Pasadena does have hills …

… yes, we do. You all thought LA was flat and has no hills … well, as a former Pasadena resident, let me show you.

If you haven’t ridden around the Rose Bowl area, YOU SHOULD!!!! True, it’s not Palomar, and it’s not like Mt. Diablo, but it has its own characteristics. You could easily start off anywhere in the Rose Bowl, and just doing laps, you get a nice 3.1 mile loop out of it … and it’s not all entirely flat either.

On the first bend, you can go up a hill to what I call the “mezzanine” of the Arroyo Seco. So if you use this option, you can do laps by including this ramp up the hill, then come down and continue your interval. And what does this ramp look like? Well, here it is once you get to the top:


From here, you have many options. My favorite, and some other local SoCal’ers may agree with me, is St. Katherine, or what we used to call “the girl’s school” … it’s actually Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, but that’s not as catchy.

Before getting to St. Katherine, you have to climb Inverness, which is short, but it has some steep sections in it.


After a short left turn, it’s more climbing. What’s nice about this climb is that it is not crowded, and not much traffic that comes up here. Also, not many riders think of this place as a destination for their workout … and even if you do find some, they are knowledgeable enough, and physically fit enough to know how to act on the road.

The destination is not far away, as you can see the white buildings on the other side of the ridge … you are almost there.

One final push, then what do you know … the road levels off a little bit, and here you are at Flintridge Sacred Hearts Academy.


Oh, but wait … off to the left … there’s yet another hill. Let’s see where that takes us. It’s Wendover, and it goes up maybe another 300 feet, then descends down. Okay, so it’s not too bad … hang a left on St. Augustine, and you get a hair-raising steep downhill descent. My thought when I was descending this was “I’m glad I am descending, not climbing this”. One comment I heard about climbing this was “painful”. Well, the picture doesn’t tell a thousand words … you’d have to do it yourself.

After a screaming descent, hang a left, then you reach the summit to where the Pasadena Arts College is. Normally, the hills are brown, but after all the rains, they are green. I just had to take this.

After doing this, you can head back into the Rose Bowl. So what’s my point? My point is, there are hills in Pasadena … and I haven’t even told you about Patrician Way, La Loma, and San Rafael. So if you want some climbing, and are on a short time crunch, try St. Katherine. I’ve already made a couple of converts … are you next???

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