New Feature: The Devils Kitchen, Platte Clove Road

Used in the old Tour De Trump the Devils Kitchen, or Platte Clove Road, is famous for reducing a number of Pro’s who didn’t have the benefit of compact cranks to get off their bikes and walk. It doesn’t take long to see how that would be. Unlike on the Bergs of the spring classics where the road gets so narrow there is no where to go to keep your momentum, there is ample room here to fall when you come to a complete standstill. These numbers are kind of demoralizing, 1100ft of vertical gain in 2 miles. If you start further down (below Burnett Road) you actually gain about 1400ft. Averaging 12% for the 2 miles and pitching up to a calf busting 22% in sections. The nice thing about climbing in general is that there is usually something spectacular to look at that helps divert your mind from the many things going wrong with your body. Not so in the Devils Kitchen. The trees are so dense you are just riding in a very dark tunnel most of the way up,  with just the grey uneven grade of the road to look at. A constantly pitching grade makes it hard to get any sort of rhythm, but it does eventually end, and you peak out at the top onto a beautifully winding road along the top of the escarpment, marked by a sign with gunshots on it. I have no idea how it got the name Devils Kitchen,  but pain is definitely involved, and it is evil.

See the full photo essay here

Categories: Routes

  1. Conor:
    Great – intimidating – photos. Did you ride or drive that climb? It’s the main feature of Stage 2 of the Tour of the Catskills this year. Maybe I can drag Chad over to climb it with me when I do my race prep.

    Bruce Schwartz
  2. Both – I realized climbing it with my camera set up is actually heavier than my bike – so going up with two bikes seemed like punishment. A compact is a damn good idea. Even with a 27 on the back it is tough. Anyone with a compact will open a gap and there is a nice faux flat after the top to keep it going, then it is all down hill.

  3. I and my friend went to ride stage 2. End up riding 78 mi. including Devils Kitchen. It is a tough climb. The steepest section is 22%, averaging 12%. I climbed it without stopping. I’m 50 years old.


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