Climb Every Mountain

In the midwest, I cycled grain elevator to grain elevator. Now I’m cycling cell tower to cell tower. The towers are usually at the tops of hills, so when I spot them, I know I’m getting close to the top of a climb. There were lots of cell towers as I crossed the five mountains from Cumberland to Hancock.


Yesterday’s segment is described on the RAAM cue sheets as the “the most difficult section of RAAM, measured in feet of climbing per mile.” On April 17, I tried it as a “proof of concept” ride. If I could do it and Susie enjoyed sagging (sag = support and gear, or special adventure guide), then the ride was on. I did and she did. Of all the segments of the route that had caused me trepidation, this one didn’t because it held no surprises. There were five major climbs, plus three little short steep hills (that were surprises in April) on the approach into Hancock. 

I granny-geared them off, one at a time, recalling the names with the memory device, “Mary, please go to school.”

View from crest of road on Martin’s Mountain (elevation 1715 feet)
Crest of road on Polish Mountain (elevation 1392 feet)
View from crest of road on Green Ridge Mountain (elevation 1240 feet)
View from Town Hill (elevation 1640 feet)

Then all that was left was Sideling Hill. Here’s a video as I start climbing the last of the five hills with pitches up to 10%.

Here’s a video as I finish climbing the last few feet of Sideling Hill.

And here I am at the top of Sideling Hill. I had a sustained emotional moment as I suddenly realized I had finished not only the hardest segment of the RAAM route, but all of its hard climbs. There are still some hills to come and traffic as I approach densely populated areas, but no more mountains.

At the top of Sideling Hill (elevation 1585 feet)

One extra nice thing about this ride was a special accomplishment by Susie as sag. There is a container on the top tube of my bike where I carry my phone, snacks, back up battery, cords, sunscreen, lip gloss, etc. For both cross-country trips and the training in between,  it’s been slipping off to the side. I’ve been batting it back to the middle for 10,000 miles. In about two minutes, Susie fixed it with a couple of Velcro strips.

What mountain are you working on? Keep at it. You will get there.

Ride details

Start location: Cumberland MD

End location: Hancock MD

Distance: 40.9 miles

Cumulative distance: 2880.0 miles

Elevation gain: 4616.2 feet

Strava track:


20 thoughts on “Climb Every Mountain

  1. Spectacular views, especially from the comfort of a couch. You are amazing! As always, thanks for sharing — and I am astonished that it took Susie 10,000 miles to discover you needed velcro strips. She is always quick as a fox when it comes to problem solving. Happy trails, from CA to you!


  2. Lynn, I love this! I saw you in today’s Cumberland paper and subscribed right away to your blog. Your descent/ascent cider from Oct. 15 starts less than 3 miles from my house. I know every crack in the asphalt and every tree. I’m a 64yo distance cyclist and often suspect I’m in the oldest to have attempted/completed XYZ but haven’t look for official records. I’m so glad to have caught into your quest even so close to the end! Right up the road from me!


  3. Fantastic you have made it over the most difficult mountain climb day. I have enjoyed your daily blog and the pictures of each day. What an amazing story.


  4. Having met you on the Great lakes trip, and following you on all your travelogues, It’s almost as being beside you, and now you’re approaching my home areas. Born in PA, now living in CA. You are wonderful, keep on going.


  5. Lynn! I miss you and Susie! Riding this weekend couldn’t match fun of last weekend. Really inspired by your last couple days on the ride. Sending hugs and protective wishes.


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