New Year’s Day up Mount Diablo-North Gate: The Many Faces of GPC

Sunday, January 1, 2012

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Michael and I are leading the New Year’s Day ride up Mount Diablo via North Gate Rd. We ride out from home to meet up with the group at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek.

People are slowing trickling in and as 10 AM rolls around, we have 38 riders en route to Diablo!

We head SE on San Carlos Dr to Las Lomas Way and Walnut Ave.

The turn on Oak Grove/Castle Rock Rd takes us onto North Gate Rd. The climbing begins once you pass the North Gate entrance. The 6.5 miles climb up to the Junction has an average gradient of around 6%.

Once you approach the 1000′ elevation sign, the gradient increases to ranges of 9-11% for about a quarter mile. The road eases up and kicks up again as you near Diablo Ranch.

There is a brief regroup at the Junction Ranger Station. There is a huge gathering of cyclists at the junction.

The climb up to the Summit is 4.6 miles with an average grade of 7%. The section between Blue Oak and Oak Knoll picnic areas has gradient ranges of 9-11%. The road eases up once you pass Pioneer on to Juniper.

The climb up to the Devil’s Elbow is at a steady 7-8% grade. It eases up to around 4-5% for the next mile up to the lower parking lot. The climb up “the wall” is steep! it starts off at around 13% and maxes out at 17-18% near the top!

The summit is filled with GPC cyclists! It a sunny balmy 70 degrees up here with no wind! How fabulous is that?

The views from the summit are spectacular!

The North Gate & South Gate groups converge at the top. WOW! These are the many faces of GPC!

There are still many GPC cyclists making their way up to the summit. This is a fantastic showing of club members!

The 11 miles descent from the summit to North gate Rd is so fun-it’s one of my favorites in the area!

The post ride lunch/coffee stop is at the Ygnacio Plaza. I always opt to go to Peet’s while many others gather at the opposite end of the plaza near the bakery.

Many “THANKS!” to everyone who came out to join Michael and me for the North Gate version of the traditional New Year’s ride up Diablo! It was great to see the South Gate group at the summit and at the post ride lunch stop.

What a marvelous way to start 2012!


38 people in attendance with 1 tandem

Original route: 30 miles with 3651′ of elevation gain
Extended route: 49.4 miles with 4624′ of elevation gain

Weather: FABULOUS! Sunny blue skies with temps ranging from the low 50’s from the start to the mid 70’s at the summit.

>>>>May 2012 bring more love, smiles, laughter, and good heath to us all!>>>>

Follow this route sheet for today’s ride:



One Comment

  1. What a beautiful ride! It’s great to see so many out riding on such a wonderful day. Nice touch with the route sheet at the end.


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