Tim Johnson climbs Mount Washington by bike in winter

Former U.S. national champion braves elements in successful first ascent

Fat Bike Video Winter Guide
The menacing road has pitches up above 20 percent and averages 11.6 percent.

The menacing road has pitches above 20 percent and averages 11.6 percent (click to enlarge).

Add first winter bike ascent of the Mount Washington Auto Road to the long resume of former pro cyclist Tim Johnson. The recently retired New Englander, who won multiple U.S. cyclocross national titles, rode a modified Cannondale fat bike 7.2 miles in -19-degrees temps to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast at 6,288 feet. The climb totaled 4,685 feet with an average gradient of 11.6 percent. Winds gusted to near 40mph. The precipitously steep road (with pitches above 20 percent) is well known in cycling circles as host of the annual Mount Washington Bicycle Hill Climb. But that race is held in the summer, not in February, when the weather is as bad as it gets. Check out the video to see all the suffering.

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