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Frequently asked questions

How long is the course?

The event route, from the Athenian School to the summit of Mount Diablo, is 11.2 miles with 3,249 feet of elevation gain. The route will follow South Gate Rd. to Summit Rd. to the summit of the mountain. After completion, riders will be held at the lower summit parking lot.

Where do I register the day of the Event?

Registration opens at 7:00 am at Monte Vista High School, 3131 Stone Valley Rd, Danville, CA (there is no registration at the Athenian School). Cyclists then ride approximately 2.9 miles to the Athenian School to start the event.

What type of bikes are allowed on the course?

Bike Types: Road bikes (single or tandem), mountain bikes, fixed-gear, unicycles and outdoor Elliptical bikes are allowed. Class 1 e-bikes are also permissible but are not eligible to compete for prizes or awards. E-bikes will start in non-elite waves. Adults with children in a “tow-behind" are also allowed.

How do I create or join a team?

After you register as an individual Road Bike participant, you have the option to create a team of at least 4 riders. Each team can compete against other teams for the best combinedtime up the mountain. To make a team during your registration, create a team name under the “Event Questions.” Next, indicate whether it is an all male, an all female or coed team. A coed team must have a minimum of two males and two females. Then, choose whether your team is in the “Teams/Club” or the “Friends/Family” category. Finally, tell your friends to look for and join your team when they register.

Number of Team Members

You can have as many team members as you like on your team but only the top 4 finishers' times will be used to determine the “combined time” for your team up the mountain. Note that the combined time for coed teams will be determined by the time(s) of the first 2 men and the first 2 women on your team to cross the finish line.


You will have the option of starting in the same wave as your team members. If you select this option, you will be placed in the wave that corresponds to the slowest time registered for all of your team members. If you do not select this option, you will be placed in the wave corresponding to your individual estimated time.

Is it required that I ride with a Team?

Nope. You are welcome to ride as an individual.

What time does the event start and end?

Day of Event Schedule:

7:00 a.m. – Registration Opens at Monte Vista High School

8:00 - 8:15 a.m.- Clothing crew packs up the first boxes at the Athenian School to take to the Summit. Cyclists ride over to Athenian School to wait for their wave.

8:15 a.m. – Last MDC Staff leave for the summit with the 2nd box pick-up (no clothing drops are available after this time)

8:30 - about 9:15 a.m. - 1st Wave begins at 8:30 a.m. Waves will be approximately 40 riders and start in 3 minute intervals. Wave assignments are based on estimated finish times. Riders will receive their wave assignment and start time by email on Saturday, October 3. Note that if you registered to be part of a team and asked to ride with your team, you will be assigned the starting wave based on the slowest member of your team.

10:30 a.m. Approximate earliest time for the first descent group (pending completion of ride by riders in elite waves). Groups of 25 - 35 will descend behind escort vehicles every 10 to 15 minutes. Everyone MUST descend South Gate Rd. (North Gate Rd. will be closed.) CENTERLINE RULE IS STRICTLY ENFORCED DURING DESCENT. DO NOT PASS ESCORT!

10:30 a.m. - Post-race venue opens at Monte Vista High School/Oak Hill Park.

12:30 p.m. Finish Line closes.

12:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony at the post-race venue begins.

12:45 p.m. Estimated time of last descent group. All remaining riders must descend.

How do I get down the mountain?

Riders will be descending the mountain while other participants are still ascending. We anticipate the longest wait at the lower summit parking lot to be 45 minutes. All descending rider will be escorted by lead vehicles in groups of 25-35 riders. Under no circumstances will a rider descend unescorted, and riders may not pass the escort. Descending riders MUST stay in their lane while descending. The last descendingwave will be at approximately 12:45 p.m.

What happens the day of the event?

Everyone arrives and checks in for the event early (registration starts at 7:00 am) at Monte Vista High School located at Stone Valley Road, Danville, CA. Then cyclists ride over to Athenian School on Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd. to get ready for their wave. Cyclists are groupedby the time they think it will take to finish the climb.

The first wave starts at 8:30 a.m. and subsequent waves are started every few minutes. The first waves get to ascend using the whole road. Later waves must stay to the right.

At the top, there is a mini celebration with food and beverages to replenish after the climb. Then cyclists descend in groups behind escort vehicles and ride over to Monte Vista High School for a grand celebration with lots of delicious food, drink, music, goodies and awards plus vendors. Invite the family to join you there for the festivities!

Is there any food or drink available during the event?

Limited water will be available at the start. Water is avilable on the route. At the summit, there will be coffee, water, energy bars and other snacks available at the summit/finish. New this year- included with your registration will be Kinder's bbq (you can choose your meat or vegetarian selection during registration) and a non-alcoholic drink! You can also purchase food for your friends and family members with your registration. Onsite, there will be wine and beer available for purchase!

Are there any SAG Vehicles the day of the event?

There are no SAG vehicles on the course but there will be bike mechanic stations at the starting area and at the summit. If a rider on the course cannot continue to the finish line, she or he will need to wait to join an escorted descending group either on their bike or in the escort vehicle.

Can I drop my trainer or a jacket at the start?

Trainers may be dropped off at the Athenian school no earlier than 6:30 a.m. You will be asked to drop off the trainer at the corner of Diablo Rd. & Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd. You will be re-directed to turn around and head back to Monte Vista High School to park. We are not responsible for your personal belongings.

At Athenian School, there will be two “sweats” check areas:

  1. Clothing to the summit or back to Monte Vista: We will transport your gear to the summit refreshment area or back to Monte Vista. There will be bins near the Athenian start line for gear going to the summit or back to the Monte Vista registration area. We are not responsible for personal items.
  2. Last bin will leave for the summit at 8:15

What are the safety rules for the Mt. Diablo Challenge?


  • Elite riders (in initial waves) will be allowed to use the entire road on the ascent, but must adhere to centerline rule during descent. They will be held at the summit until all categorized riders have completed the event (est. max of 30-45 minutes).
  • Non elite riders (in later waves) MUST adhere to centerline rule during ascent and descent. Descending riders will be escorted down the mountain. DO NOT PASS the escort. Descending speed will not exceed postedspeed limit. A rear escort will prevent riders from dropping back in order to “catch the rabbit”.

o Helmets are mandatory

o Earbuds or headphones of any kind are prohibited

o Waves with categorized riders (see event schedule below) may use entire road on ascent

o Waves with noncategorized riders (see event schedule below) MUST adhere to centerline rule. Failure to adhere to this rule will cause immediate disqualification and removal from the course.

o ALL riders must adhere to centerline rule on the descent

o DO NOT PASS escorts

Can I cut through Diablo Country Club to get to the start?

DO NOT cut through the Diablo Community. You must stay on Diablo Road/Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd both to and from the event.

What prizes will be awarded?

There are 17 age categories in addition to the overall winners, King and Queen of the Mountain and Oldest and Youngest Man and Woman! The full list of prize categories is shown below.

MDC Awards & Prizes:

  • Overall Podium Winners: o Men 1st place 2nd place 3rd place

  • Overall Podium Winners: o Women 1st place 2nd place 3rd place

King of the Mountain (fastest man) Queen of the Mountain (fastest woman)

  • Special Recognition – 1st place for the following age groups, men and women:

Age Groups

Under 11

















  • Youngest Rider (must finish course):

    • Boy

    • Girl

  • Oldest Rider (must finish course):

    • Man

    • Women

  • Traditional “One-Hour Finisher” T-Shirts

    • Women - 15-minute bonus. All female riders that finish in 1 hour 15 minutes or less (1:15:00)

    • Men – All male riders that finish in 1 hour or less (1:00:00)

  • Prizes for the fastest three teams will also be awarded.

What charities will benefit from the Mt. Diablo Challenge proceeds?

This year the Mt. Diablo Challenge will benefit charities that support Mt. Diablo, such as Save Mt. Diablo and the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association, and the safety of cyclists on the Mountain.

How much does it cost to register?

June 15 - August 31st (Most Economical)

Adults $65 + $5.53 reg. fee

Juniors: (17 years and under) $30 + $3.30 reg. fee

Tandem: $100 + $7.67 reg. fee (any combination of riders)

September 1 - September 27th

Adults: $75 + $6.38 reg. fee

Juniors (17 and under) $30 + $3.30 reg. fee

Tandem: $115 + $8.82 reg. fee (any combination of riders)

Day of Registration

Adults and Juniors: $85

Tandem: $130 (any combination of riders)

Are there any limits to the number of riders?

Registration is capped at 1,000 riders.

Where should I park the day of the event?


Participants must park at Monte Vista High School, 3131 Stone Valley Rd., Danville, CA 94526. After registering, riders will ride their bike from Monte Vista High School to the start at the Athenian School, a distance of approximately 2.9 miles. There is no registration at the Athenian School start.

Will there be photographs?

Yes there will be photographs of the finish line that will be posted on the website after the ride.

How will I know that I registered?


  • Confirmation - If you register online, you will receive a confirmation email. Registration by mail is not available.

Can I get a refund or transfer my registration to someone else?

  • Transfers - Registration fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  • Refunds – There are no refunds

Is the registration fee tax-deductible?

  • The registration fee is not tax deductible and is not considered a donation to any of the beneficiaries.

Are there any rules I should know about?


Riders must wear bicycle helmets at all times while on their bicycles. Riders are responsible to ensure that their bicycles are in superb mechanical condition.

Riders should carry a spare tube, patch kit, pump, a water bottle, money & identification.

Please be courteous to other road users. Though Mt. Diablo State Park (MDSP) will be closed to the public, there will be authorized vehicles/motorcycles on the road between the start/finish areas and at the expo area.

During the descent, cyclists MUST stay to the right side of the road as there may be cyclists still ascending the climb, and/or authorized vehicles/motorcycles will be on the road.

North Gate entrance to the park will be closed during the entire event, including on the descent ride.

Can my friends and family come watch the ride?


For safety reasons, spectators may not take vehicles on the mountain. The only access to watch the race is by trail. NO PEDESTRIANS WILL BE ALLOWED ON THE ROADS. Your friends and family are welcome to join you at Monte Vista High School for the after-ride festivities, music, awards and food!

How do you time the ride?

Timing Chip:

Each rider will receive a timing chip. Instructions on how to attach the chip will be in the registration packet.

How do I volunteer for the Mt. Diablo Challenge?

Terrific! We appreciate and need many volunteers. If you would like to volunteer to help with the Mount Diablo Challenge, please click here.

If I have a question that I do not see answered by the FAQs who do I contact?

Please contact the Director at: director@mtdiablochallenge.org