People will scare you with how difficult of a bike ride Mount Diablo is. They'll tell you horror stories of "the summit", and these stories will scare you out of trying it.
A little bit about me ... I'm a bike to brunch kind of girl - meaning I like to get a delicious meal after a long ride. It makes me feel like I've had an adventure... a foodventure (if you will). Diablo is an intimidating ride that is designed for the "super intense". The focus of a true Diablo rider is speed,, speed, speed. Whereas I mainly want to know where we're getting coffee beforehand. Anyways, I decided to try it out, because I don't like assuming something is difficult just because others say it is. Let me tell you: Diablo is tough.
The first time I tried riding I made A LOT of stops. I was very new to biking and I was just curious what the hype was about. I made it to Juniper point, and decided I was scared of the summit, so I made my way down. Looking back, I'm annoyed at myself because I was SO close.
So over time I got better at biking. I didn't panic every time I had to get on & off my bike, and I was able to reach down and grab my water bottle without fearing a crash. (It's the little things.)
I completed my first metric century, and signed up for the Save Mount Diablo Challenge. If you want to see ungodly strength, I'd recommend this ride. I figured it couldn't be harder than my ride down Highway 1, but then I took a look at the elevation. 3800 feet over 11.2 miles.
Well... I signed up for it, so I had to do it. I hadn't trained specifically for Diablo, so applied the skills from my I had to be one of the slowest people there, but I made it!
Words of Wisdom
- Go early in the morning: there are less cars & it isn't as hot.
- Bring nutrition
- Bring water (at least 2 bottles)
- Have a light jacket for the way down
- Make sure your equipment is in order: brakes, tires, safety gear, helmet
- Maintain chill to steady heart rate
When you're doing a bike ride, it's not about everyone else's performance. It's about you, and pacing yourself so you can complete. It's the classic story of the tortoise and the hare. You may not necessarily win like the tortoise, but you'll at least complete (unlike the hare).
Another reason you should take it at your own pace is heart rate: when I used to stress about other people's performance, I'd really spike my heart rate. On a ride like Diablo, you have to maintain chill and be very efficient with your energy usage. Out of practicality, maintain chill and don't compare yourself to others.