Bowen is located in Rhode Island. It is 178.3 meters long with an average gradient of 15% and a maximum gradient of 21.1%. Find similar hills.View this hill in the BRENTACOL Toolkit!
Bowen is a smaller section of the climb Bowen (Full)
This was one of the very first hills I wrote about when I started my blog. In my first post about Bowen I blasphemed that I thought it was harder than the Koppenberg. I've since recanted, but the case could still be made on a few grounds. The top part of Bowen is cobbled, and technically not a through street, but you can get through by transitioning to the sidewalk and riding it for the last 15 or so meters up to Pratt Street. The sidewalk is incredibly steep, at over 30%. The cobbles, though much shorter than the Koppenberg, are much bumpier. If you lose your momentum on the cobbles, you'll come to a standstill on the sidewalk section and fall over sideways. I've seen it happen just about every time I take someone to ride it. But, unlike the Koppenberg, Bowen is all about technique, not strength. I've now gotten the hang of it and I don't find it particularly difficult any more. The key is, once you hit the cobbles, to keep your cadence high and in a low gear (34-25 always works well for me), and as soon as you transition to the sidewalk, crank as hard as you can and you'll get though the 30% section in 3-5 pedal strokes.
Since getting my cyclocross bike, I've tried to get up Bowen by transitioning to the sidewalk at the last possible moment, which means riding on the cobbles in the 30% section (which also become surrounded with a lot of soft dirt and grass, since no one drives up there). This has not been successful, but I'm hopeful with a little practice I might be able to figure it out.