Event Date:October 17, 2015

Solvang Autumn Double

Just as beautiful, but significantly more challenging than the Spring event!
A spectacular double century route in Southern California’s most popular cycling region!
194 miles with  about 11,500′ of climbing!

NEW ROUTE FOR 2013 and beyond. New roads! New Climbs!

New for 2013 and beyond: Century option! Click here to learn about it!

General Information and Ride Rules – Please Read!

Click here to see 2014 Results

Click here for results from prior years.

Click here for the Carpool and Room Share blog

Entry Fees:
Includes post-ride dinner at the Starting Gate Restaurant in the Marriott. In 2014 dinner will include a Mexican-style buffet with grilled chicken fajitas, grilled vegetables, tortillas, salsa, rice, beans and salad. All dinners served with iced tea or fountain drink.

2015 pricing: Until August 1: $125.  August 2-October 4: $135. Thereafter, until midnight Thursday before the event, you may make an online reservation using the Register Now link and pay $150 at the door. Please read our registration and cancellation policies.


Start/Finish Host Hotel:
Our host hotel is the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott  located at 555 McMurray Road in Buellton, 800-638-8882. Either call in or use this link to make your reservation. The Marriott has a Planet Ultra rate of $169 per night, which expires September 16th. Our overflow hotel is Pea Soup Anderson’s Inn in Buellton, (805) 688-3216, at $107.10 per night, which also expires September 16th. At either location you must let them know you’re with Planet Ultra to get the rate.  If you prefer to be in Solvang, please stay at the Royal Copenhagen Inn, 1579 Mission Dr.; 805-688-5561. It’s right in the middle of town – and a good bargain.

Friday from 7-9pm or Saturday from 5:30-6:30am in the Marriott. Please do your best to check in Friday evening, especially if you want to start early.

If you’re staying at a hotel in Buellton other than the Marriott, please leave your car and ride to the start. If you’re driving to Buellton Saturday morning, please be respectful about where you park. Allow enough time to find proper parking; and please don’t park in the Marriott lot.

How To Get There: 
Use Hwy 101 to get to Buellton from either north or south. Click here for a map.

Start Time:
“Mass” start at 7am. Riders who need more than 14 hours may start at 6:00am*. If you start early, please note that checkpoint opening and closing times are based on the 7am start and are calculated using an average speed range of 11 to 20 mph. *If you start at 6am and finish the ride in under 12 hours – you will be listed as DQ in the results. We’re serious folks – the early start time is for riders who really need it.

Time Limit:
17.5 hours based on the 6am start. Course closes at 11:30pm. Riders who finish after 11:30pm will be listed as Unofficial Finishers.

Twilight begins at 6:46; Twilight ends at 18:44. Sunrise is at 7:11; Sunset is at 18:19

Lights and Gear Drop:
If you leave your lights at the start, your bag will be waiting for you at the 2nd to last checkpoint. If there’s any chance that you’ll be out past sunset, you MUST have both a headlight and a taillight attached to your bicycle, and you MUST wear a reflective ankle band on both legs. If you start in the dark, plan on carrying your lights all day. We do encourage you to carry your lights yourself. That way if you need them, you’re guaranteed to have them. Rest assured that it is a MYTH that an extra pound on your bike will slow you down in any significant way for this type of riding.

Lunch Bag Drop:
Because we know some folks have special dietary needs (or are very particular about what they want), you may bring ONE lunch-sized brown paper bag (like the ones you took to school in 2nd grade; and absolutely no larger) filled with your special foods. Drop the bag off at the start, and we will deliver it to the lunch stop. These bags will be discarded when the lunch stop closes. So please make sure you pick up your bag, or don’t care that you won’t get it back.

Routing and Navigation:
Planet Ultra route sheets include lots of information to help riders navigate the course. For example, we tell you if a turn is at a stop sign (SS), traffic light (TL) or T-intersection (T-int). We know that riders prefer course markings; however, many of the towns/cities/counties specifically forbid it. Further, your Planet Ultra staff  travels to the event destination the day before to make everything happen; so we can’t mark the course in advance. If we have the manpower, we’ll do our best to mark the course (unless it’s forbidden by our permits, otherwise illegal, somewhere that locals would be really upset about it, or the turn is at a place that’s very obvious, like a big green highway sign). Our experience is that riders get lost whether the course is marked or not; and fewer riders get lost when they’re mindful of where they are on the route sheet. Please understand and take responsibility for navigation. Finally, in this Solvang area there are dozens of events each year and course markings stay on the ground a long time. There will be markings from other rides; so if you’re not paying attention to the route sheet and relying on what’s on the ground, you’re almost certain to get lost.

Route Sheets and GPS Files:  Route sheets are available in excel format to registered riders if requested via email between two weeks and five days before the event. We cannot guarantee that advance route sheets will be 100% accurate. Though not anticipated, last-minute routing changes may be required.

You may also download a map and GPS file from RideWithGPS.com. Please note that advance route sheets and gps files are provided as a courtesy and you use them at your own risk. Planet Ultra does not guarantee accuracy. Please further note the following very important caveats:

  1. The ROUTE SHEET is gospel. Whenever the route sheet and the GPS unit disagree, the route sheet is correct.
  2. A GPS can (and will) route a rider over a cliff. There’s really no substitute for the human brain, so please use yours.
  3. Never depend solely on a GPS. Bring your route sheet, and know how to follow it.
  4. GPS batteries on many “bicycle” GPS units may not last for a century. Make sure you’ve arranged for additional power.
  5. Click here to view the Solvang Fall Double map. You can also download a GPS file from this page.

Personal SAG Vehicles:
Not allowed! If you bring one, you’ll be disqualified from the event without a warning. The definition of a personal SAG is any vehicle (motor or otherwise), anywhere on the route, operated by someone other than Planet Ultra staff, that is providing any type of aid, assistance, or motivation, or taking photographs, or simply out cheering. Please understand that our permits simply don’t allow dozens of extra vehicles on the roads or at the checkpoint locations. Imagine the traffic from all those cars! If you’re bringing someone with you who wants to be out on the course, please have them contact us and join our volunteer staff.

Route Description:
NOTE: Route sheets will be available as an excel file to registered riders if so requested via email between two weeks and five days before the event. However, we cannot guarantee that the route sheet will be 100% accurate. Though not anticipated, last-minute routing changes may be required.

NEW ROUTE! Riders will do a quick, easy warm-up loop on the back roads of Solvang, Ballard, Santa Ynez and Foxen Canyon before heading out to enjoy the rolling hills of Santa Rosa Road.

Rolling through Lompoc, you’ll hit the first sustained climb of the day, up Harris Grade, followed by a super fast and fun descent to Highway 1. Then you’ll head north for about 10 miles (and yes, there may be a headwind in this section, but no worse than riding from SLO to the coast in the Spring) before you hang a left to enjoy the rolling hills of Lompoc-Casmalia Road (which used to be at the end of the Fall route – so many never this saw in daylight).

You’ll roll past Vandenberg and the outskirts of Lompoc heading back towards Solvang on the 246. Here’s a surprise: You’re going to climb Drum Canyon in reverse! And YES! The road is better on the Los Alamos side; so perhaps a less bumpy descent; and again, in full daylight! Up and over, you’ll drop down to Los Alamos for your “lunch” stop.

Then it’s time for some more roads-less-traveled; across the 101 and up Cat Canyon, with a steep pitch right at the top before you plunge back down into Sisquoc. From here you’ll meander over to Santa Maria and turn right onto Hwy 166 which you’ll take all the way to Tepusquet Road. You’ll remember this from the old route – but just like Drum, you’ll ride it in the opposite direction. It’s about 5 miles of sustained climbing, 5-7% of twisty, perfectly smooth road. Then a YEEHAW 9-mile roller-coaster descent (we think it’s the best in the area) back to Foxen Canyon where you’ll climb and roll back to Buellton.

195 miles with about 11,500′ of climbing. This route is significantly more challenging than the Spring route – but the change has also made the route more unique, with new roads and new challenges. The route stays closer to Solvang/Buellton, allowing for shorter options if needed/desired. Riders should expect to require a bit more time on the bike between checkpoints. As such, if a rider is concerned about riding 40+ challenging miles between water/food stops, then a camelbak or other hydration system is recommended.

Volunteers:   We always need volunteers! To provide a little incentive, when you volunteer for a Planet Ultra Double Century event, you receive a discounted entry into any other Planet Ultra single-day event. If you work for 2-6 hours you’ll receive a Voucher for 50% discount on a Planet Ultra single day event. If you work 6 or more hours you’ll receive a Voucher for 75% discount on a Planet Ultra single day event. So please contact us to let us know when and where you’d like to help. Please note that the intent of our discounted entry offer is to encourage riders themselves to give something back to the sport they love. However, we also appreciate when riders bring along family and friends who they’ve recruited to help out; so we’re offering a one-half ride credit to the recruiter if the volunteer doesn’t want the ride credit. Ride credits must be used within a year of the date of volunteering and must be redeemed during the early registration period.