Morgan Territory and Mt. Diablo South Gate side (pics & video)
Last weekend, I did the Morgan Territory/Mt. Diablo loop for the first time. It was a group ride with the Hammerin' Wheels and the WAV Riders women's cycling club.
The climb up the north side of Morgan Territory was pretty nice. Lots of mini descents and stair-step climbing. It kind of reminds me of a very mild version of the lower part of Mix Canyon, due to the stair-step climbs. I felt really good here and was able to finish strong at the visitor center.
The descent down the south side was a blast! I look forward to climbing that side sometime in the future, but not if it's hot! It looked like it would be my kind of climb ;).
On one of the flatter roads after Manning Road, some nutless wonder decided to attempt "rolling coal" on me and the other female cyclist riding behind me. Neither one of us was doing anything wrong, and we were on the far right side of the road, out of the way of motorists. What's puzzling to me is the fact that he actually gave us plenty of room before belching out that weak plume of smoke.
On Mt. Diablo, I faded after the first few miles, so by the time I got to the ranger station I had to stop and eat real quick. Originally I wasn't planning on stopping at all, but I felt like sh_t!
After I resumed climbing I felt even worse. I got a headache and had no energy. Thankfully the headache disappeared right before the climb up the Summit Wall, where I shifted to my lowest gear and just crawled up. My legs cramped up right at the summit sign, forcing me to stop. Another Hammerin' Wheels rider was right there and held my bike for me while I recovered. After a couple minutes I got back on and rode the final few feet to the level parking lot.
I made up for last weekend's pathetic performance on the last half of the Diablo climb yesterday. I climbed North Gate Road to the ranger station, descended South Gate Road to the bottom, then climbed to the summit. I felt pretty good until the last four miles, where I didn't feel as strong. It was still better than last week's bonk though.
Here's video of the climb. I especially enjoyed the bird sounds and the spectacular views on the way up.
1:09-1:32 staring longingly at Mt. Diablo Summit Trail singletrack as I'm climbing (it's been too long since I went on a mtb ride!)
5:45-5:49 descending female cyclist singing
10:58-11:08 crowd of hikers cheers me on and mentions the GoPro
11:59-12:27 last part of Summit Wall steep climb
12:45-13:00 views from both sides of summit parking lot