I finally got to climb the famous Mt. Diablo, and meet the BF legend DiabloScott! I carpooled down to Walnut Creek with the WAV Riders women's cycling club. There were only three of us this time. Seven other riders cancelled due to other cycling events.
We parked at Heather Farm Community Center. DiabloScott was nice enough to PM me a map of a route that avoids Ygnacio Valley Road, which has a ton of traffic. On the way out of the park, another cyclist saw us and we ended up riding with him. He said that drivers on Ygnacio "don't like bikers", so he led us through quiet residential streets to the base of the mountain.
Once the climb started on North Gate Road, the ride leader and the other cyclist slowly left me behind as usual (someday I'll be strong enough to keep up with her!). I didn't see the other cyclist again until he was descending. The ride leader was waiting at the ranger station. She told me that our other rider lost an earring somewhere on the ride. I did hear my text message notification go off mid-climb, but I didn't want to stop to check it. That explained why I couldn't see her anymore even when the view improved and I was able to see the last quarter mile or so of road I climbed.
I was so into this climb that I didn't even want to stop when I noticed a leaf stuck between my front tire and fork. It was making a little noise, but I waited until a flatter section to stop and remove it. I try to avoid stopping on climbs, especially now that I'm on Strava and I'm curious how I do on climbs compared to others.
I left the ranger station before the ride leader, but she still caught me right before the Summit Wall. Contrary to what I've read, this section only measured up to 17%. I have heard it has a max grade of 22%.
Earlier in the climb, I noticed a rider slowing as he approached on his descent. It was DiabloScott. He rode past and turned around to climb back to me. I got to talk to him for a little bit before he continued his descent. Nice guy!
Our other rider arrived at the summit with another male cyclist. He accompanied us on the descent and led us through quiet residential streets to Heather Farm. Big thanks to both of these riders and DiabloScott for helping us avoid Ygnacio!
Here's the video. Just for kicks I decided to include every cyclist I saw on the climb and descent. See if you notice any familiar faces
You can see DiabloScott starting at 2:19.
Views from the summit parking lot. It was a hazy day.
I reached the bottom of the mountain first (too bad I couldn't do that on the climb!), so I killed some time by taking these two pics.