Bay Area Descenders Ride with Keith James: Morgan Territory and Mount Diablo

Yesterday Keith James and I met in Bay Area (we started from Walnut Creek) to ride up Mount Diablo (spanish for, like, “Fighting Chicken”). It was good to see Keith and chat with him – doing it over cycling was a nice bonus.

In addition to Diablo we tacked on Morgan Territory Rd. – a narrow one-lane rural road that snakes its way through Morgan Territory preserve (there are basically no cars driving through there), and undergoes a dramatic transition from a shaded, wooded climb to an open landscape covered in green rolling hills, cow pastures and farms. The view was unbelievable! It was very windy and after Morgan Territory we were fighting headwinds in the farmlands and often going as slow as 12mph on flat terrain due to the wind. We stopped in Blackhawk to have lunch – some sandwiches from local bagel shop, then carried on to the main dish – climb up Mount Diablo. We went up South Gate Road. This year’s Queen stage of Tour of California is a mountain-top finish at Mount Diablo. We were riding at conversational pace – at lower slopes of South Gate Road I heard a loud rattling sound – I rode about a foot from a coiled up rattle snake (photos attached).

It was getting warmer – felt like 80ies but there was little traffic or cyclists at the mountain.
We rode together until very end when I went up the road to take some photos of Keith from a few switchbacks up. After having some snacks at the top we descended North Gate road to the cars – it was a fun road – nothing too technical with some nice gentle turns.
A great day for cycling – 64 miles with 6,600 ft of climbing. You should have come!


This entry was posted in NorCal Ride Reports. Bookmark the permalink.