Mount Diablo Challenge

October 6, 2008

Top of Mount Diablo

Top of Mount Diablo

A couple months ago Evan talked both John and I into signing up for the Mount Diablo Challenge which is a road race up Mount Diablo with the goal of raising money to protect the mountain.  To get to the top, cyclists have to ascend 3,250 feet over a winding 10.8 miles with roughly a 18% grade for the last tenth of a mile before the finish line.

This year roughly 1,000 cyclists participated in the race and a new record of 41 minutes and 19 seconds was obtained by Howard Love.  But you don’t have to be anywhere close to that fast to feel at home going up the mountain because the race attracts all types of cyclists including very young children, mountain bikers and unicyclists.

Mount Diablo Challenge Start

Start of the Mount Diablo Challenge

Because the three of us are at fairly different levels of fitness we sadly couldn’t be in the same starting wave.  Being the fastest, Evan was in the second while I was in the third and John was in the fourth.  Evan’s goal was to finish in under an hour, I wanted to get in at 1 hour 20 minutes and John wanted to make it to the top.

The day was sunny but rather cool overall with some significant winds on the upper half of the mountain.  I was feeling pretty good for the first 6.5 miles of the race.  I’d ridden this section of the road before which really helps with the mental aspects of a race.  However the last few miles of the ride required an increasing amount of mental tricks to constantly push out the fact that I didn’t totally know what was ahead of me.

I was actually quite confident that my time was nowhere close to what it needed to be in order to accomplish my goal so I forced myself not to look at the clock in fear that it would be depressing.  However, in retrospect this was actually a mistake because in reality I was actually doing quite well.  I discovered this after I crossed the line and to my complete surprise I had managed to finish only four minutes behind my goal.  While it would have been nice to meet my goal I’m still quite happy with my results given how little training I did for the race.

As for Evan and John, I couldn’t be happier for the two of them because they both accomplished everything they wanted to with the race.  Evan finished in exactly one hour and John crossed the line in under two.  Earlier in the year Evan was doing the math for how much more energy he would have to pump out in order to make it in under an hour which to me seemed like it might not be obtainable.  Even more impressive is the fact that prior to the race John hadn’t made it to the top of the mountain at all.  Congratulations to both of them.

John, Evan and Ryan at the top of Mount Diablo

John, Evan and Ryan at the top of Mount Diablo

Next it looks like we’re going to do some of the climbs in the low key hill climbing series, we’ll see how they treat us.

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One Response to “Mount Diablo Challenge”

  1. Evan Says:

    1:00:00 and four tenths of a second to be exact. They’re should be a prize for getting as close to the hour mark as possible.


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