Cycling Rdom Pass (Forest Al Ymani)
Ride 7.6 miles gaining 5,769’ at 12.5% average grade (17.6% climb only)
One word describes this monster: STEEP!!!! If you removed the 815 feet of descent for 1.1 miles from mile 4 to 5.1, the AVERAGE grade for this climb is 17.6%. That means for 6.5 miles you are climbing at an average of 17.6%. Consider that in comparison to an average climb around home - when I hit a stretch for even a brief period of time that is 17-18%, I consider that an exceptionally steep and difficult stretch of road. Cycling at 17-18% average for 6+ miles (often above 20%) is one of the greatest challenges I have ever encountered on a bike climb.
As with all but one of the 12 Asir Mountain Top 100 climbs, this climb was undocumented and -- as far as we can tell -- untouched by bicycle tires before November 14, 2021 (John’s Strava Post for Rdom).
Rdom Pass is home to the steepest 2 kilometer cycling segment (24.3%) and the second steepest mile (26%) and kilometer (26.7%) in the world.
Some sites in the last few miles leading to the top of the climb.
Climb start, and Adnon, the best guide in the world!
STEEP - PERIOD!!
This road is definitely a “Paper Boy” -- my term for ziz-zagging up an unbelievably steep mountain road.
There is only one place in the world that can be home to the steepest mile on earth, and this is it. Check out PJAMM’s 1 mile segment profile for the climb - that is just crazy stuff!!
It was no secret when a vehicle was approaching from the downhill side - invariably the engine would be screaming as the drivers pushed the vehicles against 25% grades on their way up the mountain.
When using the PJAMM App, it’s no secret when danger approaches . . .
We have run the mile profile on multiple plotting tools and confirm this one mile is 26%. We have scoured the world for several years plotting and documenting the hardest and steepest bike climbs, and this is the second steepest mile that exists as far as we have found - quite remarkable.
That is me struggling up the mountain - for most of that climb I was either hunched down and grinding as hard as I could, or zig-zagging seated, or, on the steepest parts, actually standing and zig-zagging. I averaged 2-3 mph for the steepest sections but am proud to say I never had to put a foot down.
The few motorists we encountered along the climb were all extremely encouraging, tooting horns, offering water, and cheering us on. It was such a wonderful experience riding in the Asir Mountains; those we encountered along the way were supportive and engaging.
That’s a guy in happy and good pain . . . 😊
I just kept thinking to myself on this climb - how fortunate am I to have the greatest cycling climbing challenge in the world that no one else has ever experienced? Not once in 11 days driving or riding did I see a road cyclist.
EPIC AND SCENIC
These mountains are not just the hardest in the world, they are stunningly beautiful in a stark and powerful way.
3,245’ gained in four miles - now THAT’S STEEP!
Because the mountain and road up it is so steep and there are no trees to obstruct views, the scenes back in the direction we just traveled are unobstructed and dramatic.
That’s a wrap!
Thanks so much to our fantastic guide Adnan, and to my riding partner on this trip, Matt Willden of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.