Wow, yesterday there were 472 unique visitors to the blog and so far today, 492 page views but only 97 unique visitors so some of you are quite anxious for the report from Wednesday and here it is. "Winter" out here was colder than normal so plants seem to be a little behind with not so many blooming. Still, I passed a vast field of strawberries that were being harvested. Today's weather was cloudy at the start, then light rain moved in for 2 hours, then cloudy skies, then partly cloudy and windy and then glorious sunshine.
Today's route was out past Casmalia, a remote part of the region. We headed out Santa Rosa Road and were soft pedaling so someone could catch back after a nature break. Suddenly 13 cyclists swooshed by followed by two follow vehicles. This was the Chris Carmichael training group headed out to Jalama Beach. We regrouped and picked up speed.
Appears these three are the top dogs of our group, Martin, Brian and Rob. Martin is racing in a mountain bike event this weekend or next. I asked how much climbing and he said around 12,000' so I assumed a 100 mile route, right? No, the course is less than 60 miles with a 2 mile "hike-a-bike" which is a section so steep it can't be ridden. Rob owns a nutrition bar business while Brian is with Planet Ultra.
We caught up with Gerd, riding is trike and who had started early. I slowed and rode with him for awhile, thinking we would regroup at the 30 mile SAG stop. Good guy and enjoyed talking to him but on a climb got ahead of him and kept going. Pulled into the SAG stop and the front 4 were leaving without regrouping, nice. I had to stop to refill fluids and eat and didn't really mind missing the group. Other than, this put me out on the ride for a solo odyssey with a lot of time on Highway 1, past Vandenberg Air Force Base, onto San Antonio Road through a very remote area, back onto 1, then east on 135 and pulled into Los Alamos for a Monster at this market. Los Alamos has an old west kind of feel to it with the old Union Hotel and a saloon or two...hey, might have to check that out!
So, at mile 65, the route took us up Drum Canyon Road, a road I have previously stated is the roughest paved road I've ever ridden and nothing has changed for this year except it is marginally rougher. Geez, so beat after descending off this 800' brute and damn glad I'm riding a carbon frame and fork. Hung a left on #246 and eventually, back into Solvang with 85 miles and 4800' of climbing. Ahhh, today is the classic route out to Jalama Beach and the famous Jalama burger. I hope it is as good as I remember, I hope, I hope.