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  1. #1
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    Diablo, Tam or Hamilton



    Road all 3 mountains this weekend so that I could figured out which one was the bestest.

  2. #2
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Brilliant!
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    In the Gear 3434 danec99's Avatar
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    Diablo's the best because I don't have to drive.
    Tam is the best because you have to go by Marin Brewing.
    Ham is the best because it has VERY little vehicle traffic .
    ---------------
    Salsa Podio Curtlo Touring Echelon Odyssey Numerous MTBs

  5. #5
    blt
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokia8860 View Post

    Road all 3 mountains this weekend so that I could figured out which one was the bestest.
    I'm not sure you properly compare the mountains if you don't include the ride up Hamilton from the backside. As you say, Hamilton is the longest ride up the west side, but even longer up the east side. There are 2 choices, going from Livermore or from Patterson, but Livermore is the better way in part because from Patterson there is about a 15 mile stretch that feels a little too, uh, unchanging, and Mines to the Junction is varied and interesting if a little longer.

    Diablo is the kind of mountain that people might do before work or after work on a weekday in the summer, a casual little jaunt up a mountain, albeit a somewhat steep casual jaunt. On the weekends, there are too many bikes to count. If I have done it multiple times, it isn't all THAT hard a ride.

    The backside of Hamilton before or after work? No, not going to happen. So many fewer bikes or cars/SUV's are going from Livermore up (or down) the backside of Hamilton than are on Diablo. Perhaps not fewer motorcycles, but it is a close call. The San Antonio Valley feels like a slice of rural West Virginia. Much of the ride is an interesting, isolated part of the real world, as opposed to a playground like Diablo (or Tam) is.

    Which ride do I do more often, Diablo or the backside of Hamilton? Diablo for sure. Because it is more fun and interesting? Not more interesting, perhaps more fun because it is easier, but to me, it feels less challenging to do Diablo. If you want picturesque, Tam. If you want the locals' favorite, and the crowds that go along with it, Diablo. If you want the best challenge, and the least crowded of the rides, do the backside of Hamilton. If you want true completeness? Do all three.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by blt View Post
    I'm not sure you properly compare the mountains if you don't include the ride up Hamilton from the backside. As you say, Hamilton is the longest ride up the west side, but even longer up the east side. There are 2 choices, going from Livermore or from Patterson, but Livermore is the better way in part because from Patterson there is about a 15 mile stretch that feels a little too, uh, unchanging, and Mines to the Junction is varied and interesting if a little longer.

    Diablo is the kind of mountain that people might do before work or after work on a weekday in the summer, a casual little jaunt up a mountain, albeit a somewhat steep casual jaunt. On the weekends, there are too many bikes to count. If I have done it multiple times, it isn't all THAT hard a ride.

    The backside of Hamilton before or after work? No, not going to happen. So many fewer bikes or cars/SUV's are going from Livermore up (or down) the backside of Hamilton than are on Diablo. Perhaps not fewer motorcycles, but it is a close call. The San Antonio Valley feels like a slice of rural West Virginia. Much of the ride is an interesting, isolated part of the real world, as opposed to a playground like Diablo (or Tam) is.

    Which ride do I do more often, Diablo or the backside of Hamilton? Diablo for sure. Because it is more fun and interesting? Not more interesting, perhaps more fun because it is easier, but to me, it feels less challenging to do Diablo. If you want picturesque, Tam. If you want the locals' favorite, and the crowds that go along with it, Diablo. If you want the best challenge, and the least crowded of the rides, do the backside of Hamilton. If you want true completeness? Do all three.
    Haven't had the pleasure of doing the backside of Hamilton yet, but you do make it sound intriguing. I was always planning to doing it from the west, then down the east, then back up, but perhaps I'll give it a go from Livermore. Seems like one of those rides though that you have to be self-sufficient for almost any problem. I normally ride solo, so that could present a problem if something happens out in the sticks.

    Agree with you about Diablo on the weekend. It's a zoo, if I do go up, it's almost always just to the junction, and normally NG, since it sees less traffic overall. Easy/not hard....well that all depends on how you ride it! If you ride it at threshold power the whole way, it can be as painful as anything, but if you take it easy, the grade is never that bad (until The Wall, that is!)

  7. #7
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    I would have to agree with above having included these three mountains in my three week USA col bagging trip back in 2013.

    I landed in SF and rode Sierra rd + Mt Hamilton day two and Mt Diablo via North Gate am + Mt Tamalpais loop from Fairfax pm day three, after having ridden Old La Honda + Pescadero Creek road +Tunitas Creek road + Kings Mountain road day one.

    All three were worthy of inclusion in my trip which included the Eastern Sierra, CO, AZ and finally Socal!

    Mt Tamalpais definitely tops in the tourist ticklist with the big trees plus stunning city and ocean views. But didn't feel like a true col due to the dips and rises along the way.

    Mt Hamilton is long, though a climb in three parts with the two short descents. Really enjoyed this climb too, even though I nearly died after hitting one of the short descents too fast... I had to straighten up as there was gravel in the apex and just missed the back quarter panel of a car coming the other way plus just pulled up before dropping off down the hillside opposite! After blt's comments about the backside of Mt Hamilton, looks like I'll have to return!

    Mt Diablo is the quintessential training hill. Good length and all climbing! Nice views are a bonus. Only downside was keeping to the speed limit on the descent; hands hurt from riding the brakes nearly the whole way down.

    All three a little different, all equally worthy climbs!
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  8. #8
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    Diablo... don't have to drive either.

  9. #9
    Family, Health, Cycling Lanceoldstrong's Avatar
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    Of the 3 major Bay Area peaks: Diablo, Hamilton, & Tam... Tam is easily my 3rd favorite.

    Inspired by The Simpsons character, Comic Book Guy:
    "of the 3 major Stars: Trek, Wars and Gate... Stargate is easily my 3rd favorite. "

    I just don't get Tam. I have climbed all 3 many times, and for me Tam is meh.
    Mainly because...

    Mt Tam: the summit? You can't get there from here.

    Me, I like to summit a mountain.
    Diablo has the best, you know you made it, summit of them all.
    Hamilton comes in 2nd because of the James Lick Observatory, again at the summit.
    It is the oldest permanent mountain top observatory in the world. Not too shabby.
    In Ascensu Est Verum

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanceoldstrong View Post
    Diablo has the best, you know you made it, summit of them all.
    Ventoux is better...



    Just
    http://climbinglama.blogspot.com.au

  11. #11
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    Diablo. The mountain keeps you honest. There is no hiding from the mountain. The mountain does not care about your excuses. Either you make it to the summit or you turn back because you are weak.

    Speaking of which....I owe the mountain a pound of flesh this weekend....

  12. #12
    Member NerdLord's Avatar
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    Mt Diablo does have the spider migration.
    that's always worth a fall trip to see. Even if the little buggers get into everything.



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