I am working on a wiggle to get from North Berkeley into the University of California and back again on safe neighborhood roads with the least number of steep hills to climb. There are endless possibilities on the grid, but the challenge comes in deciding when to tackle the hills to the North/East, and when to give in and coast South/West. Interestingly, I found different routes going North than going South, which is due to a split level road at Eunice & Walnut and roads that have short steep sections heading East on Cedar and North on Euclid. These short steep sections are pretty intimidating. I have since turned my single-speed freewheel commuter (mid 70s Peugot; 17-38 gearing) into a 5-speed with as much as 32-38 for the really steep sections. I spin going 2 mph but at least I don’t fall over.
There is a famous wiggle (The Wiggle) that serves as my inspiration. It is an almost hill-less route between the Mission District to the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The SF Guardian comments on The Wiggle:
“Remember how you felt the first time a fellow cyclist showed you the way to “the wiggle”? How relieved you were to discover it wasn’t necessary to haul your sorry single-gear cruiser up the Haight Street hills en route to Golden Gate Park? This private knowledge, handed down like a grandmother’s recipe for artichoke dip through generations of bicyclists…”