Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mt. Diablo Hill Climb Time Trial

On Saturday I participated in my first ever bike race. The event was the 1st Annual Mt. Diablo Hill Climb Time Trial.

A little about the course:

10k (6.2 mile) time trial up the Northgate side of Mt. Diablo. Course begins at the entry kiosk on Northgate Rd. and finishes at the ranger residence just short of the junction (intersection of Northgate Rd. and Mt. Diablo Scenic Bl.) covering over half the total distance to the summit. Climbing with gradients up to 15% begins after 1.5 miles of gentle rollers. Total elevation gain of 1740 ft.

My only goal for this event was to _NOT_ finish in last place. I met that goal by about 5 minutes. I beat my practice run up Mt. Diablo the previous weekend by 3 minutes. So overall I was pleased with my results. It was a fun event and very well organized. They had an official timing system, a starting ramp where they held your bike up so you could clip, a 20 second countdown, and you're off! The only thing missing were Podium Girls...

Registration took a bit longer that I had hoped and I didn't get much chance to warm up. Lot's of riders were in the parking lot on their trainers when I arrived 1.5 hours ahead of my start time. The first mile and a half are rolling where you can go pretty fast in the big ring, then the pain starts out almost at exactly mile 1.5. I think I may have started off a bit too fast in the rollers as my heart rate was already near 95% of maximum by the time I hit the real start of the hill. This was the result of excitement, adrenaline and probably starting out a bit harder than I should have. Start times were staggered every 30 seconds and I was quickly passed by the rider behind me. That didn't bother me, as I knew I would get passed more than once this day. I just kept telling myself to not look back, and tried to keep a smooth steady pace. I saw Erik descending as I was grinding up the hill, he started 30 minutes in front of me and gave me a valiant cheer as he descended. A few more riders passed me along the course. With about .5 miles to go, I finally started to feel good and was able to get out of granny gear and hammer towards the finish line. I ended up catching one of the riders who passed me at the line. My start time was at 8:45AM and it was already starting to get toasty hot. I was thankful for an early start, as there was still some shady spots on the course. The road was closed to cars until 1PM which was nice, and they had all of the sharp corners marked with orange cones so the riders who were finished an descending could keep it in their own lane. Everyone I saw was obeying the 25mph speed limit on the way down, so that was good. I finished with a time of 35:37 which was 40th out of 48 riders in my Masters 35+ Category 4/5.

Just to name a few others who were there, Mark Weir whom I think you all know as the King of Downieville and who climbed over 1 million miles on his mountain bike last year did the hill climb in 25:36. Lucas Euser of the TIAA-CREFF Professional Cycling Team was the favored to win, but ended up in 3rd place. The fastest woman of the day did it in 28:00 minutes! Erik did well finishing 13th in the Elite 5 Category.

Full Results Here

Here is a photo of me grinding up Mt. Diablo.
blog comments powered by Disqus