So, the first day with the Planet Ultra, Solvang Spring Tour. 10 people showed up but only tour guide Brian, on the right and mountain bike racer Martin in the center are the real deal, equivalent to "A" strength cyclists. Wayne on the left is a good guy from northern California and strong on the flats but falls back on the hills. The other participants range from a woman from Chicago who showed up with a bike having flat pedals for her tennis shoe wearing feet, Wayne's wife, a couple of guys from Livermore who are "C" and "B" cyclists, a lady from New Jersey a couple from Utah who are "C" and some other lady from Utah who is a "C". Fortunately, there is not a "we'll all ride together mentality" but instead, the four of us take off and ride the routes.
Every 30 miles there is a sag stop and they are not selfish with handing out the goods. Nice assortment of snacks and drinks.
We shoved off on an opening day ride around the valleys. Headed out Ballard Canyon Road where I stopped to take this image. This road (upper right) is my favorite and ends at the top of a climb at someone's house who have a vineyard for a front yard with fantastic views down canyon. Reached Los Olivos, crossed #154 and headed out Foxen Canyon Road.
I was happy that I could hang with Brian and Martin as we road up the two major climbs before turning left at Palmer in Orcut, got on to Cat Canyon with a nice 300' climb, coasted down to Los Alamos, hung a left at Alisos Canyon Road and took that back to Foxen Canyon.
After a 400' climb to the top of Foxen, there is a very enjoyable 6 mile descent that ends here, at Zaca Station Road where we paused to allow the others to catch up. Ho hum, yet another vineyard in someone's front yard, this time for the Firestone tire company family.
We headed back to Solvang, passing this stand of Eucalyptus tress, to finish with 68 miles and 3600' of climbing. A good start with way much more to come.