(January 4, 2014) Nudist Colony-Mt Diablo South Gate Almost Century, 88 miles, 5,794' climbing, w Diablo Cyclists
|Elevation-Schaefer Ranch-Cull Canyon-Redwood Road-Mt. Diablo Southgate to Junction|
December 31 I was able to get out of work by noon so took a spin up Mt. Diablo to the Junction, which is about 60% up the mountain, via North Gate (aka The Hard Side.) No one was out when I was going up. Actually Dr. and Mrs Dr. Dave were on Diablo--coming down in the their car. Hope he wasn't cheating and trying to set a Strava time.
Climb was great--nice and warm. Few cars out. I also enjoyed being on my 17lb racing bike, as on New Years Day I'd gain about 10 lbs. No one was at the Junction. When I was going down about a dozen cyclist were first coming up. I kept my own tradition and was overdressed for the descent.
Next day was the traditional Northern California tradition, climbing Mt. Diablo on New Years Day. This time I had my 22lb steel bike with a rack and my 6 lb Blautpunk stereo complete with power amp and lead acid battery. It was coooold riding the few flat miles to the base of the mountain.
|Brian and Don arrive at the Mt Diablo Junction|
Idea was to ride ez up with the group--and that is how the trek started up Northgate Road and the beginning of Mt. Diablo. The music bouncing off the fence and rocks and sounded great. There was, however, a large group or cyclists right in front of us. Originally the plan was to ride in back of them but a few of them couldn't ride in a straight line and a guy in front of me dropped his chain and almost fell. Dr. Dave said let's get outta here and we went around them and then Dave and I set a pace to stay well off the front. I was wondering when I was going to fade--the steep 1000' was a killer with +10 lbs--and Dave who is riding great took off.
|Motley Crew at the Junction|
|Dr. Dave on the upper slopes of Diablo.|
|I reach the summit coming off of final steep finishing ramp. (Dr. D)|
|Arizona Bill and Jeanne arrive at the top of Mt. Diablo|
|Jerry at the top of Mt. Diablo. He rode with me on my first long hilly ride back in 2003 (Sierra Century 120 miles) when I was scared shitless and then did the toughest part of the course with me in 2004 when I prepped for my 1st Death Ride.|
|Grizzly Mark - always great to ride with him on Doubles after we stopped trying to ride each other into the ground.|
A few days later was our club ride which climbs steep Schaefer Ranch, then to Cull Canyon where there is a four mile mile climb that always turns into a race, and then a return on Redwood Road which has more climbing. I felt good so wanted to get in close to 100 miles--hadn't done a century ride in awhile--so planned to add Mt. Diablo. No troublemakers (wheelsuckers) out on the big club ride so Dave and I just rode tempo on Schaefer Ranch.
|First climb of the day--up steep Schaeffer Ranch.|
|Dave and Stephen were contemplating dumping a mattress here until they saw the sign....|
|..while Rusty finds a Basso at the nudist colony---Dave says she's connected to Basso Bicycle.|
|Happy New Year|
We all kept together up Redwood and then down thru Moraga. I thought we were coming back on "the Blvd" today which would have led us right into Mt. Diablo Southgate (the Easy Side.) We were now on the Northgate side but Stephen and June were going back to their home near Southgate so I rode with them. Only worry was that it was about 2pm and I had no front light.
Luckily Stephen and June know the most direct route to Southgate and once on it the climb is fast compared to the steeper Northgate side (though in another comparison with Tam and Hamilton, their two climbs are much more varied than Mt. Diablo's.) There is a couple of mile stretch around Rock City where the "climb" gets very fast and though gassed and not in midyear shape I could still hold close to 20 mph. My best decision was to take off the vest before starting the climb--it was very warm with the descending sun hitting off the roadway..
|Mt Diablo late in the day.|
|Where are all the people who were at the crowded Mt Diablo Junction a few days ago?|
The Junction was deserted. For once I didn't bring Imelda Marco's wardrobe for the descent, I just had a light jacket and glove liners to add. Nice with no cars--just a touch of wind. Didn't have regular glasses in the car--luckily had clear cycling glasses as half way home the sun disappeared. A great cycling day.
|Coach Andy's training program included whipped cream--if he turns away Dr. Dave will be swiping it.|