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