Ray's Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2006

2003 October 5: Mount Diablo Challenge

This is an annual race up Mt. Diablo in Danville (where Chris Lieto and family are
from!). It's 3300' of climbing over the course of 10.8 miles.

Lauren and I decided to do this ride on the tandem. We drove to
Danville bright and early with Ed, who had narrowly missed achieving a
sub-hour time in
2002, and was extremely eager to remedy this in 2003 (if you manage to
do this, you get a T-shirt that proclaims your speediness to the entire

We parked at a public park a few miles from the bottom of Mt. Diablo
and biked over to the start. There were a lot of cyclists milling
around! Things had warmed up a bit more than we had been
expecting, so we removed some of our gear and put it in cardboard boxes
that would be brought up to the top of the climb. I can't
remember the start signal for the race, but at some point it happened,
and we were off.

Ed charged forward through the crowd. Since a tandem's not
especially maneuverable (or fast at climbing!), Lauren and I took it
somewhat slower. It wasn't too long before things thinned out
somewhat and the climb proper began.

There's not a huge amount to tell. Lauren stood out of her saddle
a lot of the time (possibly for a third of the entire climb, or maybe
even more!), and we kept a pretty good pace the entire way (well, it
felt like a pretty good pace to us,
anyway!). No interesting wildlife (the only previous time I climbed Mt. Diablo, I saw two tarantulas) to report. The climb is pretty steady without any real killer steep sections (except for the very last bit (maybe 200 yards?)).

Eventually we reached the top. It took us 1:28:29, as seen here.
We're listed under the somewhat curious name "& Sidney Baptist".

We hung out at the top for a bit, trying to figure out where the food
we had been expecting to see was. Eventually we realized that we
had to head down a tiny bit and then over to a different area. We
did this and immediately found Ed. We sated our appetites and
slaked our thirsts and sat around for a good long time. Sitting
around like this was actually mandatory-- you can't descend until the
race is over, and it's not over until everyone has reached the
top. After our quota of sitting around, we headed down and came
back home.

Ed got his T-shirt with a bunch of minutes to spare, by the way.


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