One of the more difficult challenges I've been voted to do, this
is Bill Cosby's take on Lombard Street...
"They built a street up there called Lombard Street that goes
straight down, and they're not satisfied with you killing yourself
that way-they put grooves and curves and everything in it, and they
put flowers there where they've buried the people that have killed
themselves. Lombard Street, wonderful street." ~Bill
Crookedest street in the world? I think it's time to call the
Contrary to their claim Lombard is not in fact the crookedest
street in the world but it's the wonkiest road I've seen in my
travels. Steep and hilly there are 8 hairpin turns and a grade of
up to 32%, making it treacherous in the wet and even more dangerous
if you try to go up it. (It's one-way downhill.)
I'm not sure my task could have been any more difficult, cycling
in the dark, in the rain, the wrong way up a one-way downhill
crooked street - unless I attempted it on a unicycle. But y'all
voted for it so I gave it my best shot.
I devised a cunning plan to go early and miss the commuter
traffic but recruiting volunteers to join me proved difficult.
Luckily I met two charismatic English girls, Tess and Hannah who
were given the duty of stopping traffic at the top and San Fran
cyclists Kurt, Amy, Katherine and Jim arrived at stupid o'clock to
Kurt and I rode up together and the first few hairpin turns were
ok until the grade increased slightly. The wet paved surface made
my tyres slip and on the 5th turn my front wheel lifted slightly
off the ground. By the time we reached turn seven my heart was
pounding and the lactic acid in my legs was firing. The top was in
sight, the crew at the top cheered me on and I made it up in under
To see the three minute video of the climb and
celebration click here. (There's a fair bit of huffing and
puffing going on.)
Bill Cosby eat your heart out, there's no need for an Indiana
June burial, I survived Lombard Street!