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  1. #1
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    Riding in the snow in Santa Barbara

    We have had a couple cold fronts move through recently that left a bit of the white stuff in the upper elevations. The topography of Santa Barbara is ocean, town, foothills, mountains that peak out at 4000 feet. OK, for most 4000 feet elevation is not really a mountain, but when it is less than 10 miles from 0 feet elevation, it is a pretty healthy climb.

    The mountains are so beautiful this time of year I got the itch to ride my mountain loop, which is up Gibraltar Road, west on Camino Cielo, then down Painted Cave and Old San Marcos Road. Camino Cielo runs along the ridge of the mountain, with views of the ocean and town to the south,and the back country with more mountains to the north. It is a fantastic road to ride, and you really have to pay your dues to get there. Anyway, I digress significantly.

    Up near La Cumbre Peak, I encountered a 1/4 mile section of road (still climbing fortunately) that was solid ice/snow. I have NEVER ridden my bike in the snow before, so fortunately I fell only once going about 2 mph. Almost walked to the top from there, but decided to find a spot where the snow was thicker and managed to get back on and ride through it. There was a second 1/4 mile section just past the peak, and fortunatley I was able to follow another cyclists tracks on the side of the road, no falls here.

    I gained a new appreciation for those who commute in these conditions daily, my hat is off to you!!

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Up north we have yet to get the Snow at sealevel.. It dropped to 31F last night,
    but that was because the skies were clear and so the day's heat went away with the sunset,

    So the roads were just a bit frosty.. foggy..

  3. #3
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbslider View Post
    For most 4000 feet elevation is not really a mountain, but when it is less than 10 miles from 0 feet elevation, it is a pretty healthy climb.

    .... I got the itch to ride my mountain loop, which is up Gibraltar Road, west on Camino Cielo, then down Painted Cave and Old San Marcos Road. Camino Cielo runs along the ridge of the mountain, with views of the ocean and town to the south,and the back country with more mountains to the north. It is a fantastic road to ride, and you really have to pay your dues to get there. !
    Believe me, paying your dues is an understatement for this ride, but the views are unmatched anywhere on a clear day.

    Brian
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

  4. #4
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    Gerrrrrrr... Man - I can't even drive in the snow...

  5. #5
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    I have no idea how folks ride a road bike on a snowpacked/icy road. Very carefully I guess. Yesterday my bf and I went up to the Colorado National Monument visitors center (in the car). The CNM road, Rimrock Drive, is a very popular road ride in the spr/su/fall, but usually sees some snow in the winter. We saw two cyclists up there. I thought they might be on cx bikes. Nope, road bikes. Saw one head down the road to the descent to town. We drive down that road a while later. The road had many long patches of packed snow, some icy spots. No idea how that road bike made it down that road.


    Fruita_Canyon.jpg

    This is the lower part of Rimrock Drive, on the Fruita side of the Monument. View is facing north. The part of the road on the left side of the picture was clear and dry yesterday, it gets winter sun part of the day. All of the road on the right side of the view, in shadow in the winter, was hardpacked snow/ice.
    Last edited by eofelis; 01-02-13 at 04:10 PM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    I have no idea how folks ride a road bike on a snowpacked/icy road. Very carefully I guess.
    Indeed

  7. #7
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    today was the opposite experience on my commute to work. I met up with a couple guys to climb up Old San Marcos Road up to Hwy 154. http://www.toughascent.com/blog/?p=127
    At the bottom of the hill, it was 37 degrees. We climbed up 1150 feet in 3 miles, and at that point the temperature was a balmy 55 degrees. I have experienced this before where there is a double digit temperature difference between the bottom of the hill and climbing up to Hwy 154. Temp does not go up much after that point in the climb. Of course we were all shedding layers on the ride up, and I was in shorts and a tee shirt at the top.

    Anyway, on the ride down it was like riding into a meat locker. Dropped the same 20 degrees, plus much less exertion and much higher speeds. Fortunately we all geared back up before the ride down.

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