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Mt Diablo first timer

Old 12-29-19, 04:15 PM
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sanmateoclimber
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Mt Diablo first timer

Hey gang,

I'm looking forward to taking advantage of the almost-decent forecast and tackling my first Mount Diablo climb tomorrow. I know there's been ongoing quibbling about what neighborhoods cyclists are parking in/riding through-- so, am I good to follow this information (link below) and park at Bret Harte Park to do the south gate route? Is there a preferable place to park/start? Probably pulling in around noon tomorrow (Monday.)

https://www.7x7.com/the-ultimate-sun...781670119.html

Any general advice you'd have for a first-timer would also be awesome, or any sense of what I can expect in terms of weather conditions at the top on a day like tomorrow (mid to upper fifties and sunny in Danville.) Thanks!
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Old 12-29-19, 04:20 PM
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Summoning DiabloScott !
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Old 12-30-19, 09:16 AM
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I have no advice about parking on the South Side.


Weather and road conditions are in my blog
Saturday was nice after it warmed up... a little windy.
In general I advise riding the North Side if you have to drive to get here.
Enjoy your ride, and report back here.

Last edited by DiabloScott; 12-30-19 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 12-30-19, 05:53 PM
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I had to look up "Bret Harte Park" lol. I didn't realize that little sliver of dirt and trees on that street corner was a "park"! Looks fine I guess...a closer alternative if you want is on Fairway Dr adjacent to St. Timothy's church (don't park at the church unless a weekday, and only in the designated areas). I've never had resident issues on that street. If you are going to ride through the country club, I would advise against using Calle Arroyo. Just take the MUP and then ride on the wrong side of the road for a few hundred feet to Alameda Diablo. There's a lot of fuss about those roads, but be assured using Alameda Diablo is totally legal. The descent can be cold, especially in winter. Bring a jacket, but there's no need to bundle up like an arctic expedition (like so many riders I see).

edit: I guess this post is too late, lol oh well.
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Old 12-30-19, 06:54 PM
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Thanks all, I had a successful and really enjoyable first ride up the Diablo, and I'm already thinking about when I might head back for more. The weather was... basically completely perfect. Upper fifties and full sun, some breeze and a few moderate gusts up towards the top (but very light, I'm guessing, by Mount Diablo standards.) I was glad I had a merino base layer to throw on at the summit for the descent, but I'm a known weather wuss. There were plenty of other cyclists out there (I saw maybe 40 or 50 all together,) all different shapes and sizes and ages and abilities-- seems like a cool bike culture vibe out there. Parking was no issue, I did end up going to that Bret Harte park which had eight or ten spaces, none of which were taken when I arrived or when I left, so probably even a good option on busier days. "Little sliver of dirt and trees on that street corner" is definitely an accurate description cthenn , but it worked for me and gave me a kind of ideal 3ish mile warmup before the climb. I kept my pace pretty moderate since I've never done a continuous climb that long and didn't know how my legs would handle the high-grade showstopper at the end; did the Athenian to summit segment in 1:19. Next time, faster!
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Old 12-31-19, 09:50 AM
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1:19 from Athenian at a moderate pace is pretty good! There are many other parking options, especially if you want a longer warm up. I usually ride from my house, which is about 7 miles, perfect distance to get warmed up for me. Never understood how people can park at Athenian school, and then be climbing in less than 5 minutes...my body sure doesn't work that way! Even if I need to park close, I'll ride very slowly for a ways up then turn around, simply because I need the warm up. Diablo is definitely one of the most bike friendly big climbs in the Bay Area (except maybe the busy midday on weekends, too many cars and other cyclists), which is probably why it attracts such a diverse cycling crowd. Plus you can ride dirt or pavement, so you get the MTB crowd as well. Sounds like you had fun!
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Old 12-31-19, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
Thanks all,
Welcome, and well-done.
For reference, the best Strava segment definitions are MINE! Branded with a (1) . There are a lot of crap segment definitions on Strava - nobody pays attention to those other ones.

(1) Mt. Diablo SGR: Tire Poppers to Summit

https://www.strava.com/segments/4149926

Is this you?

Drew Mudge Dec 30, 2019 13.4km/h - - 742.7 1:19:59

(1) Apparently, the Russian letter "D" is not allowed in Bike Forums, but it looks like this:

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Old 12-31-19, 04:40 PM
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Thanks DiabloScott , that's a fine segment indeed, and a fine mountain you've got yourself there. I assume that segment starts like after the one small downhill pitch a few minutes past Athenian?

Yep, 'tis I, the Mudge.

Also haha I love how my fatigued brain avoided paying attention to the second units and rounded 1:19:59 down to 1:19. Close enough!

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Old 12-31-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
Thanks DiabloScott , that's a fine segment indeed, and a fine mountain you've got yourself there. I assume that segment starts like after the one small downhill pitch a few minutes past Athenian?

Yep, 'tis I, the Mudge.

Also haha I love how my fatigued brain avoided paying attention to the second units and rounded 1:19:59 down to 1:19. Close enough!
Thank you for bringing glory to The Mountain.
Yeah, the "tire poppers" is where I turn around when I go down SGR and come back up. It's the official park boundary and there doesn't seem to be any reason to go all the way to Athenian unless you want to synch with the Diablo Challenge segment.



New Year's Day on Mount Diablo is sort of a tradition for fitness and outdoor enthusiasts of all types.
You might enjoy this if you have time to watch:

https://vimeo.com/249332215

Last edited by DiabloScott; 12-31-19 at 05:40 PM.
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