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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At 51 years old, I have recently come back to cycling after a 25 year hiatus. I got distracted with other sports - running and swimming. Bought a bike in June and have been having a blast all summer riding in the East Bay - 3 Bears, Canyon/Redwood Rd, and all kinds of rides around Orinda/Lafayette/Walnut Creek.

Yesterday a couple of buddies and I decided to do the South side of Mt. Diablo. What a terrific ride - challenging but such a beautiful ride. The temperature was perfect even though it was a bit humid (only humid by California standards). The ride itself was challenging but not too bad. I felt really strong until the last 2 miles. At that point the climbing prior had taken its toll and my pace slowed. The last 500 feet is like a wall, literally. The descent, is fun but pretty challenging for me - I need to practice my entrance and exits to turns at speed. My friends are much better at zooming down the mountain but I hung back and took it at my own speed.

Well worth the effort and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon.
 

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NICE!

Don't sweet the descending. Go at a pace that you are comfortable with. Too many bad accidents with people over cooking turns all in the name of fun.

To me the fun is that I can go out and do it again the next day.

If I remember Diablo, the hill gets steeper after the ranger station and then the wall is well a wall.

Time to go do Hamilton.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup - Hamilton is on the list...

Diablo gets steeper when the North and South roads meet. At that point there is 4.2 miles to the summit. I was feeling strong and keep a nice pace until the last 2 miles - that's when I slowed down a bit - fun ride, for sure!

Descending is really a learned skill. I have no desire to descend any faster than my comfort level. Zipping down 3,300 feet in 11.5 miles at 40 mph is not my goal. My fastest coming down was right around 30 mph (on some lone straight away) and my average descent on Diablo was probably right around 20ish. There are some really tight hairpins where my speed was probably closer to 15 mph. It's all good, no falls and no one got hurt.
 

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brandtw said:
Yup - Hamilton is on the list...

Diablo gets steeper when the North and South roads meet. At that point there is 4.2 miles to the summit. I was feeling strong and keep a nice pace until the last 2 miles - that's when I slowed down a bit - fun ride, for sure!

Descending is really a learned skill. I have no desire to descend any faster than my comfort level. Zipping down 3,300 feet in 11.5 miles at 40 mph is not my goal. My fastest coming down was right around 30 mph (on some lone straight away) and my average descent on Diablo was probably right around 20ish. There are some really tight hairpins where my speed was probably closer to 15 mph. It's all good, no falls and no one got hurt.
Hear, hear! I adhere to the thought that it is always better to sacrifice a little speed on the DH descent so I can come back and ride again the next day. I hate being sidelined with injuries.

Maybe a Calaveras - Mt. Hamilton combo day should be done one weekend. Start with the Calaveras-Felter-Sierra loop, then continue onto Mt. Hamilton.
 

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The last four miles are certainly steeper then the first 7, combined with fatigue from climbing, it is always harder. Consider signing up for the Diablo challenge on 10/3, a fun event and fund raiser for Save Mt Diablo.

<iframe width='465' height='548' frameborder='0' src='http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/48334753'></iframe>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
One of my riding pals is doing the Diablo challenge. I wished I could ride that day but I can't because of a prior commitment. Diablo State Park is a real gem in our backyard.
 

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Great to hear you made it up the Mountain. Maybe next time consider doing it from the North Gate side, it' is noticeably different to the junction than from the South Gate side.

I find that once I get to the Devil's elbow turn near the top I need to back it down a notch so I can survive that darned wall. That thing is just plain mean.
 

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brandtw said:
North side is a tougher climb, right? it's shorter distance but steeper, correct?
I don't know that its any steeper. It starts off with a few miles of rolling, then gets steep, which continues to the junction. Southgate starts steep, then levels off for a few miles of rolling with a short climb to the junction. You are probably fresher for the Summit Rd climb if you go Southgate, but I don't think the climb up Northgate is actually any steeper.
 

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Northgate is a much better descent, the roads are a lot smoother and marked for potholes.

I have to agree that Diablo is a great ride, I try to get out there once a week.
 

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I lived in the East bay for the first 18 years of my life and it was only 2 months ago that I rode (a visited) Mt. Diablo. Started at the North Gate side....heart rate was high for the 50+min it takes to get up to the top.
 

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Hey EBrider, were you riding up Diablo on Wednesday evening with the light? Were you the one chasing me to the top? Do you ride an Orbea? Just wondering. :thumbsup:
 

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rcjunkie3000 said:
Hey EBrider, were you riding up Diablo on Wednesday evening with the light? Were you the one chasing me to the top? Do you ride an Orbea? Just wondering. :thumbsup:

Was not me. I rode up on Tuesday on my old school steel road bike. Figure if I go on something carbon fiber it would take at least 10 minutes off my time:thumbsup:
 
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