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Mount Diablo Challenge - CycleOther

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Danville, California
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 1h 05m 44s
Overall Rank = 277/888
Age Group = M40-49
Age Group Rank = 131/339
Pre-race routine:

This race is definitely not my kind of race (uphill time trial), but i get free registration through work since they are the primary event sponsor, so i definitely was in. DW was registered as well as poweredbyfear (PBF). I was also able to get AbbieR registered on our team as well.

The night before the race, we had a small BBQ (using our ceramic Green Egg grill). Primarily BBQ'd some pork tenderloin from the Drewes, the neighborhood meat market, but also had some leftover wagyu beef (the same stock used to make the legendary Kobe beef), a turkey sausage, and a little bit of chicken from the previous evening's BBQ. poweredbyfear came to dinner as well as DW's friend A. Also had several very interesting stout beers - a scottish one made in old whiskey barrel's (was 10% alcohol and the finish was very strong smoked whisky barrel flavor...all in all too strong a flavor for me) and one made with coffee (a bit weird). We had a third oatmeal stout also made with chocolate, but decided to pass/save that one for another day. In any case, we were all ready to fall asleep by 10pm. Alarms set for 5:30am so we could leave by 6:30ish.

5:30 alarm goes off and I hit snooze. the alarm on my blackberry goes off and I ignore it. The snooze alarm goes off again and i re-snooze it, but slowly start to get up.

I make coffee (we're still going through the two five pound bags of different Kenya beans that I bought and have been roasting...both excellent). Toast is Flaxseed and Oat from Vital Vittles. One piece is with fig jam other piece with honey from a local producer. BK has the same. DW gets up, but she decides she doesn't want to do the race, which is understandable since she hasn't biked for almost 2 months because of an insane busy case on which she's been working.

I decide to take my P2K, because I don't like putting my P3C on the car rack and I haven't ridden my road bike in a very long time.PBF and I pack up and we're on our way at about 6:40am. Then we're delayed a bit further due to street closures because of the Castro Street Fair, but we're finally on the freeway with minimal traffic. As we get closer to our destination, there are more and more cars with bikes on them at this still early hour.

At the parking lot, there are some roadies on their trainers warming up. We meet up with AbbieR. It's cool outside, but not very cold like it seemed last year. At about 7:45, we all head over to the race start, just following everyone. It's 2.7 miles and slightly uphill, which is nice for a mini warmup. There is one other guy on a tri bike (p2c).

We head to registration which goes quickly and efficiently. Pin the bib's on our left side and timing chip on the left ankle. meet up with several of my coworkers/team mates. Quick visit to the port-a-potty. It's already 8:15 by now and I need to start lining up for the race. I tell AbbieR, PBF, and my coworker that I'll see them up top.

I'm in wave 2, the group with anticipated finish between 60-70 minutes along with my coworker who finished in 1:05 last year (I was 1:10). We line up towards the back of the wave, because we don't want to be caught in all the mayhem on the brief curvy downhill section near the start with all the potholes (my coworker almost wiped out here last year at the start); it's all timed with our chips anyway, so there's no disadvantage.

He asks me what my strategy is (e.g. start slow and pick up on the second half), but I don't have one and just go by feel. We chit chat with the guys around us. I'm not quite sure what to expect since I'm not quite in my element and I haven't really done any serious bike riding since Wisconsin 4 weeks ago. I'll just do what I can do...
Event warmup:

just the 2.7 mile bike ride (mild uphill) from the parking lot at Monte Vista High School to the ride start at Athenian High School
  • 1h 05m 44s
  • 10.8 miles
  • 9.86 mile/hr

Here's the elevation profile for the race:

Our wave starts, but there's that bit of a delay before we start really moving. It's crowded so we can't really get going, but my legs (and my cardio system) are not really very warmed up anyway, so that's okay. My coworker is already pulling ahead.

We go through the stretch with all the potholes. Worse than I remember, but at least the numerous potholes are circled by day glo orange spray paint.

Now, it's pretty much all uphill from here. Early on, there's already someone at the side of the road puking. I pass some and am passed by some. I'm feeling a bit crappy, but I always feel crappy until I get warmed up. I'm already in my lowest gear and will basically be in this gear almost the whole time.

When I'm passed, I have no problem resisting any urge to speed up. I know that endurance is my forte and trying to maintain an even effort is my goal. I try to chat up with a few of the folks as I pass or am passed (tell them they are doing a great job), but not many engage me. A couple do though and we joke about how this is "fun."

I pass the volunteers at the first aid station and thank them even though i don't need anything.

Climb, climb, climb. I jockey back and forth with a couple guys here and there, but in most cases, they are breathing way the heck harder than I am and eventually they fall off. I'm not passed by many in this middle stretch.

We hit a flatter stretch and it's a good chance for me to pick up some time. Someone drafts off of me for awhile and I later draft off of others. When we hit the uphill though, I pass all of these guys.

At some point a woman passes me, who must be the lead woman out of the all women's wave that started 5 minutes behind us. i tell her great job, but no acknowledgment. Oh well.

I'm not super fast and never will be, but I know my strength is my endurance, so I continue doing my thing. I'm passing a few and even one or two from the wave in front of me (different colored bibs). As we start to get near the top, we can hear the music. It's weird because it's hard to place the direction so I didn't know from where it was coming at first.

At this point, a lot of the riders who were going about the same pace as me suddenly start to speed up. I just remain steady. i also know the last 200m are going to be very steep and I know my legs are fatigued so i need to have a little reserve.

It's fairly cool up here and made even more so by the headwind on this penultimate stretch. Fun.

I get to the last 200m and I'm soon out of the saddle, which is generally pretty rare for me (I typically will do a century without ever getting out of the saddle). I'm holding back, because I know that even though this last bit will go on for less than a minute, I know it's going to be hard. I'm actually passing some on this stretch. With the last 10-20m, it feels even worse. So I'm cranking with all I have (climbing out of the saddle sucks on a tri bike...) and I finish...clock reads about 1:10 and since I started in the second wave, my finish is about 1:05.

What would you do differently?:

There are a lot of hardcore roadies who do this race. i didn't specifically train for this, but I think I acquitted myself okay and have no complaints with my performance.
Post race
Warm down:

The volunteers direct us so we can get our timing chips removed. my coworker is there to greet me at the finish. He tells me 1:05 was my time with which I'm happy. I put some more water in my water bottle. put on my shell (it's windy and chilly up here at the summit). I walk down closer to the race finish so I can wait for AbbieR and PBF and my other coworkers to finish. We see a unicyclist finish. We see a tandem. We see guy with his baby on the bike asleep.

Eventually I see AbbieR. She's walking. I cheer her on. She says she had her ass cramp. But she did it and in decent time too. She comes around and waits with me at the finish and we chat a bit. One of my coworkers finishes and I cheer him on (he beat his last year's time by over 15 minutes). I also wait for PBF who also finishes (he's had an achilles injury and hasn't biked or run much at all in 6+ weeks.

We head down to the lower parking lot where the mini expo is. We grab some Jamba Juice ready-to-drink bottles (too bad no Fender Blender (the 18 wheel truck we used to have and serve smoothies out of ) this year, but it is a good opportunity to introduce the RTD product to many people who probably didn't even know it existed.

We watch the brief awards ceremony. We meet up with some of my other coworkers. We visit some of the other booths. We get some food/snacks. We're somewhat killing time until the race is done (some still coming up) so that that can take us down the mountain in smaller groups (one big mass of people descending would be a big mess).

I descend with AbbieR. We take it slowly, which is totally fine by me and we get to chat the whole time which is great.

Last updated: 2008-09-26 12:00 AM
01:05:44 | 10.8 miles | 9.86 mile/hr
Age Group: 131/339
Overall: 277/888
Course: The Mount Diablo Challenge is a 10.8 mile timed bike ride, starting at Athenian School in Danville and climbing up Southgate Road 3,249 feet to the summit of Mount Diablo. 1,000 cycling enthusiasts compete and prizes are awarded for several categories in a ceremony at the summit with food and beverages for all. All proceeds benefit Save Mount Diablo’s land conservation efforts.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-10-07 2:00 PM

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San Francisco
Subject: Mount Diablo Challenge

2008-10-07 3:18 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge
Awesome RR, I always love them!  You CRUSHED it out there, and on a friggin tri-bike.....Like I said, "I want to be just like you when I grow up!"  Thanks for the great ride down the mountain.  Fantastic race.
2008-10-07 4:26 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge
Great race! You really kicked some a$$ among the roadies. I've hiked around Mt. Diablo a lot and I know that road well -- I can't imagine biking it, let alone biking it in a race. Eek! You're pretty awesome.
2008-10-07 4:31 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge

Sweet race!

Roadies are a bit odd...maybe just different than triathletes. So you didn't get a new bike like Abbie for the hill climb?

Great job...great pacing.

2008-10-07 5:41 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge
Great job Donato. That "race" sounds incredibly tough. Way to rock in on a tri bike no less! You are the man!
2008-10-07 10:20 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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Los Angeles
Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge
Hey nice CLIMB!! I like that someone was on the side of the road puking in the first mile....

2008-10-07 11:36 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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Woodland, California
Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge
Holy crap!  That is ridiculous.  Good job!
2008-10-08 6:10 PM
in reply to: #1724574

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The Redlands, FL
Subject: RE: Mount Diablo Challenge

Great Job Donato!!!

Excellent Race Report!!!

Like always with many details...Thank to share them with us!!!


Edited by velorider62 2008-10-08 6:11 PM
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