Day 20, September 28, 2007

Santa Maria, CA to Solvang, CA
40.7 miles, 13.1 mph, 3h 5m 50s (max speed 34.1 mph)

Up at 6:00 with no alarm, 6:30 - 9:30 continental breakfast at hotel, 9:00 load luggage, 9:10 on the road. Because the mileage today was so low, our ride leaders let us "sleep in" and not load luggage till 9AM. That way cyclists wouldn't arrive at our next hotel until noon. This was fine with us, as we could get some extra much needed sleep and still have time to do some sight seeing in beautiful Solvang.

Today was a very short 40 miles with a long 25 mile climb that began right out of the hotel. It was a gradually increasing grade to about 8 - 10% and then a 6 mile descent. (see pic) I was riding with Tom when he got a flat tire only 1 mile out on the ride. He rode over a large piece of glass that slashed his rear tire and tube. Many of the roads we ride on have debris in the breakdown lane and sometimes it is impossible to avoid riding over it. A new tube and tire was necessary. Mike arrived and helped to get us back on the road.

We soon were again passing through hundreds of acres of strawberries, lettuce and some artichokes, cauliflower and zucchini squash. Again I took some photos of the harvest process. The workers often show that they enjoy taking a break from their work as they like to have their picture taken. After we passed through the vegetable farming area we rode through a very dry and desolate area. I don't understand how the horses and cows survive here.

Gerard's girlfriend Angie Baker is now his fiancÚ. She joined us as a rider a few days ago. They were riding together and stopped at a winery that they had visited several months ago - when he proposed to her! There were several cyclists there and everyone yelled and cheered at this special occasion. We got back on the road and began to see tarantula spiders (quite large) crossing the road. (see pic) Over the next several miles I saw four of them.

I arrived at our hotel in Solvang at 1:30PM. This is a architectually scandinavian town. We are staying at a very nice Holiday Inn Express. After checking in and showering, I joined two other cyclists and we made a visit to a wine tasting store. I had no intention of buying any, but soon changed my mind. I'm having some shipped home. The tasting room manager, Julia Schoen, told us the what, and where about the 5 different wines we sampled. It was an interesting and fun experience. This really was so unlike me to do this type of thing. We then came back to the hotel for route RAP and then to a Mexican Restaurant for dinner. Following dinner I went out around town and took a bunch of photos. I hope those of you who view my website will get an idea of the beautiful architecture all over this town. It is just so pretty and clean, even public restrooms.

Tomorrow is an 82 mile ride to Oxnard and it has a huge hill and descent. I'll show the elevation graph tomorrow.

Tapping off tire pressure

Loading luggage

Strawbery harvest

Tom's flat tire

Lettuce harvest

Packing up lettuce

Artichokes

Cauliflower

Broccoli harvest

Not much to eat here...

Lonely trees

Gerard and his fiancÚ Angie

Proposal toast

Proposal took place here

Tarantula

Zucchini squash

Concord grapes

Scenic view

Handsome horses

Beautiful vineyard view

View from hotel room balcony

Our hotel

Beautiful Solvang

Wine tasting - had to do it!

Had dinner here - very good

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Solvang

Elevation graph

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