Friday, February 17, 2012
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Mount Diablo here we come! I ride out from home to meet up with the group at Heather Farm Park. There is ample free parking; water and restrooms are available nearby.
I always find that I get a happy group of cyclists showing up for this ride and today is no exception! This out and back route promises quality miles with quality climbing.
Charles N leads us out on a slight detour through the side streets of Walnut Creek to North Gate Rd. The route I normally use is pretty straight forward with only a few turns; out on San Carlos to Las Lomas, Walnut to Oak Grove and North Gate Rd.
We all ride together as a group up to the North Gate entrance; once the climbing starts, everyone goes up at their own pace. With minimal rainfall this winter, the mountainsides of Diablo are still very brown and dry.
The climb up to the Junction Ranger Station is around 6.5 miles with an average gradient of 6%. The steepest section is on the approach to the 1000′ elevation sign-the gradient ranges from 9-11% for about a quarter mile.
The road eases up before the next steep section on the approach to Diablo Ranch. The views along the switchbacks are always spectacular! There is a regroup at the Junction. Water and restrooms are available.
The vast majority of people in this group are going up to the summit. GREAT! The climb up to the Summit is 4.6 miles with an average grade of 7%. There are several sections that have gradient ranges of 9-11%. You’ll feel it! Once you pass Pioneer picnic area, the road eases up all the way to Juniper.
From Juniper, it’s a steady 7-8% grind up to the Devil’s Elbow. The road eases up till you reach “The Wall”-it’s steep! The gradient starts off at around 13% and maxes out around 17-18% near the top!
The views from the Summit are always impressively grand! It’s a very clear day with no winds up here! WOW! It’s always worth the climb!
The 11 miles descent from the Summit down to North Gate Rd is my favorite! I love the sweeping turns and great sight lines-beware, there are a few spots with some very tight turns!
There is a post-ride stop at Peet’s at the Ygnacio Plaza. Thanks to everyone for joining me on this wonderful sunny warm day up Diablo-it was fabulous!
Another “thanks” to Ron for treating me to a hot green tea!
17 people with 1 tandem
Extended route: 49 miles with 4664′ of elevation gain
Original route: 30 miles with 3651′ of elevation gain
Weather: MARVELOUS! Clear blue skies with plenty of sunshine! Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the 70’s at the summit! WOW!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>CLIMB, CLIMB, CLIMB!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Follow this route for today’s ride: