Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Need Route Advice for Solvang/Santa Barbara

I'm putting together some routes for myself and want to learn more from local riders in the Solvang/Santa Barbara area.

The first loop takes us out of Solvang and out to Jamala. The return back I've got us going through Lompoc, then Los Alamos:

The second loop goes up the dirt side of Refugio Road out of Solvang (not sure how good of a road this is, but I'm not afraid of taking the road bike on some dirt), then on to Santa Barbara and returning via the Gibralter climb:

Any feedback would be great.


Velokiwi said...

Sounds good I need to look to be sure!

MikeG said...

UCSB alum... Putting together a similar camp for AV. First route is good. Drum canyon and Jalama roads are really pretty unique to the area. I'd avoid hwy 1 and take Santa Rosa Road out to Jalama, though. I can see why you'd want to hit Alisal though. Might be worth sticking to Harris Grade, too. All depends on if you need > 100 miles.

Never ridden Refugio from that direction, but the descent is rough on the road, too. Gibralter is great (going there this weekend to scout...) but can be torn up. Descent along 154 is fine. The road you continue on after Gibralter in your map isn't a road, it's somewhat rough fire road. Take E Camino Cielo to the end, then take Stagecoach down for a killer descent.

Have fun.


Manley Man said...

Mike, any problems with the first route and the roads around Vandenberb?

Manley Man said...

Here are 2 more rides I mapped out:



MikeG said...

Todd, on the first ride, I think the road you take off of Alisos is private. Instead, you can go almost to 101, take the frontage road and cross into Los Alamos, taking Drum Canyon back to 246. The frontage road usually has a nice headwind and looks like someone drove tanks over it once upon a time, can't miss it. Fig shouldn't be missed if the weather cooperates. I haven't covered the western part of the second loop, but in general hwy 1 isn't very pleasant to ride on. On that loop, you could link up with Cat Canyon instead for a rough but deserted climb.

Honestly don't know much about the Vandenberg area. I'll ask some locals if you're still interested in recon and don't get any other help.

Jim Bonnet said...

Todd-- Last year I did Refugio up from Solvang. The road was closed and not passable by bike.. Not sure of the status now.

Manley Man said...

Looks like the Refugio loop will be out. Thankfully there are other options. I'm liking that the routes are significantly longer than last year.

Marco Fanelli said...


I can't see those map-my-ride routes for some reason, but the rides you described are good. As somebody mentioned, the back side of Refugio can be tricky. It's three miles of dirt and you'll need low gears and beefy wheels. That said, it's really spectacular scenery.

Another must-do ride is what I call the "Canyons Loop": Ballard Canyon-Foxen Canyon-Cat Canyon-Drum Canyon-then back to Solvang on 246. Around 60 miles, and again, amazing scenery. For those who want more, just head up Figueroa at the end. Truly epic.

Re riding down to SB: Do consider taking either 101 or 154 instead of Refugio. You'll have 30 minutes or so along 154 with minimal shoulder and a fair amount of traffic, but you get off on Stagecoach Rd. before the climb. That's another awesome road (I sound like a broken record). The 101 has a wide shoulder but obviously a lot of traffic. A lot more people ride bikes on the 101 than on the 154.

For those (MikeG) that may not have been here recently, Gibraltar and East Camino Cielo have both been substantially repaved. Very very nice riding now. Only about 1/2 mile on each is still bumpy, and the rest is pristine pavement.

I can give you much more detail if interested (roads, turns, water stops, etc.)

Manley Man said...

Check out these rides. I've made them "public" so people should be able to view them:

* Paso Robles - http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/-solvang/426126098020510635
* Jalama (short) - http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/santa-ynez/448126097899725273
* Jalama (long) - http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/solvang/490126097864193743
* Figueroa (short) - http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/-solvang/757126097993283636
* Figueroa (long) - http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united-states/ca/solvang/458126098004978102

Manley Man said...

Marco, check out these new links and we can follow up with more details around water, feed stops, etc.

I'm 90% sure we'll have a follow car, but I'd like to be safe by having a backup plan around where these nutritional "break" areas are located.

Marco Fanelli said...

Those are all great rides and routes. My only (mild) suggestion is for your long Fig ride. Consider doing a loop: up Foxen, left on Palmer, left on Cat Canyon, through Los Alamos, over Drum Canyon, and then back to Solvang on 246. Fig at the beginning or end... either way is epic. Have fun.