Diablo Summit, 33 miles
I was the last one to the Gate this morning – 8:02am. Peter, Rick, and JB were waiting. Eric told us he may show up but we decided not to expect him so we began.
Rick was wearing a skin suit he bought for his Devil Mountain Challenge ride. Last year he got special race wheels (Campagnolo Neutron) to give him an extra edge, this year it’s a skin suit. Kind of interesting, plain blue and black, no pockets, extra long zipper… probably a psychological boost at best but that helps some. His goal for the DMC is 65 minutes, which is a little better than his time last year, bon chance Richard!
We all stayed together at a semi-fast pace until way past the Bump. Peter picked it up there and we lost JB. Around Son of Chainbuster Rick started losing touch but he rejoined a couple times before we got to Chainbuster where I decided to turn on the main engines. My Junction time was 39m13s, well clear of Peter, Rick, and JB in that order with about 2 minute gaps between them.
Lots and lots of riders on the mountain this morning, apparently training for the DMC. Most of them were coming up South Gate which is the race route, but plenty on North Gate as well. JB got a head start up Summit Road while the rest of us dinked around for a few minutes.
The winds got a lot stronger up above 2,000 feet: we compared it to riding in Hurricane Frances which is hitting Florida now. None of us were together past Muir Picnic Area but the gaps weren’t too big and we pretty much finished at the same time. My Summit time: 75 minutes.
Descending was a little sketchy with the strong winds and all the climbing riders. I expected to see some clueless driver in the wrong lane passing a bike rider around every hairpin; it only happened a couple times but I was ready for it. Thirteen years on this mountain and I’m prepared for anything.