October 18th, 2010
If you’re like me, your mental state on a Monday is significantly more pathetic than your mental state on a Friday after a long week of work.
I have yet to find out why that is, but I think it is because I’m more tired on Mondays than Fridays. Again, I don’t know why—I defy common sense. Or I lack it.
Anyhow, today Dave, who is a highway design engineer, told me that Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh is the steepest public street in the U.S., and possibly the world.
I didn’t believe it. I know that Pittsburgh has some mad crazy hills, but even more so than San Francisco? No way.
I immediately thought of Lombard Street, which my best friend and I drove in our Cobalt rental we affectionately named “Betsy” while I was visiting her in CA back in 2009.
I know it’s the most crooked street, but it’s also pretty steep (or so I thought).
For some reason I became instantly obsessed with figuring this out. It’s tricky work being a sleuth, but with the help of Google and Wikipedia, I figured it out.
Lombard Street (San Francisco, USA)- 27% grade
Filbert Street (San Francisco, USA)- 31.5%
Baldwin Street (Dunedin, NZ)- 35%
Prentiss Street (San Francisco, USA)- 37%
Canton Avenue (Pittsburgh, USA)- 37%
So there you have it. Canton Avenue is tied with Prentiss Street for having the steepest public street in the world. HOWEVER, it is Baldwin Street in NZ that holds the official title because although it is not as steep, it is longer. Which totally baffles me.
I still feel a sort of satisfaction that my city has the steepest street in the world. Why? No idea. I think it’s because I’m runner and so it adds “points” to my prowess (and I need all the help I can get). It’s like the Monday/Friday paradox above—running in the city with the steepest street is like suicide. Why on earth would I like that? Again, no common sense.
Actually it makes perfect sense. I have never, in fact, run up or down Canton Avenue. In all honesty, I have never even seen Canton Avenue. That’s why I’ll boast being a runner in the city with the steepest street…because I’ll never run it.
But I do live in a very hilly area, so it’s not like I’m all lazy. The nearby trail is relatively flat, and it’s easy to get longer runs there. However, I have to drive to the trail head. So when I’m feeling lazy, what do I do? A normal person would drive to trail to run a flat, easy course.
You should know me well enough by now that I’m not normal. I run HILLS when I’m lazy.
Again, there’s something wrong with my head. And I can’t blame this one on Mondays.
So it’s your turn—what do you do that just makes no sense? Are you a Monday/Friday anomaly, too?
Have you ever driven down Lombard Street? Or did you ever run up Canton Avenue?
What’s the steepest hill you’ve conquered. Extra points if you’ve climbed Everest.