Every bike racer in Boulder knows where to find the Koppenberg Climb in our town. It’s part of the spring classic adopted to our local race community from the tradition of the actual spring classic in Tour of Flanders in Belgium. This term Koppenberg actually means “Heads Mountain” and “Koppen” is Dutch slang for cobblestones. In Belgium the Koppenberg is actually a 253 foot tall hill in Oudenaarde, Belgium. The Belgian version really is very much like the Colorado version with deep grooves in a dirt surface instead of cobblestones for the riders to dance on.
Here’s a great video perspective of the Colorado Koppenberg from the folks at Apex Coaching. No matter who you are, this climb truly is a short little ass-kicker. I ride it at least once a week and it’s always a joy to ride (no joke). The conditions change throughout the year and typically are best in the spring and after summer rains the track does get washed out until the grate the road again for winter. Be sure to ride wider tires, I suggest 25-28mm width and lower pressure around 80 or 85 to keep sufficient traction for out of the saddle efforts on the 20+% grades. Enjoy!