Diablo Hill Climb Training on the Trike

My wife organized a ride for Bike Forum members and FFBC race team members to do a timed assault on Diablo. I rode it on my trike.

The actual ride out to the start was pretty fast paced and I was struggling to keep up. I was a bit worried about how my form would be on the climb proper and it was already starting to get a bit hot.

Garmin Trace of the ride to Athenian School.

The bottom section of the Diablo climb is atrocious.  it is so badly broken up and full of potholes that it is only borderline navigable on a Catrike 700 due to the low ground clearance. I have big worries about this section on the day of the race where I wont be able to choose my line so easily.  I lost a lot of time on the group on this section and played catchup for the rest of the climb.

I had a nice carrot to chase for the entire climb in the shape of my team mates Baz  and Chris.  Most of the time they were about 25-30 m in front of me  but I seemed to close on the steeper sections and drop back on the faster bits. It was really hot climbing and it was quite welcome to have a cool wind near the top. I kept it in the middle ring until the 3000ft marker post where I had to drop down into the grannie ring just to give my legs a bit of a rest for a mile. The final  200m were killer as usual and forced me down into my lowest gear but I managed to pass Baz who was a bit over geared. I don’t think I caught Chris. I did exactly the time I estimated I would do 1h15m which was pleasing.

GPS trace of the Diablo Climb

[Note: The radio Masts at the top interfered with my Pulse reading near the top]

The way back down was fun but a bit dangerous.  There was quite a bit of tree debris on the road and I had the trike step out on me a few times or lock wheels entering fast turns. There was also a lot of traffic coming up the climb and often they were straying into my lane.  I decided to back off a bit from my normal place and I was glad I did. As I came into one blind right hand hairpin turn braking quite hard I suddenly found a car completely in my lane (overtaking a cyclist going up). I applied a bit more pressure to the brakes and felt the back wheel coming up then the inside right wheel locked up and I skidded for a while before I released the brakes and scraped through with inches to spare. It was a really close call and I am pretty sure I saw smoke from my Tire.

When I got back to the parking lot I realized that I had been very luck not to have had a serious blowout on the remainder of the descent. The skid had worn my tire through to the canvas !

Garmin GPS trace of the ride back to Blackhawk.

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