Solvang to Santa Barbara 50 miles
Jan 28, 2014
. Then we reach Highway 101 so turn left towards Santa Barbara, what a difference now we're in traffic but the shoulder is really wide, still some long hills though. It's really confusing with the 'Freeway' thing, we still don't know if bikes are allowed but it's the only way we can go - every now & then it'll say end of Freeway then Freeway starts - really weird as it's all the same road. Then we get to the turnoff for Gaviotta Beach so we do, but it's just a beach with camping no coast road so back up again, on for many more miles with a stop for some of yesterday's fudge - never any toilets in the lay-bys so behind a tree with the train track just below, lucky no trains come along. Then a sign saying if lights flash then cyclists are on the bridge & as we pass the lights start flashing so the cars know to move over on the 2 lane bridge as there's no shoulder there, how amazing's that - how does it know? Eventually turn off for the coast road, much better as the highway was getting really busy, stop at a cafe for a sandwich & tea then on for the last 4 miles into Santa Barbara . Lots of cycle lanes here but then I get a puncture, so off with panniers & Peter fixes puncture on the pavement, off again and we stop at a hotel, looks OK but keep going towards the sea & find a nice one 'Alamar' with plenty of room inside for bikes, it has a huge jacuzzi bath in the room but there's no plug, oh well with the water shortage that's on the TV all the time it's probably for the best that we shower. Go for a ride to look around, there's a really long pier, lots of young drop outs everywhere in groups on the grass, people playing football there too, volleyball on the beach - it's all going on. Have a beer then back to shower and head out again, find a nice wine bar then another brewery jurst opposite which is packed out, there's a quiz night going on! Obviously mostly all American questions but it's fun & we chat to a really nice boy, eventually leave at 10.30 quite merry.
Got off to a good start with a great Danish breakfast of cereal, bagels & warm pastries (alas no bacon), it was like a ski lodge with us all sitting on long tables in front of a roaring log fire which was definitely needed, it was cold outside - everybody else in the breakfast room was Japanese. Stopped at the bike shop so Peter could check his repaired tyre was at the right pressure & the guy said we shouldn't go the route by Lake Cachuma as it was too dangerous for cyclists with no shoulder and lots of fast traffic. He told us the best route to take which started off really nice, past golf courses along a really quiet country road. Then of course it was time for our daily workout and up we started to go, on & on as usual - lots of walking but really beautiful and no traffic at all. Saw Peter up ahead go down into a ditch and when I got there he was holding a huge dead bird, some kind of hawk maybe, wonder what got it - there are mountain lions here! Eventually reached the top & a great ride down, then as wiz zing along suddenly a herd of deer in the road, we were actually at a state park & the deer didn't seem at all frightened of us