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Old 07-17-09, 09:42 PM   #1
army14
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Ventura to Lompoc First Century Attempt

I am attempting my first century. I have chosen Ventura, CA to Lompoc. I'm not a strong climber and the elevation looks pretty good until I get to Gaviota. Has anybody done this route and can share some tips? Are the headwinds really that bad along the 101? Is the Gaviota tunnel really that scary? Is the climb out of Gaviota for about 5 miles really a 8% grade and difficult? I plan on going in August sometime. Does anyone know of a good route that they have taken? I have done some research and the routes are not real clear. Thanks, Chris
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Old 07-18-09, 02:14 PM   #2
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An August trip will mean hot temps and dry riding once you turn inland. However, it is certainly doable.

The headwinds have been "interesting" this year. Much more ocean breeze than normal IMO. I have a feeling that this will be changing though. If it doesn't change the headwinds will usually only be somewhere around 5-10kts. Good enough to sap 2-3 mph for an average rider but not "bad."

As for the "route" the Gaviota tunnel is narrow but there is a walkway you can use. After the tunnel the shoulder is plenty wide enough for safe riding. The climb is not that bad. There are a few nifty/neat places where you can just stop and rest if you need to. I do know that Hwy 1 to Lompoc is only part way up the hill so you don't have to do the whole 5 mile climb to Nojoqui. And the hill isn't as steep on the bottom half as it is near the top.

Lots of rollers north of Goleta on the 101. No water that I know of after El Capitan State Beach until the rest stop in Gaviota. But, umd might know of something that I don't. I'd be sure to fill up on water at the rest stop before leaving there because I'm pretty positive there is nothing on Hwy 1 until Lompoc.

Ventura to SB is a pretty well known route. Mapmyride should have it or you can follow the route for the Cool Breeze Century. (Use the route for the metric century that follows the coast to Carpinteria. Then either follow El Camino Real to Cabrillo to Las Positas to Modoc to Hollister OR take Foothill / Cathedral Oaks to Glenn Annie to Holister if you feel like lots of climbing and a few more miles.)

Most of all, enjoy your trip.
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Old 07-18-09, 04:14 PM   #3
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I am attempting my first century. I have chosen Ventura, CA to Lompoc. I'm not a strong climber and the elevation looks pretty good until I get to Gaviota.
Why go to Lompoc and not just to Goleta and back?

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Has anybody done this route
I've ridden all of it except for the 1 to Lompoc.

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and can share some tips?
The earlier you start the less windy it is.

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Are the headwinds really that bad along the 101?
They can be. They are predominantly from the southwest so it's pretty much a strong headwind the whole way.

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Is the Gaviota tunnel really that scary?
I've never worried about it too much but some people won't ride it. There is a [narrow] sidewalk inside you can walk it if it makes you feel safer.

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Is the climb out of Gaviota for about 5 miles really a 8% grade and difficult?
The climb from Gaviota to the 1 is fairly shallow, but from what I understand the 1 itself is a pretty good climb.

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I plan on going in August sometime. Does anyone know of a good route that they have taken? I have done some research and the routes are not real clear. Thanks, Chris
From Ventura you pretty much get on PCH until it dumps you onto the 101 around La Conchita. You're on the 101 for about 3 miles to Bates road, then you can get on the 150 and go left to get to Carpinteria Ave. Take that all the way through Carpinteria until at some point you have to cross over the freeway onto Via Real. That road goes through Summerland, Montecito, and Santa Barbara (changes names a few times). In Santa Barbara you can take State Street all the way through to Goleta, it changes to Hollister and eventually dumps you back out onto the 101, which you take past Gaviota to the 1.
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Old 07-18-09, 04:24 PM   #4
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Why not sign up for the Cool Breeze Century in Aug? Ventura to SB and back with 1500 of your closest friends! Plus you get SAG.
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Old 07-18-09, 07:48 PM   #5
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Thank you for all the information. I am actually coming from Simi Valley. I wanted to do a century going North on the coast and Goleta falls a little short. I chose Lompoc because my wife and daughter can spend the day at the beach in Santa Barbara and then either meet me in Lompoc or rescue me along the way. We spend the night and maybe head to Solvang for the girls the next day.

I have not rode an organized ride yet and I was planning on the Cool Breeze metric century, I am not rteady for all the climbing of the century.
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Old 07-18-09, 08:30 PM   #6
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I would recommend riding to Solvang instead of Lompoc, personally. The rest of the climb on the 101 will be tamer than the 1 to Lompoc, and the ride from Nojoqui to Solvang is a nice scenic roller coaster ride.
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Old 07-18-09, 10:17 PM   #7
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I'm OK with direct to Solvang. Does it increase the total miles? To Lompoc was 122.
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Old 07-18-09, 10:53 PM   #8
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Solvang is probably closer.
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Old 07-19-09, 12:53 PM   #9
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Ride to SB from Simi Valley, either coastal or inland, which will give you just short of 100 miles. Meet your wife and daughter in SB. (The inland route during Aug can be brutally hot)
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Old 07-19-09, 02:48 PM   #10
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I rode the coastal route yesterday from Simi to Goleta (about 82 miles from my house) and took the train back to Simi, missed the train station in Goleta by three miles so we ended up with 6 extra miles back tracking to the station and add that to the distance from the Simi train station back to my house and I ended with a total of 92.5 miles. You could always ride around a little in Simi on the way home or take some detours along the coast to get your 100 miles. We took the 1:40 train back from Goleta but there is another one a couple of hours later.

If you want to meet your wife in Santa Barbara, ride to Goleta and back to Santa Barbara, you still might need to find some extra miles on the way to get your 100 miles but if you stay along the coast at least it will be cool.

Another easy way to get a century from Simi is ride the costal route and just before getting onto the 101 before Carpentaria you should hit the 50 mile mark and you can turn around and ride home.

Save the inland route for cooler days, Casitas pass can be brutal this time of year.
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Old 07-19-09, 02:58 PM   #11
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I am attempting my first century. I have chosen Ventura, CA to Lompoc. I'm not a strong climber and the elevation looks pretty good until I get to Gaviota. Has anybody done this route and can share some tips? Are the headwinds really that bad along the 101? Is the Gaviota tunnel really that scary? Is the climb out of Gaviota for about 5 miles really a 8% grade and difficult? I plan on going in August sometime. Does anyone know of a good route that they have taken? I have done some research and the routes are not real clear. Thanks, Chris
I have. The climb towards Solvang is not so bad. Except I hate going thru the tunnel up the hill.. I doubt it's more than a 1500 foot gain.. But, it's a little long.. Maybe 5 miles... I'd do some climbing before hand , if you can.. Take a light and some reflective gear thru the tunnel near the top of the hill. It's sort of scary. Afterwards, the climbs are not bad at all. Otherwise, great choice.. I'd route myself through Foxen Canyon ?..../ road, just before Santa Maria. Great wine/great scenery.
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Old 07-19-09, 03:03 PM   #12
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I'd route myself through Foxen Canyon ?..../ road, just before Santa Maria. Great wine/great scenery.
Foxen is completly in the other direction, you wouldn't be anywhere near it going to Lompoc or Solvang.
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Old 07-19-09, 03:07 PM   #13
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^.....I liked my ride up Foxen.. Took in a favorite vintner also.. Foxen is worth making your century into a 150 miler.. It's been five years. Our routing was what ever Adventure Cycling advised us to take... It was not a century. It was a five day tour..
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Old 07-20-09, 12:52 PM   #14
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^.....I liked my ride up Foxen.. Took in a favorite vintner also.. Foxen is worth making your century into a 150 miler.. It's been five years. Our routing was what ever Adventure Cycling advised us to take... It was not a century. It was a five day tour..
Not for someone attempting their first century!
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Old 07-20-09, 02:07 PM   #15
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Hwy 1 to Lompoc is a beautiful ride. Low traffic, rolling hills, pastures with grazing cows. It's the same vistas as the Pyrenees in France and Spain. After SB Co. put in a turn lane on the 1, they repaved the shoulders so they are wider and smoother. When I ride from my moms in the Village, I always see touring cyclists. There are signs posted everywhere that this is a cycling route.


The hardest climb is the one at the beginning after the turnoff to Lompoc from the 101. After that it's gentle rollers. I've never done the Nojoqui to Solvang route, I ride to Solvang via La Purisima hwy, Lompoc has less traffic than Solvang, but Solvang has better places to sightsee and eat.

Whatever you decide, I think you won't be disappointed. Have fun and stay safe.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:54 PM   #16
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Save the inland route for cooler days, Casitas pass can be brutal this time of year.
I can attest to this. I did Casitas Pass yesterday. 100* heat, no water & a hot, dry headwind while climbing. It sucked BIG time. (And, the water fountain at the ranger station is barely dribbling for some reason - if you need water, stop at the entrance to the lake instead.) After Casitas, we followed 150 to Gobernador Cyn. MORE hill; still hot & dry and no water. We had to stop at Carpinteria High on hwy 192 to get water (thank you Carp Unified for NOT fencing in the campus) and I drank at least a half gallon after filling the bottles.

It was so stinking hot yesterday that we only did 68 miles round trip. And, of course, the headwinds that "promised" a tailwind along the coast disappeared before we turned for home.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:04 PM   #17
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I can attest to this. I did Casitas Pass yesterday. 100* heat, no water & a hot, dry headwind while climbing. It sucked BIG time. (And, the water fountain at the ranger station is barely dribbling for some reason - if you need water, stop at the entrance to the lake instead.) After Casitas, we followed 150 to Gobernador Cyn. MORE hill; still hot & dry and no water. We had to stop at Carpinteria High on hwy 192 to get water (thank you Carp Unified for NOT fencing in the campus) and I drank at least a half gallon after filling the bottles.
The water at the fire station always dribbles like that whenever they are using water elsewhere at the station, like for landscaping. There is water at the driveway on **** right near the intersection with 192, behind the park bench there.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:17 PM   #18
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^^^^ Good to know.
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