Monday, September 02, 2013

Diablo Challenge 1986 and 2013

Diablo Challenge shirt 6th annual 1986

When I signed up for the 6th annual Diablo Challenge in 1986 I thought the challenge was just to get to the top. But it was my birthday weekend and it seemed like a cool thing to do. I had no clue it was sort-of kind-of a-bit-of a race. I was pretty sure I could make it as I'd ridden to the summit from the Northgate a couple of times, each time being an epic life changing lung-busting leg-crushing effort, with numerous stops along the way, but I was a bit surprised when I found out some people rode the challenge in less than an hour. I know I rode to the start from Pleasant Hill, made it to the top, got a tee shirt, but I don't remember much else.

I rode it again in 1992 on my Cannondale Black Lightning with gears more suited for a criterium than a climb. I remember that someone caught me as I hit the summit and fell over.

Diablo Challenge shirt 11th annual 1992I'm having a birthday this year too, and not just a normal birthday, but one that ends in zero, so again it seemed like signing up for the challenge is the thing to do. I'm not sure why, but it is. At least it's given me a reason to drop a few pounds in anticipation, as if it will matter.

When I rode it back in the day I don't remember official waves, or even that many people. Now I guess it will be a zoo. My only worry, now as it was then, is some low-skill big-ego rider who thinks he is a pro but lack any real descending skills will take me out on the way down. That, and having quantified in cold hard numbers just how slow I really am.

I will have a contest to guess my actual time. Post your guess in comments and win ... something. Make sure I have a way to contact you.

Or you could join me, wait at the top, and laugh when I roll in a long long long time after the start.


  1. All right! I guess 75 minutes, and you can donate my gift to SMD.

    I'm driving backpacks up again - can I pack a special recovery snack for you?

    1. How do I find you? I'd be thrilled to have my warm clothes and sandals at the top.

  2. There will be backpack dropoff areas at the start line. Everybody can do that. I was offering a special service like cold chocolate milk.

  3. My Guess: 1:27:35
    (So my Athenian to Summit of 1:27:34 is still faster)


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