Just recently came back from the West Coast biking trip with NEE. Following is one of the many beautiful and exhilarating rides we did.
Mount Diablo a behemoth in the San Fransisco Bay area and its 3,249 ft climb in a mere 10.8 miles with an average grade of 6% and a maximum grade of 17%!!! As if the climb itself isn't enough to take your breath away it is accompanied by a view that will. The access road is almost free of traffic, we saw more cyclists descending while we were climbing than we did cars. Eager to take part in this glorious descent ourselves we pushed to the summit in a little over an hour. Not too shabby for a couple of Chicago cyclists. After taking in the view, filling up our water bottles and eating a few protein bars it was time to get down. It is an unbelievably technical descent complete with banked corners where one can be almost 60 degrees off from vertical, hairpins, constant and tightening radius turns. What is even more exhilarating is the absence of road barriers, a single misjudged turn will either turn out to be a massive amount of road rash at best or a couple hundred feet of free flight from one of the cliffs at worst due to the high speeds. We charged the descent pretty aggressively, pedaling out of the corners, sprinting on the straightaways and waiting to the last moment to brake in short but stiff manner. It is an incredible feeling to feel the bike accelerate while feathering the brakes, a more aggressive brake pull rewarded in stiff deceleration before the bike literally surges forward as soon as you let go of the brakes. There is something to be said when the highest gear you have is not nearly high enough to spin around in the low 40's...After almost 6000 ft of vertical climbing over 90 miles or so is one of the most exciting rides we did. And certainly looking forward to doing it yet again earlier next year.
Attached are a few photos taken at the summit.