.  This area of Florida is known as the toughest place in FL to ride. 
 When you think of Florida you think of flat land cycling but there is a place in Florida where the hills have names. This area is called Clermont.  The hills in Clermont have names like, “The Wall”,  “Buckhill”, “Sugerloaf”, “North Ridge” “Ambulance Hill” and “Grassy Lake” and they are tough for even the best cyclist.

Angel after Sugerloaf
There is a race in this area called the Horrible 100 (  It is a very challenging ride that draws thousands of participants from around the country.  It is a great race but it is tough by all standards.

My Saturday training ride was a portion of the Horrible 100.  It included the toughest hills on the route.  Angel, James and I battled the hills and we did wonderful. It was a great ride and we had a really fun time.  “The Wall” and “Sugerloaf” were tough but all of us made it up without having to get off the bikes.  Not bad for our first time.

In the middle of the ride we stopped at the best bakery I have ever seen.  It is called Yalaha Bakery. I had a "cranberry walnut sour cream cookie."  If they served espresso I would have never left.  This place is awesome.  The breads were huge and looked tasty. 

At the top of Sugerloaf one of the homeowners is really nice and leaves out water for the cyclists.

Bottom of Sugerloaf

Top of Sugerloaf

Any ride that begins and ends at an Irish pub is a GREAT ride in my books.  After the ride I had myself a good meal and some beer.  They had Left Hand Milk Stout on a nitro tap and I needed to replace the carbs I burned so I had me a pint. Yum!!

Irish Pub
My Grub

Below is the data for some of the hills in the Clermont area.

The Wall (135' elevation gain, 18% slope, 0.21 miles)
Buckhills (223' elevation gain, 11% slope, 2.5 miles)
Sugarloaf (312' elevation gain, 14% slope, 0.73 miles
North Ridge (164' elevation gain, 12% slope, 0.6 miles)

(credit to:  Women Talk Sports and Americas Roof 

My Garmin elevation readings (click to enlarge)

I wore my climbing jersey


  1. That's some good climbing, man. Makes my quads hurt just looking at the photos.

  2. @Patrick: I had good company so it was fun.


  3. "If the hills have names you are in for a tough ride."

    Geez, isnt that the truth!!!!!!!

  4. I know the names of most of the hills in Clermont and have ridden the horrible hundred so I have been on most of them as well. I don't know where each one is and can't find a map depicting each hill by name. Can you point me to one or make one one up so that people like me can understand where each of these majestic mountains are?

  5. Hey, I'm new to the area and need to train hills. I heard this was a good training hill. The pictures you show above of Sugarloaf what is the name of the road? ...Sugarloaf Mountain Rd. or Road 455?