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Old 07-22-09, 07:39 PM   #1
Mojo Slim
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"Mt. Diablo" isn't just a name

Five of my bike buddies and I forsaked the local Wednesday ride and got in our cars and drove 1 1/2 hours from Lincoln Ca to whatever town in the East San Francisco Bay contains Mount Diablo. I think I have seen posts here on BF50+ about riding up the hill before.

By leaving Lincoln at 6:00am we were able to be on our bikes by 8:00. The weather report was favorable. Lincoln has had several days of 100+ weather. We assumed we would be done with the 24 mile up and down before it got at all warm. In fact, the start was pretty cool. Fortunately, I had brought my ubiquitous orange windbreaker. In fact, it was foggy enough that the road was wet in spots from the moisture dripping from the trees that hung over the road.



After some steep bumps and very rough road, we broke out onto a beautifully paved surface that continued all the way to the top. The first 7 miles are pretty moderate. In fact, I had visions of doing the ride in my middle ring. Lots of 1-5% climbing, with the occassional double digit grade around a switchback, that did little but give us an excuse to stand on our pedals.



The riders are all part of our "Tweeners" group: 58-70, except for Sunny, who is the 30-something grand daughter of one of the riders, although he was not on this ride. We think it's pretty neat that Sunny likes riding with us, even when her "Granpa Dan" isn't with us.

At Mile 3.7 we enter the State Park. Traffic is extremely light, in fact, to this point I think the only vehicle we have seen is a State Park truck, the driver of whom, we eventually learn, is cleaning bathrooms.



To this point, the ride is quite nice. Our little troupe is chatting, the lead changes often and the weather is perfect.



We took a quick break at about 4.7 miles, but I'm not quite sure why. One of our riders (with the knee braces) may have needed it. I'm in the orange windbreaker.



Pretty soon, we break through the fog and find the sun, but the temperature is still quite nice.



It has warmed up enough however to force us to stop at Mile 7 and make wardrobe adjustments. This is also where the road changes. We have all been cruising along, mostly in our middle rings, enjoying the 3-5% climb, even some short downhills. According to the sign we are 4 1/2 miles from the top. That doesn't sound too bad. But the road now begins to get steeper. The 3% turns to 8-9%. Those 12% bumps around the switchbacks are how a pain. Sunny, who weighs about the same as her Trek, begins to set the pace. We begin to spread out. Before long, I'm pretty much alone, between the three in front and the two in back. Here's the veiw:



So, the climb has become a slog. I look at each turn, thinking/hoping there would be a respite around the corner. There never is. It is constant, except when it gets steeper. Now here's the cruel part. We have been climbing for the better part of two hours. We have climbed 3255 feet. It has begun to warm up. The last 150 yards are 16%!!!! And to make it worse, the road is one-way and so narrow, I couldn't zig zag up if I wanted to.

But I made it (two of us didn't). My plan to use my middle ring all the way up morphed to "I'll just use the equivalent of a compact double" to "I'll save one gear for the last part" to using my granny for the last 3 miles. But it felt good to make it. Here's a view from the top. It was still foggy enough out there, we couldn't see too far.



And here we are before heading down. That's me in the "lightning" jersey.



It took me 1 hour 55 minutes to get to the top and 32 minutes to get back down. The downhill is great. The only bummer is that Sunny, who doesn't like downhills and was last in line, crashed near the bottom. Neither she, or her bike, were hurt badly, but she was shaken a bit. Bob (our ride leader) and I doubled back about a mile to find her when she didn't show.

The round trip was only 24 miles. And once down to the bottom, I could have done some more easy riding, but we opted to head home via a great deli. Stats: 11.37 mile climb. 3365 feet of climbing. 3220 of elevatin gain. See how relentless it is? Average grade 5.8%.

We are now looking to do our own Death Ride, maybe more a "hurt" ride, by climbing Mt. Tam and Mt. Hamilton in the near future.
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Old 07-22-09, 08:02 PM   #2
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Nice climb great pics - thanks!
What caused the crash?

The only climb on paved road where I can but that much elevation w/o repeats is up in the Adirondacks - too far a drive for an evening ride. So tonight was a climb night for me as well but it was three hills - 2400ft. but only 15 min drive from my house.
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Old 07-22-09, 08:11 PM   #3
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I hope you waved when you drove through Vacaville.

I haven't climbed the Devil in over a year, and when we did it 1-1/2 yrs. ago on the tandem we walked up the wall. So we have a date to do it over and grind all the way to the top.

WTG, MS! Thanks for the pics, they inspire me to do it again, soon.

Hope Sunny's okay.
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Old 07-22-09, 10:48 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=cyclinfool;9334275]Nice climb great pics - thanks!
What caused the crash?

QUOTE]

She hit a rock with her back wheel. Went down in dirt, fortunately. Once again, thank goodness for helmets and protective glasses.
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Old 07-23-09, 12:29 AM   #5
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What an inspiration you are. Nice photos, too. Wow.
See that fog? I was under it or riding in it all day today.
Someday, I'll make that climb. Maybe.
11 miles up is about 8 more than I've done in one stretch to date.
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Old 07-23-09, 07:57 AM   #6
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Sounds like a fun climb to me! Is this climb part of the route on the Devil Mountain double century? Sounds like it should be, if not. At least the name is right!

Since you liked this climb so much, PM me when you're down in SoCal and we can climb Glendora Mountain Road (5,200 feet of climbing in 44 miles) and Angeles Crest (Red Box to Grassy Hollow and back = 80 miles, 8,800 feet of climbing).

Bring your buddies, we'll make a day of it!

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Old 07-23-09, 08:11 AM   #7
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Wow, what a beautiful place to ride!
Welcome to the club.
Next time go up the hard side.
Shameless self-promotion just to post my sig.
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Old 07-23-09, 08:12 AM   #8
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Great pictures and story, and what an adventure you had!
I've done aerobatics over Diablo; often wondered what it was like to be there.

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Old 07-23-09, 08:16 AM   #9
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Very nice ride! I would like to try it sometime. So many climbs, so little time.
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Old 07-23-09, 08:20 AM   #10
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Thanks for the pictures and report.
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Old 07-23-09, 09:38 AM   #11
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Congratulations, that's a tough ride. I did it once about 25 years ago, and I would have given up had I not been with a friend.
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Old 07-23-09, 10:35 AM   #12
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I like the pics and write up. You had a great weather which is key to having a good experience at Diablo.
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Old 07-23-09, 01:17 PM   #13
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Great pics, and great job on the ride.
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Old 07-23-09, 02:23 PM   #14
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So you have now proved that Mt. Diablo is just a slope- Even the kick up at the end

Sound like a great ride with great company


Just a side note- Camelbacks on 4 riders?
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Old 07-23-09, 05:51 PM   #15
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Fun report and nice pics! Bummer about the crash but I'm glad she's OK.

Diablo is always fun but come again in late June and early July when its a circus with everyone doing multiple climbs in training for the Markleeville Death Ride. (I got in my first 3 x Diablo this year.)
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Old 07-23-09, 05:53 PM   #16
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I got a few more pictures from my buddies. Here we are early in the ride.



And a little later:



And yours truly on the 16% grade at the end.

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Old 07-23-09, 05:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
Sounds like a fun climb to me! Is this climb part of the route on the Devil Mountain double century? Sounds like it should be, if not. At least the name is right!

Since you liked this climb so much, PM me when you're down in SoCal and we can climb Glendora Mountain Road (5,200 feet of climbing in 44 miles) and Angeles Crest (Red Box to Grassy Hollow and back = 80 miles, 8,800 feet of climbing).
Bring your buddies, we'll make a day of it!

Rick / OCRR
Thanks Rick, but I think I will be sick that day.
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Old 07-23-09, 05:58 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=stapfam;9340009]So you have now proved that Mt. Diablo is just a slope- Even the kick up at the end

Sound like a great ride with great company


Just a side note- Camelbacks on 4 riders?[/QUOTE]

Since only one of us had done the ride before, we didn't know what to expect. Plus two of those guys ALWAYS ride with Camelbaks. I took mine but left it in the car. And remember, here in Lincoln it's 75 degrees at 7:30am and REAL HOT quick. We use water. For those of you who may do this ride, there is plenty of water available all the way up, including the top.

And before you do the ride, go to DiabloScott's blog. All you need to know is right there. Nice job.
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Old 07-23-09, 06:32 PM   #19
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Not tryin to be fresh but looking at those pics again - you got some monster quads - just sayin
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Old 07-23-09, 07:41 PM   #20
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Not tryin to be fresh but looking at those pics again - you got some monster quads - just sayin
Are you sure you're looking at ME?
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Old 07-24-09, 10:09 AM   #21
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Riding Diablo on new years day is a local tradition, and a fine one.

The fine folks over in NorCal are doing a low-key fun time trial up Diablo on Saturday. People have guessed their times (or tested their times) then will do a staggered start so that, if all goes well, we'll all arrive at the top at exactly the same time, causing a massive bike jam. Hilarity will surely ensue.

Anyway, nice photos!
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Old 07-24-09, 10:34 AM   #22
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Are you sure you're looking at ME?
I was going to say I was looking at the guy with the gray hair - bit that would be anyone of you (except for 1)

Turns out I am actually looking at your twin - in the photo with you in the orange jersey, the guy to your right. It may just be in an artifact of the lighting but he looks like he has the legs of one strong climber.
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Old 07-24-09, 10:43 AM   #23
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Sounds like a fun climb to me! Is this climb part of the route on the Devil Mountain double century?
Yes, it's right at the start of that ride. Of course there are lots more climbs on the double (Morgan Territory, Mines Rd/Mt. Hamilton, Sierra, Calaveras, Palomares, Norris).
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