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Old 12-09-07, 11:48 PM   #1
ROJA
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Solvang Century in March- Anyone Going?

I am thinking about doing this as my first century. Anyone going? Anyone know if it is a cool route?
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Old 12-10-07, 12:19 AM   #2
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I am thinking about doing this as my first century. Anyone going? Anyone know if it is a cool route?
I've done it twice: Once on a half-bike and once on a tandem. It's very accessible and fun either way. The biggest variable is the weather. If it holds you'll be hard-pressed to find a finer ride. The scenery is as varied as the terrain, and it's very pretty. It was my first century on both bikes. Looks like we'll do it again in '08, too, as much for visiting our friends as for the ride itself.

Are you looking for rides in that area? Are you open to centuries in other parts of CA?
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Old 12-10-07, 09:22 AM   #3
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I am thinking about doing this as my first century. Anyone going? Anyone know if it is a cool route?

I'm going as long as the weather is reasonable
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Old 12-10-07, 09:34 AM   #4
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I am thinking about doing this as my first century. Anyone going? Anyone know if it is a cool route?
That was the first century I ever did. It's a good first century (although Lighthouse probably takes the cake as the best intro century). It is well organized, and in 2007, they had CHP holding traffic at key busy intersections to make sure the cyclists get across the intersection, and not having to worry about oncoming traffic. That was a nice touch. They better provide some value, with the hefty registration fee!

I've done it so many times I can probably tell you the route by heart. Expect headwinds and/or cross winds as you pass Vandenburg. Make sure you are fairly fresh by the time you get to the lunch stop. You'll have about a 15 mile climb at Foxen Canyon, then it little steep pitch before the summit. Then, another climb they call "the wall", but it's not really that bad.

Here's a SoCal thread on this year's Solvang Century ... Solvang Ride Reports
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Old 12-10-07, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hello... I'll be there. Done this ride twice back in the late 80's, early 90s... One advice, get your hotel reservations now!! Last time I check, everything is booked w/ in 15 miles of Solvang. Try Lompoc, 20 miles away. See ya there...
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Old 12-10-07, 11:39 AM   #6
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My wife and I did it last year on the tandem. We liked the route and the support was okay. The headwinds are tough to Santa Maria. Be prepared for a big temperature swing. It is cold and foggy in the morning and warms up in the 80s in the afternoon in time for the climbs. 2006 it poured rain and sleeted. So be prepared for rain. I second getting the hotel now idea. We stayed in Lompoc.
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Old 12-10-07, 12:53 PM   #7
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Hello... I'll be there. Done this ride twice back in the late 80's, early 90s... One advice, get your hotel reservations now!! Last time I check, everything is booked w/ in 15 miles of Solvang. Try Lompoc, 20 miles away. See ya there...
+1 on the hotel. Lompoc is a great place to get a hotel if you plan to go sightseeing after the century.
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Old 12-10-07, 07:56 PM   #8
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That was also my first century. About 5,500' of climbing, nice route. The steepest climbs are not very long. The support is very good. Only negatives might be the number of riders (6,000+, ouch!!!).
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Old 12-10-07, 08:35 PM   #9
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6000 riders!?
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Old 12-10-07, 09:24 PM   #10
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They used to have 3 ride starts ... Solvang, Lompoc, and Santa Maria. Don't have to worry about any rider cap on this century.
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Old 12-10-07, 10:23 PM   #11
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6000 riders!?
When I rode it, in 2005, they actually had around 7,200 riders. They put a cap since, for 2008 the website says that the will accept 5,500 pre-registrations.
Not sure for the last 2 years but they used to have a start in waves of about 20-30 riders every 10-15 seconds if I remember correctly.
I started around 6:15 so traffic wasn't all that bad but it can get very crowded at rest stops if you are a late bird. They have police patrol at all major intersections.
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