The other day I was heading up Mt. Diablo to the summit.
Just below The Ranches I mentally did the math and knew I would easily
make my intermediate goal to The Junction.
I was realizing I would make my Junction goal with a minute or so to spare at my current pace.
Right then I got passed by a guy I had not even realized was there.
I had unknowingly slowed down the legs while my brain had sped up to do my time calculations.
I was a bit embarrassed at having been the victim of a catch.
With that, I sped up to latch on the guy’s wheel like a barnacle.
The strategy was to hold his wheel until I blew up, assuming he was a better climber.
It turned out he was planning on using classic Cat. 6 tactics.
He must have marked me for a while and sped up to near his red line limit to catch me.
The standard tactic is to hold the “at the limit pace” for 2 switchbacks and then collapse over the bars, heaving for air.
The 2 switchbacks are enough cushion that the rider just passed won’t see you fade.
Latching on to his wheel turned out to be no difficulty, he was a good bit
below my normal climbing Diablo pace.
He was now in a spot of bother. He could not get the classic 2 switchbacks ahead and then fade.
Not with me on his wheel.
At the magic 2 switchback point he pulled over and dismounted. He stood and pointed into a clearing between two clumps of oaks.
Then he said, “Hey look, those are turkeys!”
I went by him and was soon seeing him 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 switchbacks below and behind me as I resumed climbing at my normal pace.
This is an instant new classic Cat. 6 Move.
I am not buying for a second that turkeys in the woods were a novelty to him, or any cyclist around here.
A “Look at the turkeys” dismount gave him a cover for the 2 switchback fade he needed badly right then.
P.S. I made my Junction goal with 3 minutes to spare.