Sunday, October 05, 2008

Diablo Challenge Volunteer

Last night there was a portentous cumulonimbus lingering over the Mountain, but the rain was over and all signs were for great weather today.

Diablo Daughter sneaks in for a cameo at lower right.

Took my dog for a walk around the neighborhood at 5am and the sky was perfectly clear with no wind and great star gazing to be had.

This is the second year I've volunteered for this epic event. I showed up at the Athenian School at 6:45 and took a parking space ahead of the start line; there were only a few hard cores there warming up already. My job was to haul the riders' warm clothes and backpacks up to the Summit. Last year this was a bit of a fiasco but this year there were additonal volunteers and vehicles so it went pretty smoothly.

I talked to Jim of the Wheel Peddler while he did some (free) last minute bike maintenance for the riders. I would totally trust him to do a headset replacement or crank swap for me when that becomes necessary. He's also a good option if you buy something on-line but don't want to install it yourself. He said he doesn't carry much inventory beyond repair parts but he can get anybody up and running really quick. His dog is also very friendly but maybe not too smart (eats bark). Tell him DiabloScott sent you... maybe you'll get a discount; HA!

Dude, your FD is FUBAR.
So we warmie drivers started up about 8:20 and the riders were right behind us. With the sunlight came some heat and it looked like perfect PB conditions for everybody.
Last call for backpacks!
It was a nice drive up to the Summit but I had my windows closed and stereo up loud so I didn't notice the subtle changes in microclimate. When I de-trucked in the Lower Parking Lot I was blown away (almost literally). It was COLD and blustery and I think I saw Piglet clinging to a branch down near the radio towers. I thought the riders would not be ready for this and it would certainly not be a record-setting kind of day although there appeared to be a tailwind up the Summit Wall.

They probably laughed at him when he packed his goose-down sleeping bag.
I walked over to the bottom of the Summit Wall for some spectacular spectating. Pegasus sleeping bag guy and Ryan from Sports Basement joined me in the revelry.
Whoa, look at the guads on THAT guy!

This year's winner is Nathan English, a young phenom from Berkeley who's been destroying all the local hill climb races and smashed the course record with a time of 43m33s. Last year's winner (above) came in third today.

Rick came in at a couple minutes past his goal and vowed to earn the T-shirte Verde next year. Then I walked around and scored some schwagg and snapshots and entered some raffles. They (I) really could have used a Peet's booth up there though.
Klein Krown award for sweetest bike goes to this Q-Pro Carbon. But dat dork disk gotta kumoff.

The also rodes.

How'd I do? How'd I DO?

I'll stop riding this Mountain until they pry my bike from my cold dead butt.

Can we PLEEEEEEEEEASE go back down now?
Unfortunately there were a couple of serious accidents on the way down. I saw one ambulance putting a rider on a backboard and a little below that there was a larger pileup with paramedics involved. I heard broken hip, and maybe one medivac but I'm not sure. They escort the riders down in big groups and I think they'd be better off letting them go down individually. There's an even bigger disparity in descending skills than climbing skills and when you have huge packs of riders with mixed skills in tight formations you're just asking for trouble; but the staff is too stubborn to understand that (in this bloggers humble opinion).
Bravo SMD for another awesome event.

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