Ratlum Mountain Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

1.1
FIETS
3 mi
DISTANCE
858 ft
GAINED
4.8 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Dan Tavelli, West Hartford CT; (Cover photo) Thomasz Kowal, Google; Fran Armentano, CT

INTRO

This 3 mile bike climb is located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA. The average gradient is 4.8% and there is a total elevation gain of 858 ft, finishing at 1,129 ft.

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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
3
Road
4
Traffic
3
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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MEMBER REVIEWS & COMMENTS

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Mar 21, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 3
Mar 21, 2021
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 3
This climb is tough. The average grade may not seem daunting, but there are some seriously difficult sections. The final pitch is a bitch! I was in my lowest gear at 30/25 and wishing I had brought a different bike.This climb had me standing on my pedals, working hard and hoping that nothing breaks on me or the bike.Perhaps March wasn't the best month to take this on. I'll climb it again later in the season, with a bike that offers lower gears.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

Climb summary by Dan Tavelli, West Hartford CT

The Ratlum climb is more challenging than the average grade of less than 5% suggests. It’s essentially a staircase profile, so you’re either cruising along a flat stretch or going straight uphill.

Coming north up Reservoir Rd the climb starts off reasonable enough with a scenic view of Lake McDonough. As you turn right onto Ratlum Rd (where the main strava segment begins) it kicks up sharply for a quarter mile averaging nearly 10%.

Relax (or keep cranking!) for the next half mile on a slightly downhill stretch as you pass Ski Sundown ski area on your right. It's back to business as the road narrows and winds uphill with a half mile at 10% including a tenth mile at over 14% (“stupidly steep” segment). Catch your breath with a flat stretch before sprinting up the shortest of the five stairs. After a brief flat it's up again with a now familiar quarter mile ~10% step.

At the top of the fourth step turn right onto Ratlum Mountain Rd and pick up all the speed you can get on a short downhill stretch as you come into "Satan's elbow". A devilish 0.4mi and the hardest part of the climb awaits as the road bends hard right and reaches grades in excess of 20%. The hill finally levels off a bit as you hit the peak.

For a fun descent continue straight and follow Wright Rd as it winds its way down to Cherry Brook Rd (route 179).