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Railroad Grade

Results are posted!

Brandon Smith (photo), 2016
Halfway Up Railroad Grade (Brandon Smith Photo)

results?Right here!
profile profile
distance6.85 miles (11 km)
climbing2090 ft (637 meters)
where?see below
when?15 - 16 Oct 2022
what timeAnytime from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday!
why?Ask not why; just do!
Bay area winds
deja-vu? New!
Ride With GPS


In keeping with both tradition of including a dirt climb, and to honor the fact that Mt. Tam was the 4th most requested climb by our riders, we are introducing a new climb.

A full description (including advice for parking) can be found here. As the name would indicate, this route is the old route of a railroad and as such maintains a steady 6% gradient along fire roads (and some brief paved sections) which leaves the choice of bike up to personal choice and comfort. Anything from MTB to Road should be able to complete the climb with each equipment choice coming with a traction, puncture, and weight trade off to be weighed.

Navigation will also play a large role here and we are recommending you study the course carefully, load the course into your head unit, and/or ride this with someone who knows it. There will be no meet up so as to not introduce too much congestion or traffic on a mixed use dirt road. Given this is Ultra Low Key, please ensure you are safe and if you lose time because someone or something was in your way, simply tell us how much time and we will adjust for you. Similarly, if you lose time because you take a wrong turn, simply tell us and we will issue an adjustment minus a 15 second time penalty. You can always start over or ride the climb multiple times as well.

Join the Strava Low-Key Hillclimbers Club to get your time recorded "automatically". Or message/email your time to Brandon, or post it on Facebook LKHC group.

The Facebook LKHC group is also a good place to get the latest announcements and discussions.

Cover your head, not your ears...

Sorry, folks! We require all riders wear helmets during the climb, and we follow the USA Cycling rule against ear buds or other head phones. Rock to tunes before the climb, perhaps, but we need riders to pay attention to what's happening during the climb...

The Low-Key Way

Low-Key is all about a group of friends riding up a hill together. It's like any other informal group ride, except we time you to the top and report the results on our web site. But we have no road closures, no lead vehicle, no follow vehicle. We are traffic, sharing the roads with other traffic, following the laws and courtesy which applies to traffic. This includes riding to the right of the road when practicable, and not crossing double yellows to pass riders or to get through corners faster. We're each responsible for our own actions out there, on and off the bike, both as users of the road as as courteous visitors to the neighborhoods we pass through. "Ceci n'est pas un race".

"Get your ass up that hill!" -- Kevin Winterfield, Fovnder
Dan Connelly /// Frank Paysen