The Manayunk Wall. One of the most notorious cycling climbs in all of the US. Ask any bike rider and they've heard about it. It's not a long mountain climb at only a half mile long, but it sure is steep. It averages 8% overall and at some point it's 18%. No matter how much it hurts you can't even think about stopping...if you do, you'd never start back up again!
A few weeks back, as part of the big professional bike race the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, Bicycle Magazine organized an amateur ride on the very same route. It started at 6:45am and you could ride the 12.3 mile loop as many times as you wanted before the pro's started racing at 8am. [the pros do 10 laps up the wall...1 was plenty for me!]
Pretty cool to be able to roll right down the middle of Kelly Drive!
Rolling into downtown Manayunk...
...a quick right hander onto Levering for 50 yards, right onto Cresson and under the train tracks, then a sharp left back onto Levering and the Wall smacks you right in the face.
Almost immediately you are out of gears. Nothing left to do but grind! The pro's tackle this thing in about 2 minutes 25 seconds...took me closer to 5mins!
So happy to see the finish!
They call the massive downhill after the climb up the "Fall from the Wall". And boy o boy is it fun..especially when you have closed roads and don't have to worry about stop sings or red lights!
A buddy of mine was out watching the race...had a cold beer waiting for me. Sooo nice, even bright and early in the morning.
Back to the decent we go...
The final challenge of the loop...Lemon Hill. It's the baby sister of the Wall, but it's still a formidable little incline.
Even made a little GoPro film of the ride...
What do you think....could you make it up?