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Solvang to Santa Barbara  

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
We will be going down the coast to next week. One of the diversions from the 'standard' Pacific
coast trip is to head into Solvang from the Arroyo Grande area. This puts us about 13 miles from
where the 'standard' route connects with 101 at the SR 1 junction. I am musing on the route to SB
from Solvang. We could continue up and over San Marco pass. Another alternative is to head back to
Buellton, catch 101 and head to and over Gaviota. Are there other alternatives? Comments?

- rick
post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

Re: Solvang to Santa Barbara

nospam@nospam.com (Gerry Boyd) wrote in message news:<3f78cc5e.8215144@news.la.sbcglobal.net>...
> On 28 Sep 2003 23:32:13 -0700, rickwarner@earthlink.net (Rick Warner) wrote:
> Actually there are two other choices:
> 1) From Solvang head East on 246 to Santa Ynez then south on Refugio Rd. There is a steep 3-4 mile
> dirt section that is passable on a touring bike. Or you could walk it (which I did on my road
> bike). The advantage is that there are virtually no cars. This route passes by Ronald Regan's
> former home. After the summit at Refugio Pass (2254 ft) you have an unbelievable paved descent
> to 101 at Refugio State Beach.
> The first part of the road is paved, then turns to unpaved gravel then the dirt part. Depending
> upon the time of the year (I rode in summer) the streams may have washed part of the gravel away.
> It's steep and a rutted climb on the dirt part but other than this, awesome in the solitude among
> groves of lemons and avocados. The descent offers great coastal views (if fog isn't present!).
> For end of route see http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?ed...+ca&country=us
> 2) For all paved (but with fast moving traffic) head East on 246 then south on 154 past Lake
> Cachuma toward San Marcos pass. Go 13 miles to Paradise Rd. From here on you take steep roads
> (but less traffic). Follow Paradise Rd., Stagecoach Rd., Camino Cielo, and Gibraltar Rd. or
> Painted Cave RD. /Old San Marcos Pass Rd Pass to Goleta. From Goleta you travel 7 miles on the
> bike path to Santa Barbara.
> See AAA Santa Barbara County map (although it doesn't show enough detail for the 2nd route above).


Thanks for the suggestions. Just returned from the trip and have the followup and some comments.

Your first option is apparently recommended by the Lonely Planet Guide for mountain bikes. Did not
check it out, but rode for a while with a couple from the UK who were planning on that route. Would
try to contact them for feedback but they are heading to Australia for more riding.

One of the variants in your second option is what we decided to do, a 'game day' decision. We did
the Painted Cave Rd/Old San Marcos option. Some comments:

1) Anyone doing this should stop at Cold Springs Tavern. Worth the price of admission, and the
folks were friendly/willing to help in any way.
2) There is a big surprise on E. Camino Cielo as we came around the curve and faced a 22%+
grade! Only a couple hundred feet, but with 40+ extra pounds of gear on the bike it was a bit
of a challenge, esp. hitting it with no momentum. Was glad when it slacked out to a mere 14%
grade. Anyone doing this with a loaded bike should be ready for some short and steep climbs.
3) Top end of Painted Cave is wicked; barely wide enough for 1 car, and with blind switchback
curves on a steep road one needs to keep their guard up. I came around one curve to find a
car, and it had to nearly pull off the road while I road the rightmost line of pavement in
order to squeeze past.
4) Painted Cave and Old San Marcos are both very steep; rims were very hot due to the constant
braking with me/bike/40 lbs of gear.

It was a very nice route, would have been better if a bit cooler (mid 90's on E. Camino Cielo).

Thanks for the suggestions.

- rick
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Re: Solvang to Santa Barbara

nospam@nospam.com (Gerry Boyd) wrote in message news:<3f92bc63.56557455@news.la.sbcglobal.net>...

> Rick,
> Thanks for the updates. I'll add them to my collection of SoCal hints, tips, and ride results.
> When I did the rides I was doing either a Century or a Metric Century and with other riders, so
> the extra weight of panniers for loaded touring wasn't even thought of. Sorry about the extra
> "steep" but I just didn't remember it as that "steep". I guess when riding with a group and
> huffing and puffing you just forget how steep some of it was.

Well, steep but short as I said. We managed, but would have been better to know it was coming ;-)

> I think the couple you meet is Richard and Rachel Wood, they have a journal about their ride at
> Crazyguyonabike.
> Hucking North Shore to Cruising Orange County
> http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ...20031018165338

Your are correct, it was Rich and Rachel. I note they have not updated their site to cover the
portion we rode together, Pismo to ~Lompoc. They were heading into Solvang, and planning an off day.
When we mentioned that the 'People Powered Ride' would be in the area during their off-day Rich was
talking of trying to sign up and ride the metric century; wonder if he did it or not.

- rick
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