Saturday, March 28, 2009

Solvang Spring Tour Photos, II

Trip summary:

Day 1, Solvang Century - 103 miles looping through the entire Santa Ynez Valley, ending on a Ballard Canyon Road with a rollicking series of short, steeps climbs.

The stars of the show, resting up for a big week.

Cool in the mornings; jackets or vests and arm warmers were a must.

Day 2 - Supposed to be 65 miles, including Alisos and Cat Canyons. But . . . I ended up double flatting about 12 miles into the ride. Phil rode an individual time trial back to the hotel, got the car, and came back to rescue me. (I was prepared to change 1 flat, but not 2. For the rest of the trip I rode loaded for bear - I was ready to change up to 3 flats! Luckily, I didn't have any more troubles. I run 650c wheels which creates problems, as most other riders run 700c, so they can't help me out with spare tubes.) We ended up heading back out for another 30 miles after I got my flat fixed, riding Alisal Road then over to Los Olivos. I did 42 miles, and Phil did close to 55.

Day 3 - Figueroa Mountain. 49 miles. This description of the ride is going in the opposite direction from how we rode it, but you know how it goes - it is uphill both ways, so this is a great summary of the ride when done later in the season. I had a little mishap, sliding out in a slimy creek crossing. I got completely soaked (even though the water was only 5 inches deep) because I got caught in my pedals and couldn't unclip. I wallowed like a hippo in a mud pit for a few minutes, then extricated myself. Ended up with a mild case of whiplash from smacking my head, but all is well that heals well . . .

On Happy Canyon Road before hitting the big climbs.

They have some good looking livestock in California!

Phil at the first summit (there are 3 little false summits, just to keep you guessing . . .)

A stunning hillside of poppies and lupine on the descent.

Day 4 - 77 miles. Rode to Casmalia in a howling wind. Finally rode out of it at about 50 miles, thank goodness. Fighting the wind just sucks the life from me.

Day 5 - 79 miles. Rode to Jalama Beach - a true highlight of the trip. Gorgeous views and quiet roads (except for an unfortunate 3 mile stretch along Hwy 101 that was absolutely terrible - lots of debris, bad pavement and heavy traffic).
There is a restaurant at the beach that is famous for its burgers. Knowing I would immediately regret eating more than a simple gel packet, I passed on the burger. But when we got back to the hotel and it was time to decide what to have for dinner, I insisted on finding a burger - I'd been thinking about it for 40 miles!! We ate at the Firestone-Walker Brewery in Buellton and I had a Kobe beef burger - and it was excellent!!

Day 6 - easy recovery day. We did a 24 mile loop on Ballard Canyon, stopping in Los Olivos for coffee and a cookie as big as my head.

Day 7 - Tepesquet Canyon Century. 107 miles. Another day of beautiful riding on quiet contry roads. The weather was cool and overcast, but we stayed dry, and the cool temps probably were a blessing in disguise, keeping us from getting overheated and dehydrated.

Descending Tepesquet Canyon Road during our final day of riding.

Phil on Foxen Canyon.

More handsome livestock!
Very misty and cool in the morning.

At Surf Beach.


  1. Great Vacation!!!
    When is our next one?
    I can't wait!
    Lv PK

  2. Awesome pixs! Looks like a really wonderful and scenic vacation.