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.
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.
[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 !