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    Santa Barbara/Ojai area tour

    soon some friends and I are going on a short tour in this area. Our plan is to start at the Oceano campground and ride the pacific coast route south to santa barbara. Then head inland to Ojai. From Ojai we are planning on taking hwy 33 to hwy 166 and back to oceano. I'm not really worried about the pacific coast route because it's well traveled by cyclists. I'm a little worried about the hwy 33/166 sections of the route, I can't seem to find any information about how suitable those roads are for cycling. On the map I see lots of sqwiggles indicative of steep climbs/decents. I can't seem to find info on traffic volumes or shoulder or pavement conditions.

    So, all you people from that area...what do you think? What are we in for? Is this a bad choice of route? Is there another way to get back to oceano from santa barbara/ventura area besides retracing our ride south?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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    Traffic from Ojai north on 33 is light on weekends with motorcyclists mostly on weekends. The roads are good but there are some potholes to watch out for on the descents.

    There are two climbs on 33, the first is a long steady but not too steep of a climb. The second is much shorter. Going down from the second peak is a great descent. At the bottom to the right is Ozena Ranger Station, your only source of water around.

    In the summer, it can be quite hot. Bring plenty of water for your two climbs.

    Once you get to Ozena, it is flat to 166. You go through the town of Ventucopa where there are services (restaurants/stores) West on 166 is more or less rollers.

    Traffic on 166 is greater than 33 with trucks rumbling by a lot.

    All very ridable.

    Are you planning on going from Ojai to Oceano in one day or two?

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    Fixer: That thread came up in a search I did and provided some good info on alternate routes. Thanks for posting it again, it's been a while since I read that.

    Quote Originally Posted by thomson
    Traffic on 166 is greater than 33 with trucks rumbling by a lot.

    All very ridable.

    Are you planning on going from Ojai to Oceano in one day or two?
    Thanks for the response, that puts my mind at ease a little. We'll be staying in or around ojai then departing in the morning and planning on taking two days to get back to oceano. I'd like to have a short(er) day on the last day since we'll have to drive back home and get mentally prepared to go back to work

  5. #5
    40 yrs bike touring
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    AAA has a new map called the <Central Coast Region and Kern County> that clearly covers your whole route on one detailed map.

    The short cut to Ojai from the Santa Barbara coast is Hwy 150. There is/was a bridge out requiring a detour on Hwy 192 just North of Carpinteria. A lovely ride addition. Hwy 150 is busy on weekends and narrow with two climbs over West Casitas Pass 969' and East Casitas Pass 1145'. About 16 miles to the junction with Hwy 33 from Hwy 101 in Carpinteria.
    From there to Hwy 166 is about 57 miles with the long climb up to Pine Mtn Summit the main one of 25 miles to the 5080 ft pass. Parts of Hwy 33 have recently been repaved in 2005 (Ojai to Pine Mtn and beyond a bit) winter damage may have occurred this year. I rode there last October.

    After riding your route in both directions over the years as two day weekend 250 mile trips I prefer the clockwise one and add backroads inland via Foxen Canyon (east of Santa Maria) to Santa Ynez and hwy 154 to SB despite the heavy traffic and climb over San Marcos Pass. The headwinds/tailwinds on 101 and 166 can be brutal or wonderful depending on your direction and time of year. Inland can be hot in the Summer though. And I really like the 37 mile almost all downhill from Pine Mtn Summit to the ocean at Ventura.
    I hope that you have more than a weekend to enjoy this route in either direction because it has every type of terrain and view you could want. Enjoy.
    Last edited by arctos; 04-10-06 at 10:40 AM. Reason: add

  6. #6
    40 yrs bike touring
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    PS:
    There is a Free <Santa Barbara County Bike Map> available.
    Published in 2000 so somewhat dated but still useful.
    [URL="http://www.sbcag.org/ts.htm"]
    805-963-7283

  7. #7
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Update on Hwy 33 North of Ojai:
    As I returned from LA to Santa Barbara tonight (Sunday 4/16/06) the Highway Patrol had a flashing sign saying Hwy 33 was closed by a slide 19 miles North of Hwy 101.
    No other information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arctos
    Update on Hwy 33 North of Ojai:
    As I returned from LA to Santa Barbara tonight (Sunday 4/16/06) the Highway Patrol had a flashing sign saying Hwy 33 was closed by a slide 19 miles North of Hwy 101.
    No other information.
    DOH! the California DOT website confirms that hwy 33 is closed 7.8 miles north of Ojai.

    crap!

    If it's not open by saturday we may end up with an out-n-back route instead of the loop that we had originally planned.

  9. #9
    40 yrs bike touring
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    PS:
    The local radio station reported that the Hwy 33 closure is ONE lane as of today (Monday) at Wheeler Gorge North of Ojai.

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