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Santa Barbara and the Central Coast

Summary

Solvang_0719_Solvang_Cyclists

Escape the concrete jungle with a 6-day tour of California’s central coast. With diverse landscapes ranging from sandy beaches of the Pacific Coast Highway to the rolling vine covered hillsides of wine country, California’s Central Coast is home to some of the premier cycling terrain in the world. Imagine yourself on the same roads as some of the world’s most elite riders, including 4 years of the Tour of California in the past decade, as well as the annual spring training for the Tour de France. With the flexibility of multiple route options available to all skill levels, and the assistance of our cycling expert, make this the active vacation experience you’ve been dreaming of.

Road bike
6 days
257 km / 160 mi
$ 2,595.-
  • 10% for the start date: 21 October
  • Specialist cycling guide and ‘on the road’ support staff and vehicle
  • Custom Fitting on 2018 Specialized Diverge Comp Cycle
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Supported Rest/Lunch stops, Snacks/Drinks for Ride
  • Luggage Transfer each day
  • Dinner in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, SLO Brewery Sendoff
  • Wine Valley Inn Massage
  • Use of Garmin GPS Unit
  • Return transport by train with Amtrak from SLO to LAX

Gallery

Details

Type
Road bike
Duration
6 days
Level
Easy = untrained, normal physical condition
Moderate = regular cyclist, good condition
Challenging = experienced, well trained
Moderate
Support
Guided = with cycling guide(s) - support van
Self Guided = individual - directions+maps
Guided
Daily distance
60-80 km / 37-50 mi
Total distance
257 km / 160 mi
Lodging
Deluxe = 4-5 star hotel or excellent B&B
Basic = 1-2 star hotel/motel or B&B
Camping = tent, sports hall or campus
Deluxe, room & breakfast
Luggage transport
Daily luggage transfers
Bicycle
Included
Dates
21 Oct 2018 - 26 Oct 2018
26 Oct 2018 - 31 Oct 2018
18 Nov 2018 - 23 Nov 2018
07 Apr 2019 - 12 Apr 2019
14 May 2019 - 19 May 2019
26 May 2019 - 31 May 2019
07 Jul 2019 - 12 Jul 2019
25 Aug 2019 - 30 Aug 2019
01 Sep 2019 - 06 Sep 2019
13 Oct 2019 - 18 Oct 2019
+2019 start date Oct. 20 and Nov. 24
Start
Ventura (10.00 am)
Finish
Los Angeles
Airport at start
LAX Los Angeles
Airport at finish
LAX Los Angeles

Prices

Price per person
The tour price per person
$ 2,595.-
Single supplement
If you travel alone a single supplement is charged. With some group tours you can avoid a single supplement by sharing a room with another rider.
$ 638.-

Itinerary

Day 1 - Ventura to Ojai

Join your group in Ventura for a pre tour briefing and cycle fitting before leaving the massive sprawl of Los Angeles behind you. Today your tour begins with a half day ride featuring a 1312ft climb over 9 miles, heading north toward the charming city of Ojai, and the Los Padres National Forest. Tucked in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains, you’ll be free to spend the night discovering the city’s village-like center that’s dotted with art galleries and new age shops.
The route will take us from the beautiful pacific coast through some of central California’s most verdant farm lands near the town of Santa Paula. Along the way we will cycle through citrus orchards and local vineyards before beginning the climb into the Ojai Valley, ending in the quaint town of Ojai.

Today’s bonus miles route will take you from Ojai and up the Maricopa Highway- as far as you care to ride. The Maricopa Hwy from Ojai to Rose Valley Summit is a locals͛ favorite climbing route and, if ridden all the way to the summit totals more than 30 miles and 3000 feet of climbing. However, should decide not to ride to the summi, the peaceful, quiet ride on a country road is a nice way to end your day.

Day 2 - Ojai to Santa Barbara

Today’s ride will take you through the Los Padres National Forest, and away from Ojai. Enjoy pastoral views, and the classical beauty of California’s rolling hills. Climb both summits of Lake Casitas, and enjoy the vista before gliding down to the Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Barbara coast.

Our Burner Route adds virtually no miles with a similar overall elevation gain as the main route. However, much of the climbing comes by way of an unrelenting 7 miles up the Laguna Ridge Gravel Road before meeting back up with the main route at the bottom of Casitas Pass. Though parts of this route are quite steep and, the condition of the road is largely dependent on recent weather, the solitude and the views are worth the effort for those up to the challenge. There will be no vehicular support available on the gravel part of this route.

Enjoy the afternoon to soak up the sun on one of Santa Barbara’s amazing beaches. Or push yourself to take in a bit more of the coast by cycle, as you head north on a loop to Isla Vista. Celebrate the success of the days ride with your fellow cyclists, and support staff with the included dinner downtown.

Day 3 - Santa Barbara to Solvang

Leaving the coast behind, head deep into the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. Attack one of Southern California’s most notorious rides on Gibraltar Road. A 9 mile climb through Rattlesnake Canyon will reward you with spectacular vistas, and an included lunch stop at the historic Cold Spring Tavern. Opened in 1865 as a stage coach stop, the Cold Spring Tavern is renowned for its use of game meats, such as venison, rabbit, and kangaroo. Enjoy an amazing downhill with views of Cachuma Lake after lunch, as we begin the final approach to the city of Solvang where we’ll spend the next 2 nights. You’ll have the night free to explore the city of Solvang, a former Danish Colony complete with traditional Danish architecture, bakeries, restaurants, and even a traditional windmill.

Day 4 - Solvang to Lompoc

In recent years, Solvang has become a cycling mecca, utilized as the main race location on the Tour of California (2007, 2008, 2009 & 2011), as well as a spring training hub for the Tour de France. Explore the area with a ride down the renowned Santa Rosa Road, bringing you through winding valleys, and mountains into the city of Lompoc. Upon arriving in Lompoc, you’ll have the choice to complete the loop on cycle back to Solvang, or join the support staff for a ride by shuttle. Upon your return, kick back and relax with an included massage and spa entrance.

If you want to really push it, take the day’s Burner Route through the Happy Canyon, and up Figueroa Mountain. With over 5000ft of total elevation gain, you may not be feeling too happy by the end of the ride, but you will have certainly earned tonight’s glass of wine.

Day 5 - Solvang to Santa Maria

On today’s ride you will follow the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, surrounded by vineyards and more of the quintessential California hills and countryside. Stop in for an included lunch at River Bench Winery and have a taste of their stellar Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir before continuing on to your final destination for the night in Santa Maria. Santa Maria is renowned not only for its importance in the wine industry, but also for its succulent Santa Maria style barbecue, which has been called ͞The West’s Best BBQ Town by Sunset Magazine. Eat ’till your heart’s (and stomach’s) content, with an included dinner as you prepare for your final day.

Day 6 - Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo

Congratulations! As you finish your final ride into the city of San Luis Obispo, you will have ridden almost half way from Los Angeles to San Francisco! In one of California’s oldest communities, leave your mark in Bubblegum Alley, or head out to the coast to visit the elephant seals and Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Spend an extra night to explore the city, or take the Amtrak ride back to LA as an opportunity to relax, and reflect upon your successful journey into California’s Central Coast.

Map & Routes

Map
Satellite

Bicycle

T Specialized-Diverge 2018 Specialized Diverge Comp Cycle.
The Specialized Diverge is not quite a cross bike and not completely a road bike. The Diverge is the perfect bike for this tour.
With clearance for up to 42 mm tires and a Future Shock that is geared specifically to riding smoothly over harsh terrain, Specialized notes that: “Sure, some have tried to make their cross bikes more road-capable and others have made their road bikes more adventure-ready, but we created one bike that makes no compromises between the two.”
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