It's Goleta: That hill wasn't so bad.... and I saw deer - SF to SDO 2012 - Coast Route - CycleBlaze

April 28, 2012

It's Goleta: That hill wasn't so bad.... and I saw deer

From Lompoc there is a big hill to get over before you get to the coast.

On the ACA map it shows as the highest and probably the steepest hill of the SF - Santa Barbara section - in three stages. Turtle and I kept looking for the steep bits. Ok, it's a hill, but it just didn't compare with the Lompoc SR 1 section I had done the day before. Before I knew it we were at the summit still thinking "where's the hill?"

Took the photo.

Turtle posing on the summit. Look out for cross winds as you pass the tunnel where the road meets US 101... the instant 6" shift to the right at 30 mph in heavy traffic is a bit unnerving.
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Met Bill and Cathy (think that was their names) on the summit. They were from Monterey riding a custom 29" Rodriguez tandem towing a Bob, heading for Maine via Texas and Florida. Nice couple on a very cool bike.

The downhill was fun - two miles straight downhill to the coast. Turtle got up to 40 mph before I whimped out and sat up in the seat and applied some gentle brake pressure to slow me down a bit. No chance of heating up the rims on that descent.

The stretch from Gaviota to Goleta was pretty - I was always gazing off to the right to take in the sea view. You can easily ignore the oil rigs if you try a little. All the camp sites were very full - but not the hiker/biker sections (mostly empty). I even stopped for a short siesta at one point.

There is one bridge crossing (I think it's just past Refugio State Park) that has absolutely 0 shoulder. All the traffic is doing 65+ mph and has to shift to the left lane as you cross the bridge in the right lane. I put my arm out to indicate I was taking the lane, but was seriously wondering if a passing car was going to rip it off.

Got past that one too.

A sag wagon for a group of riders from San Francisco stopped me and gave me encouragement, free Cliff Bars and water - good on you guys.

Stopped in Goleta, which is on the outskirts of Santa Barbara. My crotch told me it was time to hunt up some padded cycling shorts. Note to self: next time don't rely on just the Brooks saddle to keep your backside happy - pack a couple of pair of cycling shorts. Velo Pro Cyclery had the goods - Turtle got some more praise from their mechanics and recommends the shop. Stayed at the Motel 8 - at least it was a non-smoking room. The big group of rowdy college kids staying there may or may not have made noise that night - I went out hard and slept like the dead until daylight.

Think I'll whimp out again tomorrow and take the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train to Oceanside. I've been down the stretch from SB to San Diego many times before and it doesn't impress. And my nether regions would appreciate the break, too.

Turtle is a bit disappointed.

Coastal Blacktail deer - three girls. I thought this would be a daily experience, but these have been the only ones sighted on this trip. I've seen remarkably little wildlife on this run: heard a couple of rowdy racoons at camp (didn't see them though), lots of ground squirrels and rabbits, one skunk ambling down the roaside verge. Passed/smelled skunk, racoon, possum and gopher snake road kill. Where have all the critters gone?
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Today's ride: 46 miles (74 km)
Total: 423 miles (681 km)

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