The steepest streets in the world

To live at the top of one of these roads would be my worst nightmare, mainly due to my current lung capacity being similar to that of a baby slug with a smoking habit. plus, i don’t think i could sleep at night with my car parked outside unless it was cemented to the floor.

before i start, this is just a selection of some of the steepest streets on earth. i’m sure i’ve probably missed out a few corkers. let me know and i’ll maybe add them. also, to explain the grade percentage: as an example, a road with a 30% grade would rise 30 feet in height for every 100 feet travelled horizontally.

1. canton avenue, pittsburgh, united states – grade = 37%

officially not the steepest street in the world, canton avenue is actually steeper than the current world record holder, baldwin street in new zealand. for that very good reason alone i’m sticking it at the top.

it’s not a very long road but if you check out the cyclist’s face in the photo below you’ll see that it’s definitely long enough.

2. baldwin street, dunedin, new zealand – grade = 35%

the current world record holder of ’steepest street in the world’, baldwin street is famous for its slope. it was previously thought that the road’s gradient hit 38% near the top but that was apparently a mistake.

if handbrakes could sob there’d be a stream of tears running down the road in the photo below.

the clip below consists of a pretty annoying guy on a segway attempting to ride up the slope. unfortunately he makes it.

3. eldred street, los angeles, united states – grade = 33.3%

the guy in the photo below looks thoroughly depressed and you can’t blame him. he lives in los angeles. add to that equation the fact that he lives on the steepest street in the city and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

there’s a los angeles times article about the street here.

4. fargo street, los angeles, united states – grade = 32%

fargo street in 1930…

once a year around 90 mentalists gather at the base of fargo street in los angeles for the fargo street hill climb. they then attempt to scale the hill on a bicycle as many times as humanly possible in a day.

this year the winner was a guy called steve gilmore and he managed it 92 times, in the process climbing around 14′000ft in only 15 miles.

watch this clip and feel the pain…

sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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