July 31, 1999.
Since the weather has been so cool this summer, I decided to take advantage of it and recreate my trip to Mt. Diablo from last year, since that was the favorite of my 100 mile rides. I modified the route slightly for some variety, although two new roads I tried to use (Dougherty and Niles Canyon) were closed for long stretches so that didn't quite work out as planned, and added a little distance to the route. I didn't bring a camera this time so for details of the route and pictures see the writeup for last year.
The weather was much better this year, however. It was a bit cool and very windy, which has been the story all summer here, but on the climb the temperature was just perfect and the skies were clear and blue. I could finally see the entire mountain as I climbed it! I would definitely have to add Diablo to my favorite climbs, and hope to do it every year. This year I started the climb earlier in the morning (a little after 9:30am) and found there was almost no traffic at this time, which made it much more enjoyable. I made it up in 1:27, an improvement over my 1:39 of last year but still pretty slow.
After the 200 mile trip two weeks ago I thought this trip would be pretty easy. However it turned out to be tougher than it should have been. I think the main factors were that I was a little under the weather, and my left leg hadn't healed from the 200 mile trip. Due to the cold weather I'd felt a little sick the last couple weeks and had in fact not cycled at all since the 200 mile trip. So I wasn't in as good of shape as I should have been. Worse was that my left leg apparently had been hurt more than I'd thought on the 200 mile trip and hadn't really healed, so riding this time reaggravated it. I had to be very careful and couldn't really cycle normally, which really slowed me down.
I measured the total climbing using my Suunto Vector altimeter with 20 second sampling. I'm very impressed with the accuracy of this thing--it was only 10-20 feet off when I reached the top of Mt. Diablo. Interestingly the climbing of this 114 mile trip was similar to the climbing of the 207 mile trip two weeks ago. I was surprised to find my average speed was actually lower on this trip than the longer trip, and that I felt nearly as tired when it was over.
I had lunch with Chi Ku, my former Oracle officemate who lives in San Ramon, and also stopped by and visited Uma Wellingkar, a co-worker at Siebel, and her family in Union City on the way home.
Return to John Leo's cycling page.