Grade School

Grade School

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Grade -- the steepness of a hill -- is calculated by dividing rise (change in elevation) by run (distance between two points). This simple formula, expressed as a percentage, comes in handy for judging the difficulty of a bike ride.

Even the most physically fit athletes will feel their hearts begin to race after a few minutes of pedaling on any grade above 6 percent. Here are the grades of some of the area's most notable hills.

Close-by hills:

· Capitol Hill (Independence Avenue from First Street SW to First Street SE) -- 3 percent

· Great Falls (MacArthur Boulevard to Great Falls National Park) -- maximum grade 8 percent

· Porter Street NW (Rock Creek Parkway to Connecticut Avenue) -- maximum grade 9 percent

· Mormon Temple (Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington) -- maximum grade 12 percent

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