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Old 04-22-21, 01:41 AM
lead on, macduff!
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as you guessed, the 154 has only gotten busier over the years. old san marcos is a pretty stiff warmup for west camino cielo.

you're kinda limited/challenged for routes from santa barbara to solvang that don't involve epic feats of climbing.
you can do as you proposed with a limited hwy 154 interface, choose to minimize the 154 interface but increase the
pain by taking the gibraltar/east camino cielo and crossing directly over the 154 (careful!!!) to the west camino cielo
start. can also do osm and descend the 154 to stagecoach rd and that for a few scenic, downhill miles before rejoining
the 154 into santa ynez. lots of traffic once back on the 154. some shoulder here and there on the 154 along with good sightlines.
most direct way.

can also blow off osm and ride the 101 all the way to refugio rd and ascend that, then descend to santa ynez/solvang.
climbing refugio is easier than gibraltar but still a beastie and the ascent pavement is not good but when you're going 6 mph...
or you can just take the longer, flattest way and do the 101 to buelton and then head east to solvang.
if your brakes are good, shouldn't have much of a problem doing the dirt(y) descent of refugio into santa ynez. not technical.

do keep an eye out once the road becomes paved on refugio after finishing the dirt descent. road had "dimples" in multiple areas
on the paved road and (depending on what time of day) some little depressions were hard to see and it would be easy to lose control
if you miss them so don't let up your vigilance lest you end up crashing on the slight but decent downhill on paved refugio.
some of the multiple bridge interfaces along that stretch also require your attention.

your proposed route is pretty solid as long as you're okay with the climbing and roughly 12 miles o' dirt. not exactly a shrinking violet
but easier than some of the routes proposed above. great views, wretched pavement, challenging and zero support.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 04-22-21 at 01:51 AM.
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