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can't decide where to go. santa barbara or san diego?

Old 06-03-12, 07:38 PM
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vermilionx
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can't decide where to go. santa barbara or san diego?

i took a week off for my bday starting at 6/12/12.

which city has better cycling roads and vibe?

i would like to hear routes and stuff.

thanks.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:09 PM
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Santa Barbara has a lot of stuff right in the city or within 10 miles, San Diego not so much. My vote is SB, but only if you like climbing.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mtrider05 View Post
My vote is SB, but only if you like climbing.
If you like climbing (especially steep climbing), SB is tough to beat. Old San Marcos, Painted Cave, Gibraltar, Camino Cielo (the connecting ridge road between OSM/PC and Gibraltar) minutes away. Just north of Santa Barbara along the coast you have Refugio. Inland in Santa Ynez Valley you have both approaches to Figueroa Mountain.

Some of my ride reports for these climbs:

Old San Marcos/Painted Cave
Gibraltar
Refugio
Figueroa
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Old 06-03-12, 09:54 PM
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i see... looks like santa barbara it is.

im not a big fan of climbing but i deal with it since i live in the valley.

i'll try it out.

i think the thing that will kill me is the heat so hopefully, it's not gonna be that hot.

thanks for the suggestions on the places to ride.
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Old 06-03-12, 09:59 PM
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If you don't want to climb that much just ride the coast, maybe go up around Lake Casitas, no super hard climbs there and it's gorgeous.
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Old 06-03-12, 11:12 PM
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If it were just a weekend, I would go for Santa Barbara. But if you're taking an entire week and most of the time will be spent cycling and seeking out bike culture, I'd take North San Diego County.
I don't own any hotels, nor any tourist-related industry, but I'm a little bit of a partisan for North San Diego County. I lived in Santa Barbara for 3 years and went to school there. It's beautiful, but the riding is limited by the ocean and by the mountains--the two run up against each other, so your choices are up the coast or down the coast.
San Diego does have some climbing to the East, but a lot more varied terrain.
If you are limited to either SD or SB, I'd take the former. If you are open to others, give San Luis Obispo, Cambria and Paso Robles a look--beautiful roads, terrific restaurants & wineries, idyllic scenery and cheaper hotels than either SB or SD.
Happy birthday and have a fun time, whatever you choose.



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Old 06-04-12, 12:00 AM
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I did both the Solvang and Ojai centuries this year, and have to say that SB in general is gorgeous and a very nice place to ride. There's a wide range of challenging routes and also some very scenic areas. On the other hand, San Diego is gorgeous and although I've never ridden there I've heard great things about the community & the area. Seems like you can't go wrong either way, good luck!
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Old 06-04-12, 03:02 AM
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santa barbara is the best thing since even before and including sliced bread. san diego sux...bad. angry, militant drivers...potholes galore and the smell of dead fish everywhere.
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Old 06-04-12, 11:02 PM
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San Diego has a huge variety of riding that starts from in town and covers a diverse range of terrain and riding environments. Those that say otherwise are either not knowledgeable or untruthful.

From downtown - Coronado Ferry - Silver Strand - Imperial Beach - Border Park - Olympic Parkway - Otay Lake Rd - Honeyspring road and back - 75 miles - 15 miles along the beach then a long gentle climb 8 miles up to Otay Mesa then a beautiful 10 mile ride around Otay Lake and up Otay Creek then a 5 mile hard long climb up Honeyspring Road to 2500' then back to San Diego via Bonita Springs and the Harbor Drive bike path. Ocean Views, Lake Views, creeks and high desert hills


When you get back to town you can go to Ocean Beach, Little Italy or Hillcrest and have a great time at reasonable prices without paying Santa Barbara tourist prices.

Our best friends lived in Painted Caves for years and we know and love Santa Barbara. There is a lot of nice stuff there and some great riding but San Diego has more of the great stuff at better prices and is more convenient to get to.
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Old 06-04-12, 11:07 PM
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I've got the perfect solution for you. Do both! Three days in Santa Barbara and four days in San Diego. Problem solved.
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Old 06-05-12, 07:02 AM
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I look for the bike shops and they know all the routes. Its better information than here. Not that those here don't know, but there's more detail at the bike shops. Also, some bike shops have group rides that you might like to join for early morning rides.

Santa Barbara County is about twice the size of San Diego County. For an easy ride I like Foxen Canyon in Santa Barbara county. Nice scenery.
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Old 06-05-12, 07:45 AM
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Really can't go wrong with either. Both are paradise, just one is a slightly more expensive than the other.
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Old 06-05-12, 11:47 AM
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Minor detail

San Diego county is almost 20% larger than Santa Barbara County ( 4,726 square miles -vs- 3,789 sq miles)

I love Santa Barbara and would love to live there. We lived in the Ventura area for quite a while and have been trying to figure out how to afford Santa Barbara since 1978. Santa Barbara is a glorious place and one pays to be there.
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Old 06-05-12, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rallison View Post
If you like climbing (especially steep climbing), SB is tough to beat. Old San Marcos, Painted Cave, Gibraltar, Camino Cielo (the connecting ridge road between OSM/PC and Gibraltar) minutes away. Just north of Santa Barbara along the coast you have Refugio. Inland in Santa Ynez Valley you have both approaches to Figueroa Mountain.

Some of my ride reports for these climbs:

Old San Marcos/Painted Cave
Gibraltar
Refugio
Figueroa
Rallison, have you done the climb near Soledad, the Pinnacles National Monument? From Highway146 up 9 miles to the Visitors Park entrance.
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Old 06-05-12, 07:17 PM
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thanks for the suggestions.

i'll try to hit up lake casitas or fox canyon, or both.

then if i still have time, i'll try one of the climbing routes.
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Old 06-05-12, 08:55 PM
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This is what we did Saturday, includes a very hard climb in Santa Barbara and Lake Casitas. https://app.strava.com/rides/9958779
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Old 06-06-12, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mtrider05 View Post
This is what we did Saturday, includes a very hard climb in Santa Barbara and Lake Casitas. https://app.strava.com/rides/9958779
Looks very similar to our route from Saturday! what a great day to be out!

https://app.strava.com/rides/9968863
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Old 06-11-12, 08:41 PM
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ok tomorrow is when i'll leave.

i've decided santa barbara.

also, i won't be able to do any steep climbs since im going with a lady friend and she has a hybrid and i honestly don't think she's ready for any steep long climbs.

so for scenic routes that are not to hard, what would you guys recommend?

i saw that lake casitas isn't really in santa barbara but it look close enough.

what others?

thanks.

Last edited by vermilionx; 06-11-12 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 06-11-12, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vermilionx View Post
ok tomorrow is when i'll leave.

i've decided santa barbara.

also, i won't be able to do any steep climbs since im going with a lady friend and she has a hybrid and i honestly don't think she's ready for any steep long climbs.

so for scenic routes that are not to hard, what would you guys recommend?

i saw that lake casitas isn't really in santa barbara but it look close enough.

what others?

thanks.
The way up to Lake Casitas doesn't have anything crazy steep, but a ladyfriend with a hybrid might find it pretty taxing. You can either ride up the coast to Isla Vista on the excellent bike path that leads between Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, which is the little college community adjacent to UCSB. There used to be a great bar there called The Study Hall--wonder if it's still there. Or you can take the frontage road through Montecito & Carpenteria, running East along the coast. It's a pretty pleasant ride to Ventura, which has some excellent restaurants.

Shorline Drive through Hope Ranch is a beautiful route, plenty of idyllic places for picnics or making out. Here's the spot where I got my first kiss:




If you want to grab some excellent (but not cheap) wine, cheese & snacks for a roadside picnic, the Lazy Acres Market has some terrific stuff and is worth a look. And just down the hill (East) from there is an excellent, excellent park overlooking the ocean and Santa Barbara Harbor.

And you can always take the 101 West out to Gaviota Point. There are a few campgrounds along the way, including Refugio. The 101 is a major highway, but the shoulder is wide and the last time I was on it, quite smooth.
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Old 06-11-12, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
The way up to Lake Casitas doesn't have anything crazy steep, but a ladyfriend with a hybrid might find it pretty taxing. You can either ride up the coast to Isla Vista on the excellent bike path that leads between Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, which is the little college community adjacent to UCSB. There used to be a great bar there called The Study Hall--wonder if it's still there. Or you can take the frontage road through Montecito & Carpenteria, running East along the coast. It's a pretty pleasant ride to Ventura, which has some excellent restaurants.

Shorline Drive through Hope Ranch is a beautiful route, plenty of idyllic places for picnics or making out. Here's the spot where I got my first kiss:




If you want to grab some excellent (but not cheap) wine, cheese & snacks for a roadside picnic, the Lazy Acres Market has some terrific stuff and is worth a look. And just down the hill (East) from there is an excellent, excellent park overlooking the ocean and Santa Barbara Harbor.

And you can always take the 101 West out to Gaviota Point. There are a few campgrounds along the way, including Refugio. The 101 is a major highway, but the shoulder is wide and the last time I was on it, quite smooth.
thanks. i'll definitely consider that route.

also, the place she decided to camp is lake cachuma. im not really a camper so i just left all that planning to her. i'll look online what kind of routes we can take from there but if you know that place and have suggestions, i'd like to hear it as well. either way, i don't mind driving to get us to a starting point.

we will be also hiking, camping and swimming. so im trying to manage time as well. we'll leave here tues and i have to be back by friday afternoon.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by vermilionx View Post
thanks. i'll definitely consider that route.

also, the place she decided to camp is lake cachuma.
That changes everything. You're actually up by Solvang and the only way you'll be riding in Santa Barbara is if you truck your bikes down there. There are great wineries up around Solvang, take a ride up Foxen Canyon Road to Fess Parker's Winery--great wines, beautiful spot, and a pleasant ride up the hill from Solvang.
There are also plenty of idyllic roads North of Solvang, and a bunch of wine shops and restaurants.
Cold Springs Tavern might be worth a ride, if your friend can stand a little climbing. I remember there was some waterfall spot East of Lake Cachuma, past Paradise Campground--it's kind of a seasonal place that can be too cold or completely dry at the wrong times of the year, but if you get lucky, it's a first-rate skinny-dipping spot.
Have fun and take plenty of pics (not of the skinny-dipping I mean.) Oh yeah, and don't try to schedule too much into one weekend. Where you're going is more suitable for hiking & mtbs than road bikes IMO.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
That changes everything. You're actually up by Solvang and the only way you'll be riding in Santa Barbara is if you truck your bikes down there. There are great wineries up around Solvang, take a ride up Foxen Canyon Road to Fess Parker's Winery--great wines, beautiful spot, and a pleasant ride up the hill from Solvang.
There are also plenty of idyllic roads North of Solvang, and a bunch of wine shops and restaurants.
Cold Springs Tavern might be worth a ride, if your friend can stand a little climbing. I remember there was some waterfall spot East of Lake Cachuma, past Paradise Campground--it's kind of a seasonal place that can be too cold or completely dry at the wrong times of the year, but if you get lucky, it's a first-rate skinny-dipping spot.
Have fun and take plenty of pics (not of the skinny-dipping I mean.) Oh yeah, and don't try to schedule too much into one weekend. Where you're going is more suitable for hiking & mtbs than road bikes IMO.
lol thanks. i'll definitely check out that waterfall.

what do you think of this ride i found online? it says, it starts in central solvang.

https://www.sbbike.org/region/rides/Sideways-1.pdf
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