Low-Key Hillclimbs #3: Mt. Diablo

Last week’s Low-Key Hillclimb up Walnut Creek’s Mt. Diablo was not a good day in the saddle for me. I suffered greatly as a result of four critical errors in my (lack of) preparation:

  • No warmup
  • Went too hard in the beginning
  • Lemon water
  • No computer

Read more below the fold.

Jorge and I arrived just a few minutes before the ride began, so we didn’t have adequate time to warm up. As I discovered climbing Montebello, having a good warm-up goes a long way toward having a good ride.

The riders up front set a punishing pace at the beginning of the climb, which began with a slight downhill. I wasn’t even trying to keep pace with the rabbits, but even so, I went too hard in the beginning. My heartrate shot up beyond 180, and I spent over half the climb recovering and getting it below my LT.

The two lemon wedges seemed to dry my mouth more than quench my thirst and replenish my electrolytes. I would have been better off with some energy drink or other sugared-water on the ride. Finally, I have been riding all of the Low-Key Hillclimbs without a working bike computer. I was very familiar with the previous two climbs, but not at all with Mt. Diablo. Knowing the distance remaining would have helped me pace myself better throughout the race.

As a result of these errors during the ride, I put away the thought of getting a good time and decided instead to just survive up the mountain. Just surviving was difficult enough too! Scores of riders passed me as I trudged up in my 34-25, my legs barely turning the cranks as theirs spun their way up the hill.

Good thing, Low-Key riders can throw away three of their scores in the seven weeks. Mt. Diablo is certainly going to be one of them!

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