If you’ve ridden the Hilly Hundred when it went east, the killer climb comes right after lunch. After riding the gentle valley north out of Nashville, you run smack dab into Bear Wallow HIll. It has has the largest rise of the climbs in our region, starting at 692′ in the valley to 1010′ on the ridgetop, a climb of 318 feet.
It is .75 miles long and using my Mitch’s Hill Toughness Quotient, it is a difficult hill at 424. However, its length and rise are more than any other hill I’ve found, and so this hill is tougher than the quotient would indicate. [318/.75=424] So I think I’ll go back and work on adding the distance and the rise together to get a second number to hill’s profile. I am pretty sure this could be integrated into the other number plus a variable for gravel, but I don’t know the calculus!
In comparison, TC Steele has a higher quotient at 474 MHTQ, but it’s a third shorter at .42 miles and rises only 200 feet. Bean Blossom Hill to the ridgetop is a long ride, 1.25 miles, and it rises 293 feet, but the math works out to a measly 227 MHTQ. So I would say Bear Wallow Hill is much tougher than Bean Blossom HIll, and probably harder to climb overall than TC Steele. I’ve climbed them both on my recumbent, so I know they are in the same neighborhood. But no doubt Bear Wallow is more of a killer, especially in warm weather. It just keeps going and going and going. But by pure numbers, Miller and Boltinghouse Roads are still the toughest paved Hoosier Hills, and McGowen is still the toughest by far.