Halloween With The Devil

Sunday, October 31, 2010

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Michael and I head out to Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek to meet up for a GPC ride up to Mt Diablo. I decide to dress in Halloween colors and decorate my bike in the same manner; orange and black. Water and restrooms are available next to the baseball field.

The route takes us on the Contra Costa Canal Trail and then along many left and right turns on Cherry Lane, Seven Hills Ranch Rd, Walnut Blvd to Mountain View Blvd, Palmer Rd and Rudgear Rd. Then it’s on to Lavender Dr to Livorna Rd. There are a few little climbs along the way.

We reach our first regroup at Livorna Park. Water and restrooms are available. We continue on Miranda Ave and pass by the golf course on Roundhill Rd to Stone Valley and Green Valley Rd. The next turn is on Diablo Rd.

The next turn on Alameda Diablo Rd takes us through the Diablo Country Club. The homes in this area are decorated in large fashion with many ghouls, ghosts and goblins. Everything here is done in a “BIG” scale. I stop to take some pics and the rest of the group rides off. I’m just taking my time looking and enjoying the various decorations. There’s nothing like this in my neighborhood. I’m way too early to start knocking on doors for Halloween candy; though I am dressed for the spirit of the day and night.

Ron happens upon me as he’s on his way to join the group up Diablo. We make our way to the “hole in the fence”.

Going through the “hole” leads us right to South Gate Rd. I hear some noise above me and spot several deer along the hillside. Further along the road, we see wild turkeys too. The climb up South Gate Rd is about 7 miles long with the average gradient being around 4.5%. For the first several miles, you’re fully exposed to the sun. You get a reprieve once you pass the Ranger Station towards Rock City. The road does levels out a bit here. Out on Curry Point, we see the Tieni Duro Junior Cycling Team; looks like they’re taking team photos for the upcoming season. We reach the regroup at the Junction Ranger Station. Water and restrooms are available.

About half of the group continues on Summit Rd for the next 4.6 miles to the top. The average gradient is about 7%. The road does get a bit steeper; around 9-10% grade when you reach Blue Oak and Oak Knoll picnic areas. It eases up once you pass Pioneer picnic area all the way to Juniper.

It’s about another 2 miles to the top once you pass Juniper. The views are spectacular! It’s a steady grind all the way to the devil’s elbow. Once you make that final pitch to the left, the road eases up. Yes, there’s a false summit; but don’t relax just yet! Always save the best for last; get ready to hit the “wall”, the last 200 yards to the top parking lot is really steep! it starts off at 13% and maxes out at 18% near the top. On such a nice day as today, you need to take the time to check out the 360 views from the top, it’s absolutely awesome! Water and restrooms are available.

 

The descent on North Gate Rd is over 7.5 miles long. From there we take Walnut Rd to Las Lomas and San Carlos Dr back to the parking lot.

Thanks to Jeffrey for leading this Halloween ride! Congrats to Esta and Eileen for making it up to the summit for the first time! Another thanks goes to Ron for keeping me company all the way from the spooky houses to the Junction Ranger Station!

~20 people in attendance

39 miles with 4062′ of elevation gain

Weather: Sunny and warm. Starting temp of 57 reaching a high of 70

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>HAVE FUN RIDING!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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