Canton Avenue (Pittsburgh, USA)

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Distance: 200 metres
Average Gradient: 13%
Maximum Gradient: 37%
Surface: Cobblestone
Terrain: Residential

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

If you have a bucket list to take on some of the world’s steepest climbs.  Then Canton Avenue should be right up the list. Located in Pittsburgh, USA Canton Avenue is considered the steepest street in the United States.  With a maximum gradient of 37 %. Not only is it super steep, but it is paved with cobblestones. It’s only a short climb, but merciless and will spit out the weak and the stupid. Without a doubt it is a bitch of a climb under the best of circumstances.

Image by Dan Buczynski; courtesy of Flickr

Canton Avenue climb

Canton Avenue is most famous for being featured in Pittsburgh’s annual Dirty Dozen bike race.  Which was started by brothers Danny and Tom Chew back in 1983. Each year climbing enthusiasts take on the 80 km ride through a city not known for being particularly flat. This event challenges cyclists to take on thirteen of Pittsburgh’s steepest and nastiest hills.

Image taken by Dobie

Take caution as this is a residential street and Canton Avenue simply defeats most.  On a bad day this road can be a death trap. Due to its steep gradient.  This road is not be well maintained as it is difficult for service vehicles to make the ascent. Over the winter time when it snows.  It’s impossible to plow and residents may be forced to park at the base of the road.  Then walk up to their homes.

If you’re willing to give this one a go be warned that this climb has made many grown men cry.

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