A recocery ride after the Figueroa grind. Today, 85 miles with "only" 4600' of climbing. We get on our bikes with another thick layer of maritime fog and 46 degrees but it soon lifts, giving way to sun and warmth. Geesh I like it out here. We take Mission Drive to the town of Buelton, take Santa Rosa Road into Lompoc, work through that town and then into the wild ag region with nothing but farms and growing crops. There is a 3 mile climb in there that rarely exceeds 5%, I think on Blacks Road followed by a screaming descent to Casmalia, which is nothing more then a few ramshackle buildings and one restaurant. Even the market closed a few years ago.
At mile 35 we have a sag stop. We picked up a couple of new members, Alan and Yvonne from Argentina. Yvonne was once on the Argentina national ski team and a very strong cyclist. Another guy, Chris arrived too but we lost a women who complained all she got were route sheets and a power bar. This type of tour is not for everyone. There is a guide each day but he rides at the front and if you can't keep up, you're on your own with a map and 1-2 designated sag stops. There is a good selection of food and drinks and the knowledge if you had a catastrophic bike problem, there is a phone in the van and it would come get you. I don't want anything more then that but some do and there are plenty of all inclusive tours like Trek, C Carmicael, Undiscovered Tours, Cycling Escapes, etc... who provide that type of service.
Eventually we came out of the wild and into just the remote areas of wineries and agriculture, along #135 heading in to Los Alamos.
Just before Los Alamos, a broad expanse of flowers. The season is a week or two ahead of schedule. I see lots of snakes on the road this trip and hundreds of ground squirrels crossing the road. One ran into my front tire but bounced off. Their radar must be off as many litter the roads, run over which is unusual. We stop in Los Alamos and then head up Drum Canyon Road, a 800' climb on dreadful pavement.
We emerge on 246, check to see our fillings are still secure after a very bumpy descent and head east with a tailwind into Solvang. I take a detour to add a few miles and pass a home with unusual trees. They have a conventional tree shape yet have pine needles. Tomorrow is the classic ride to Jalama Beach. My cold symptoms are getting a little worse but something about riding in the sun and warm temps is its own medicine.