THE PLAN: Jump in with The Solvang Double Century for half the route. THE REALITY: Geez, it was cloudy, cold at the 6:30 start but they were sending them off in waves with the last wave at 7:30am. They start in Buellton, ride the 3 miles to Solvang where I am staying, then head farther east before looping back to Los Olivos. If I leave here at 8:00am, I should catch the 7:30 starters who plan to ride the 200 miles in under 10 hours. I leave the hotel, ride to Los Olivos via the long uphill Ballard Canyon Road, descend the hill and arrive at #154. Just in time to see a group of 15 roar by turning right on Foxen Canyon. Having to cross #154 before I could hook up with them, there was no chance, I arrive 1 minute too late. I missed the fastest group and there ain't no one comin in behind them.
The forecast for Solvang was 30% chance of rain. Like all the days, the morning low is 42-45 and the day time high is 54-57 (well below the normal high of 68....could someone freaking explain why after enduring a winter of 10-15 degree below normal weather in Ohio I have to endure a week of 10+ below normal temps in California.....never mind). Rain was forecast to arrive around 2:00pm but when I arrived in Orcut and stopped at the store there, I grabbed a Monster and read the local paper. Oh oh, for this area, 30 miles north of where I started, rain was 90% and arriving like NOW. That cut it, no going farther north and getting soaked for the effort and the return. I headed back, taking a circuitous route with good climbing and ended with 77 miles and 4800' of climbing.
The cumulative effect of riding 4 straight days on rough roads has taken its toll. I've decided to take Sunday off, despite a forecast of sun and warming temps. It's not muscle soreness as much as ligament and joint issues that suggest I should back off for a day. Should have some good images tomorrow.