It's become another must-do classic. Ferrell is always strong on the bike, and there's always a good friendly competition to see if anyone can break an hour and achieve a bit of cycling glory. Rick indeed broke an hour just a few years back, but lately he's come in just a couple of minutes over. 2014: last year was "my year" in terms of fitness - I raised my running mileage for the year by a huge 60%, meeting the "1,000 mile" mark. I trained hard to run a fast half marathon in February to qualify for the Pikes Peak Half, turned that adventure into a couple of weeks of trail running in multiple national parks between here and Colorado above 10,000 ft, and by October was feeling pretty strong. This year was lots of actual racing, but racing is tough on my left psoas - still my weak spot - and while I was able to maintain my running mileage, in '15 I did feel a bit slower. It showed on my hill climb times, which were slower than in '14. That goes for Mt Diablo as well.

Rick's big year was this year - 2015. Seven triathlons, several half marathons and 10K's, and almost as many miles of running and cycling as I put in. He wanted to go out "on top", this last year of triathlon for him. And that he did.

 

The Ferrell wagon arrives at my place before dawn to begin our saga

Weather looked perfect this early autumn day. I'm saddling up my cycling cleats

Gotta pump those tires till their good and hard to minimize rolling resistance

Ferrell suit's up

I'm put together, game-faced, and ready to attack that mountain!

At the starting line, the real jocks are warming up on their stationary bike stands

I got only a quarter mile before an officer pulled me over for not having a number. Closed course. I rode back down around the corner, waited for the first wave to speed by...,

...then joined the second wave, re-started my watch, and tried to look inconspicuous as I rode by the officer (not easy on such a PRETTY bike). No problemo!

Rounding this corner we enter the Mt Diablo State Park, and our first view of the summit, center in this shot

The finish line at the parking lot on top.

Good effort up those last few hundred yards of 16% grade or so

I cruise down the the lower lot where Ferrell awaits, we grab a few shots, and a couple'a bagels

We both were a little slower this year than last. Ferrell missed the 1 hr mark by a few minutes, and was also a couple minutes slower; at 1:35:29. But, last year I was in the best shape of my post-surgery life

OK, time to enjoy the curvy switchbacks coasting back down the mountain

well, maybe just ONE more selfie...

But wait, the adventures weren't over! Ferrell likes to run every last drop out of his fuel tank just to make finding a gas station more exciting. We drifted in on fumes to a Chevron somewhere down the road

Results for all racers are here. Ferrell came in at 1:06:47, good enough for 181th/448 total riders and 59th out of 132 riders in the 50-59 male age group. I came in at 1:35:29 (vs. 1:31 last year) which would be 30th/33 in the 60-69 age group. Some pretty tough old birds out there for competition.