Roswell, GA

Living in the Atlanta suburbs has its ups and downs, literally.  The terrain in Roswell can create a love it or hate it relationship with cyclists.  There are those who weigh next to nothing, natural climbers, and then you have the more vertically challenged rider… the average guy.

Here are a few climbs that will leave an impression on you, doesn’t matter if you like them or not.

River Run Climb – 0.7 miles at 8% average gradient, max of 15% Strava Link

This climb is found south of Downtown Roswell, closer to the main square.  It starts from Marietta Hwy. (on an uphill!) and once the real fun starts it feels like you’ve been kicked in the face.   You’ll struggle not to stand up or even go up it.   Once you get to the top of the steepest part at 15% it continues its punishment with a lower grade slope but your exhaustion will make you wish it’d stop.

Old Alabama 2 market Blvd – 0.7 miles at 4% with a max grade of 9% – Strava Link

This one is just deceiving.  Famous for its appearance every year in the GA400 Century, it’s appropriately referred to as the “mother in law”.   It’s a two-part kind of climb.  The first part is a good quarter of a mile with a max grade of 8% then you get a short relief.  Not for long…  Soon afterwards you will encounter the second part, slightly worse than the first.  About 1/3 of a mile long with gradients peaking close to 10% towards the end it feels a lot harder after having done part 1.

The organizers of the GA 400 Century have made sure you have to do it twice during the 100-mile event in case you weren’t tired after doing 7k ft of climbing for the day.  At the top of this climb there is Sky Zone (trampoline park) or what you could call “heaven”.

Oakhaven Climb in Brookfield Country Club – 0.3 miles at 6% with a max gradient of 17% – Strava Link

This one starts easy and slowly tightens its grip on your heart and lungs.  If it were a movie scene it’d be the part where you are between one of those car-crushing machines and the walls are closing in but suddenly somebody drops a bomb in it when things are starting to get bad.  Yeah that’s the feeling.

Halfway up it throws a stop sign at you at an appropriate 6% grade.  Then what, you’ve lost all momentum and now it’s time to hit those 10% + slopes… survive it and be on your way to Mountain Park, home to some of the most notorious climbs in North Atlanta.

Inverness Climb in Azalea – 0.1 miles at an average of 13%, max grade of 16% – No longer on Strava

Done with your flat ride along the Chattahoochee river?  Want to spice things up a little?  Don’t worry, just keep riding west of Azalea Dr. onto the Inverness neighborhood and you’ll find a burner.

This one is short but more painful than what it sounds.  You either crush it in one intense sprint or be prepared to suffer through an extremely low cadence all the way to the top.  This is the knockout punch, sort of like an uppercut to the chin.

Want to know a fun fact?  The climb before it is almost as hard so by the time you get to this one you’d be wondering why you decided to keep going.

Martin Rd Killer Hill in Martin’s Landing – 0.4 miles at 8% average grade, peaking at 14% – Strava Link

This one is located in one of Roswell’s most famous neighborhoods, Martin’s Landing.  While this neighborhood has an endless amounts of cruel slopes we will be discussing two, starting with this one.

This one starts hard with a good kick above 10% for a good 0.1 miles.  Once it has you dizzy and begging for mercy it throws you a slow and dreadful 0.3 miles where you’ll be averaging possibly less than 10mph while putting out all the power you have.  Get to the top and be rewarded with a 35mph+ downhill towards the little lake in the neighborhood.

6 Branches Dr. aka THE Martin’s Landing Climb – 0.5 miles at 7% with max gradient of 13% – Strava Link

If there was ONE climb in Roswell this would be it.  Famous for its appearance in the Thursday Night Bike Roswell ride, this is what the A-group (fastest) used to shred those who were “not supposed to be there in the first place”.  Sort of the natural selection for cyclists.

This one starts hard and it ends hard with a little bit of give between both tough points.  It’s lengthy enough that a quick sprint won’t get you out of it any sooner.  The initial kick peaks at 14%.  Stand up and hear your bike beg for mercy… then rolls easy but not too easy.  Lose too much momentum and you’ll find yourself in trouble for part 2.

Part 2 will deliver a blow of 10% plus pain that will have you questioning your love for cycling.  Could you believe there are people who can average 15mph + through the whole climb?

Check the Strava leaderboards around Roswell GA and see how you compare.  Did we forget any tough climbs?  Let us know in our Facebook page and we might feature it in our next episode.

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