Blog (Tag: challenge)

2011 Mt. Diablo Challenge


This was a serious hill climb. Only 14 seconds away from an under one hour shirt. I hope some of my buddies join me next year in the race. I bet we could send all of us under an hour if we worked together.
By John Behring

Featherpedals Ride


Today I rode with the Featherpedals in Danville, CA. They are a very organized and fun group. They have a SAG and a sweep, so there is a lot of support. The riders are very courteous and although competitive (good) not pushy at all. I have dropped in on a couple other groups in the area which offer good rides as well but some of the others take themselves too seriously. The Featherpedals offer a nice experience for both novice and more experienced riders alike. They offer two types of rides, the Classic and Challenge routes. I opted for the challenge route because, as you know (if you read my blog) that I like Mt. Diablo. The route started off from Draggers market, in Danville, Ca and then took a right out the parking lot on to Blackhawk road towards Mt. Diablo. Today, the weather conditions where not bad overall. The morning temperature was good (50 to 55 degrees) with visibility not so good on the Mountain. It was nice to be above the cloud line and get some sun at the Ranger Junction though. On the trip down the mountain there was so much moisture in the air (but not in rain form), that my arms were literally soaked with water. Lots of wet spots on the road, so on the way down max speed was tapped out at 25mph. I don't like wet spots, (especially on the turns) there have been far too many occasions were I have fish tailed or oversteared and almost slid right of the road. It seems to happen to me exclusively in bad weather (fog, rain, ice) or bad road conditions. After we were off the mountain and back on the classic route of the ride, ride conditions improved dramatically.
 
There was a gentleman named Peter (seemed to me to be a very experienced rider) that I followed for a good portion of the ride. He took some nice action pictures while we were riding, he  even caught a picture of a coyote. I wish I could do that,  I do not have the coordination to take action shots like that (while on a moving BIKE),  Kudos and thanks to Peter for the pictures!

The rest of a ride seemed much easier compared to the Mt. portion but  was very nice, Danville-San Ramon Valley Blvd has been in recent years a well paved road with a nice long fast stretch. It is easy to average 18-20mph, especially within a group on that road.
 
This was a great ride, offering a lot of different terrain, inclines, declines and flats (gotta love the east bay) . Many of the Featherpedalist have lunch together after the group event. The only hard thing about eating a nice lunch after a ride is if you rode to the meeting point at the start. Riding a bike home after on a full stomach uphill is... lets just say it's meh. It sounds like they may even have more fun after the ride than during. I’ll have to meet up with them after for a bite in the future, maybe I'll drive my car to the meeting spot instead.

By John Behring

Mount Diablo Challenge

This was a hard but great ride and a first for me to do this race challenge. What a great rush of adrenaline, it was fun going up the mountain with a whole ton of other cycle enthusiast. I mean everyone was awesome. Just completing this task of 3200 feet of elevation gain deserves a pat on the back.

Here's a quick summary of events. I started at about 9 o'clock or so. Wave 5, the last wave. I hate the beginning part of the road, which is such a mess (pot holes, cracks, and loose gravel on the road). The homeowners need to get together and fix their road, it is truly quite awful. Once you get to the main state park road (after the gate), the road is at least x100 better. The grade is pretty light for the first 3 miles or so to the pay ranger station, I think I passed about 125 people here. The second section is pretty flat except for a few curves after rock city. Then you have some nice climbs near barbeque terrace up to the junction (passed another 75 to hundred people here in this section). The switch backs leading up to the junction can be a pain. After the junction the grit begins and you have pretty generous climbs to the top (passed another 50 or so people in this section). Once you get to the lower summit parking lot you hang a slight left to continue up the opposite side of the road to the finish line where you want to barf. The end.


The Stats:

Time to ranger station/junction: 33 minutes 25 seconds
Finish time: 1 hour 5 minutes 40 seconds
Male division place: 274
Wave: 5
Contestants past: 200+
Water weight lost: 7 lbs
Wave riders seen while riding: 5, 4, 3 & 2

Link to place stats: Active Results
Link to pictures: Photos

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By John Behring