Part one

On Sunday, July 2, at 7:15 in the morning, my brother Michael and I pushed off for a seventy-something-mile ride to Mt. Diablo.

It was cool and overcast like it is most mornings in Berkeley. We took the most direct climb over the Berkeley Hills: Claremont Boulevard, which begins barely a half a mile from where we started. Claremont is two miles of switchbacks with numerous sections requiring out-of-the-saddle climbing—not the easiest route yet the most direct way over the Berkeley Hills.

Mike climbs

Michael climbing up Claremont, with a rider up the road that I chased down and rode with up to the top.

Mike climbs

Michael at the top of Claremont. We then descended down the other side to Orinda and rode many miles to the base of Mt. Diablo.


As we approached the mountain we hooked up with a guy named Jeff who introduced us to a short cut at the bottom that cut out one mile of climbing.


Jeff is a local and rides the mountain whenever he likes. He humored me by taking my picture.

Look back

Michael is a little dot way back down the road. I worked hard to keep up with Jeff.

Rock City

At Rock City the the road levels out for a quarter mile or so—the only relief in the whole climb.

Climbing into the fog

It turned out that Jeff only went as far as the ranger station—nowhere near the top. Here Michael is pressing on, riding up through the fog.

Climbing into the fog

This is one of Michael's shots. I took off and rode the rest of the way up by myself.