So we decided to do Diablo repeats, as a trainer for the Death Ride. No, I’m not doing the Death Ride … so why am I doing this? Well, I do have the Grand Tour Double coming up at end of month … but I’ll probably have as much climbing on this as I would on the entire double.
We started from North Gate, and the plan was to climb to the summit, down to South gate, climb to summit, down to North Gate, then climb to summit one more time. Just to add to this, the temps were going to be pretty high, in the mid 80’s.
The start of the climb felt pretty good. Despite that, I was far behind everyone else. Michael wasn’t feeling too well, but even he was able to pull away from me. Chris was on a mission, and was time trialing this climb. I just wanted to make it up the hill, and get to the summit.
I was making some pretty good time, but wanted to make sure I didn’t over do it (otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to climb up the South side). I made it to the ranger’s station in ~ 45 minutes, which is respectable. However, I still had another 4+ miles and 1500 feet more to climb to the summit. The closer I got to the summit, the more my lower back started to strain. My body is not in sufficient climbing shape, so I think I may need to do more Montebello rides after work … but that’s another issue … making sure I can get out of work on time.
The last time we did Diablo, I started seeing the group descend down the hill, one switchback before the final climb. The same thing happened today. But this time, I was determined to make it to the top. I figure by the time I make it down the south side, I will U-turn when I see the group start climbing from South side.
At the summit, there was a swarm of bugs greeting me, just before the wall, and before the summit. Damn, just what I needed … close my mouth, breath through my nose, while making the final push up the steep grade. Really disgusting.
Finally made it to the top. That felt good … back not feeling too bad, but now I can try to recover. Come to think of it, I really wanted to get to the summit so I can get a refill on water. Yea, that’s the ticket.
Down the hill, then over to south gate. I didn’t make it all the way down … I saw Ramon leading the climb back up, so that’s when I make my U-Turn, at around the 1,000 foot elevation.
On the way up, I had an interesting encounter. There was a coyote taking a stroll on the road about 500 feet ahead of me. Sorry no pics, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. I deliberately slowed to a crawl, giving him space, to just continue his stroll to the other side of the road. He proceeded over the hill side and I was able to continue my climb without issues.
I was aching, and was going to go slowly, with no intentions of making it all the way to the summit. I see Michael at the Ranger’s station, and find he’s not climbing the summit, so I figure that’s good enough for me. Plus, it’s hitting high noon, the hottest time of the day … we waited for the group to come down the mountain, and then went down with everyone.
I probably could have gone a little more, but the prospect of climbing from north gate one more time during the hottest time of the day did not seem very attractive. Michael and I called it a day. Everyone else continued on.
Distance: 34.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 4806 feet
More info at http://www.strava.com/rides/113408
Plus it was really humid today out on the WC side of the tunnel. Pretty awful.