Diablo Junction - 18 miles
There weren’t many people from work on the mountain tonight, just me, JB, and Nicole. But there was a big group of Diablo Cyclists and other riders.
I rode by the church where the Diablo Cyclists were amassing and figured I’d get a head start on everybody. I was feeling pretty good and thought I’d do a hard sustained effort but not kill myself. JB’s been doing 37’s and he said his weight was down to 144 pounds so I need to get serious if I’m going to be challenging him any time soon.
I went through the Gate solo and quickly settled into my rhythm. It was warm but not hot enough to be an issue, and I had my Polar water bottle with ice and Cytomax so I was prepared. After Moss Landing I kept it in the 21 and tried to stay smooth and work on my power pedalling. Then I tried to maintain the same exertion level on the Bump by shifting down and pedalling faster.
Between the Bump and the Upper Washout there are places where you can see lots of the road below and I didn’t see anyone chasing me. I expected the faster Diablo Cyclists to catch me but they must have started farther behind me than I thought. So I didn’t have any dogs chasing me and I didn’t have any rabbits up ahead. It was just me making the decision how fast to go, and a good time was my only goal.
With three miles to go, I was at 20 minutes, then 25 minutes with two miles, and 32 minutes starting the last mile. As I came around Chainbuster a guy caught up to me. He was wearing big baggy surfer-dude type shorts and was obviously one of those rare guys whose ability far outweighed his desire to look like a pro rider. He drafted me for a couple hundred meters and I made an effort to make it worth his while, but he soon came around and dusted me. I barely kept him in sight the rest of the way up. My Junction time was 38m33s which is the best so far this year so I’m happy with that and felt like I could have pushed a little harder in some of the sections, although my peak heart rate was 187 so I didn’t have too much at the top end.
At the Junction the guy said he did 33 minutes and he had started with the Diablo Cyclists but left them all at the Gate. After another 10 minutes there were probably 25 riders hanging around the Junction. JB rolled in with a 37 minute ride but noted that he also had slowed down to ride with Nicole for a few minutes so he could probably have done a 36 if he wanted to. Yikes.