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I fought the devil and lived to tell...

Monday, July 05, 2010

They don’t call it Mt. Diablo “Devil Mountain” for nothing.

3849 feet of unforgiving climbing...

Whether you decide to hike, bike or drive. Beware. With the beauty comes a price and there is no easy way down.
To celebrate my independence from being a novice cyclist, I decided to take on the Beast on Independence Day.

The base of the mountain is surrounded by indescribably picturesque mansions...

The beauty of these homes gives way to a pretty rugged road.

Then the fun begins.
It’s so basic, just beauty and climbing. People drive by and applaud cyclists as they are going uphill. The cyclists coming downhill are beaming. The ones going uphill are praying.

Going uphill you think your legs will hurt. My body actually began to shut down. Parts of my body went on strike. First, my feet fell asleep. Then I couldn’t feel my lower back. Then the fingers started to fall asleep. It was like my entire body was gradually reminding me that there was a barbeque later and they were ready NOW. emoticon

Another cyclist was busy shaking out his feet while his buddy teased him that next time he should wear his “Manolo Blahniks.” emoticon

After two thousand, one hundred and eighty feet of climbing, I finally reached the ranger station. I waited for the nice sheriff to put down his shotgun then asked him to take a photo. It would be great for memories (or if things went south, identification?)

Talking to the other cyclists, they somehow convinced me that going to the summit (3849 ft) in the mid day sun was a great idea. (Can you say peer pressure?)

So, here I was plugging away on the 8% grade, getting seduced by the gorgeous views...

When, at less than a mile from the summit, BOOM , a little Fourth of July fireworks? emoticon How about a puncture flat that ruined the tire. I changed the flat but the tire had threads sticking out where it was torn open. (Curse you Mt. Diablo!!!)

Even though I was less than a mile from the summit and I had climbed over 3200 feet, I would not beat the devil today. But I live to fight another day.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your blog is so amazing! Makes me want to make the climb up Diablos. I've had a few but nothing like that. I so love a great climb. You will conquer this hill!

    Pedal on my friend!!! emoticon

    I'm adding you as my friend so I can come back and read more!
    2774 days ago
    Great blog. Too bad about the flat. Part of the reason we climb is to experience the thrill of the ride down. I'm sorry you didn't get to do that.

    Flats are always bummers :-(.

    Here's hoping that you have better rides in the future.
    2809 days ago
    WOW! This is simply amazing! i've no doubt you will be back to conquer the DIABLO! :-) So glad to be back and reading that you are well. please keep me posted on your journies... ;-)
    2811 days ago
    awesome ride, awesome accomplishment!!!! novice cyclist?!?! no way girlfriend!! YOU ROCK!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    2814 days ago
    Wow!! That is quite the trek. I am truly inspired, you're amazing.

    Such a shame about the tire though, there's not a lot as frustrating as 'almost' getting there. We hiked Mt. Greylock one afternoon and had to turn back with less than half a mile to go because of timing issues. Needless to say we went back another day (lol that day had a snowstorm, we finally got to the top and saw absolutely nothing!).

    I have no doubt you will be back for the Devil!

    2815 days ago
    Wonderful blog post and I LOVE your photos!

    You rock girl... I've been driven up Mt. Diablo as a child when we used to live in San Jose, and remember how steep, although I'm sure it's much steeper on a bike!
    What a bad place to get a flat and ruining a tire is no fun either. Hope you had/or got a safe ride down!

    I still want to get "skinnier" so I can climb more mountains too!
    emoticon emoticon
    2815 days ago
    I loved this story - too bad about the equipment failure at the end. But I agree, you will conquer the devil next time. :-)
    2815 days ago
    Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing. Please share with us again when you make it to the very tip top! emoticon
    2815 days ago
    now John we all know that its worth the devils ride, hoooray for you. You did a wonderful trip. last time i did a hike i was sick with mono and the hiker would not give up and let me go off that dam mountain.Did not do my poor kidneys any good.Glad to hear you got out.Cant say Im up for this but i putter around town on my mount best to you, very proud. emoticon
    2816 days ago
    Loved your story, what bad luck to get a flat tire when you were so close :((
    Thanks for the insights on what its like pushing against a wall. I had no idea what its like for a cyclist. I live on the flat prairies so don't get much in the way of hills, let alone mountains..
    Love your photos! You are looking lean and mean and ready to conquer there!
    Keep up the adventures!
    2816 days ago
    What a great blog entry. Thanks for sharing your success and inspiring us to fight our own Diablos.

    2816 days ago
    Fantastic journey, my friend! I felt like I was with you. I so appreciate your sharing one of your many beautiful, if not exhausting and challenging, bike rides. Have a great week!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2816 days ago
    Dang! What a story! What did you do? Congrats on your accomplishment!
    2816 days ago
    So close, but you will beat the devil yet. The pictures were fantastic, thanks for sharing.
    2816 days ago
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