View Full Version : Rainy Day on Mount Diablo

12-09-2006, 02:45 PM
As I drove over to the mountain I could see it was sunny at the bottom and totally cloud encased about halfway up. But I need 15,000 feet of climbing before we go to Hawaii, if I am to achieve my climbing goal for the year. I figured I could at least make it to the Junction, even if I was miserable. An hour of misery for a couple thousand feet isn't a bad trade off.

I was wearing my Exte Onde tights, wool socks, a cool max long sleeve top and a Patagonia fleece with wind block, long fingered gloves. That may not sound like much clothing, but this ride does nothing but climb until you decide to turn around.

The climb to the Junction wasn't bad. It wasn't until right around 1,000 feet that the wind began to kick in and the rain to start. Of course that is also where the road kicks up to 9%. :eek: I got to the Junction and wasn't feeling too cold so I continued on up. The coach really wanted me to go the Summit. And I hate to disappoint him. Of course he was sitting in his warm, cozy office working on SAP AGAIN!

The wind really picked up after the Junction. The road is much more exposed. I could see the clouds just whooshing across in front of me. There were times when I would come around a corner and it felt like a giant hand was trying to push me backward. The grade wasn't changing, but my speed would drop at least a mile.

There were other times when the hand was pushing me forward. It sounded like a train coming up behind me. It didn't seem to give me that extra mile though. :p The rain had also picked up and was no longer a drizzle. About two miles from the Summit, the visibility became very limited. You could see maybe 100 yards ahead of you. I stopped and took off my glasses and turned on my tail lights.

The 17% at the end was bear. My HR went from 162 to 190 in less than a minute. I did stay seated though. I had wondered if I could on the new bike. This section starts off kind of enclosed, but as soon as I started through the exposed section near the top, I thought I was going to hurl. 17% plus a wicked strong wind! It was blowing 28 mph with gusts to 37 according to the weather station up there.

There were three other riders at the Summit. One of them was Thom's old boss. It was kind of cool to see him up there. They were about to head down, but offered to wait for me. I encouraged them to go as it was very cold. I put on my jacket, rain pants, Amphib gloves and a balaclava for the descent. I still got the shivers a couple of times.

I don't know how slowly I took the descent. I'm at work with Thom now, so haven't done my download. I know I'm the one usually passing cars and today I slowed so two cars could pass me.

It wasn't slippery though, just hard to see very far ahead of you. There was also a lot of debris in the road, leaves, sticks and some giant pine cones.

I'm glad I did it. One of my tricks for getting myself through tough parts of a long ride is to think, "This isn't as hard as X. You did X, you can do this." Now when I'm feeling miserable from cold or rain on PBP I can remind myself that what I am doing is not as hard as climbing Diablo in the rain. :)


12-09-2006, 03:16 PM
While I was on my ride I looked over at Diablo a few times and it was covered with clouds and looked pretty yukky all in all.

Good job, V.

I need to learn this tenacity thing. :p

12-09-2006, 07:21 PM
I guess it was pretty cold out there. Thom asked me if I was wearing blue lipstick while we were eating lunch.


12-09-2006, 11:30 PM
Ha! Blue lipstick....that's a new one -- I like that!

I echo Jobob....well done!!

I'm gonna have to try Diablo someday. :D I was BAD this morning...I slept in (gasp!!!!).

12-10-2006, 02:01 AM
Excellent work, Veronica! Your mental and physical toughness are inspiring.

12-10-2006, 05:48 AM
Thanks! I figured I was just insane. :D


12-10-2006, 07:58 AM
I figured I was just insane. :D

Well, there's that too.....:rolleyes: :D