|Bay Area, 21st Century|
|Climbing to the radio tower on the horizon|
Here, the first paved section of the ride ended and I hit the dirt roads. These were smoothly graded fire road highways, with surprisingly good amount of tree cover for shade.
There were lots of absurdly steep short pitches, several fantastic descents and the views of double-headed Devil's mountain changed depending on the view angle.
I came to an intersection where I could have continued along the high ridge, or drop steeply down towards Sulfur Spring trail. Despite my legs were turning into two columns made of mashed potatoes, I chose the downhill, knowing well that I would have to get back up, actually higher, on the slopes of Mt. Diablo.
The final 7 or so miles on the Iron Horse trail could be described as the final push home while running on empty, except I got to talk to a fellow cyclist who used to work in Czech republic, ran a Prague marathon and cycled around the country. Chatting made the last miles go by quickly, and cold Pilsner never tasted better at the finish.