Northern California - Mt. Diablo question
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12-28-09, 01:26 PM
I'm planning on doing a Mt. Diablo loop in the next few days (for the first time) on a road bike and had a question about the route. My preference would be to climb the steeper side and descend the less steep side. Given that, can anyone tell me which side I should go up, or are both sides about the same? Also, is the quality of the road surface on one side any better than the other?
Thanks for any feedback you can provide.
12-28-09, 01:48 PM
Two differences are that 1) the south side gives you a breather in the Rock City area where it's mainly flat for awhile, and 2) you start at a higher elevation on the south side (about 700' vs. 200'). Of course once you get to the junction you'll be going up the same road from there to the summit. The road is in very good shape on both sides, but the privately maintained road on the south side beyond Athenian School just before you reach the park is really bad. Best to go through the Diablo Country Club neighborhood (Avenida Diablo) to the hole in the fence to shorten your time on this road.
12-28-09, 01:49 PM
Well ask 3 cyclists... get 5 opinions, but here goes.
my $.02 worth.
Climb Northgate Rd up from Walnut Creek and descend Southgate Rd to Danville if you want to go up the hard side.
DiabloScott calls it the North Side and The Easy Side.
Just watch the pavement at the very bottom of Southgate Rd. It is unholy bad. Other than that the whole mountain has good pavement.
12-28-09, 02:18 PM
Up NGR to Summit and down SGR... as already suggested for all the same reasons.
It's also better to be going downhill on Diablo Road toward Danville because you'll be going almost as fast as the traffic and won't get passed as much... kind of narrow in there.
Personally, I'd just stop at the south gate and turn around there. It's craptastic for that mile to the Athenian School. Like the aftermath of an airstrike.
12-28-09, 02:40 PM
Yeah, some of those potholes will swallow half a wheel. No joke.
+1 on the potholes. They can be navigated pretty easily, but just slow right down after you pass the Mt Diablo State Park sign.
12-28-09, 07:28 PM
I climb the South Gate road regularly, but I have to agree that the Northgate side is tougher. They're both steep enough to give you a good workout, though, if you're pushing hard.
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