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!
We Also Offer A Century option! Click here to learn about it!
Click here for 2015 results.
Click here for results from prior years.
Includes post-ride dinner at the Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant, and a finisher souvenir pint glass. Please note that dinner closes at 10pm so we’ve adjusted the early start time in expectation that all riders will be off the course before dinner closes.
2016 pricing: Until September 3: $130. September 4-October 3: $140. Thereafter, until midnight Thursday before the event, you may make an online reservation using the Register Now link and pay $150 at the door.
** The first 15 riders who recruit a volunteer may email us and request 20% off their entry fee.
Please read our registration and cancellation policies.
Use the Register Now button to register online and pay with a credit card. To pay by check, download and mail in this form. Your mail-in form and check must be received before October 1st.
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 $178 per night, which expires September 16th. Our overflow hotel is Pea Soup Anderson’s Inn in Buellton, (805) 688-3216, at $99 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 4:30-6:30am 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.
“Mass” start at 7am for all riders who plan to finish in under 14 hours. Riders who need more than 14 hours may start at either 5am or 6am.* No in between starts please. If you start at either pre-dawn hour, please note that checkpoint opening and closing times are based on the 7am start and are calculated using an average speed range of 12 to 20 mph. *If you start at 5am or 6am and finish the ride in under 14 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.
17 hours based on the 5am start. Course closes at 10pm. Riders who finish after 10pm 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 three 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 bags off at the start, and we will deliver the to three designated locations on the route. These bags will be discarded when the checkpoints close. 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:
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.
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; north on the 101 just a few miles and up Palmer Road, 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! Click here for info about available positions. To provide a little incentive, when you help at a Planet Ultra event, you get a coupon for a $25 entry fee that you may use at another single-day event. Please contact us to let us know when and where you’d like to help. We also appreciate when riders recruit family and friends to help. If you recruit someone that wouldn’t use the coupon, you’re welcome to use it yourself. Ride credits must be used within a year of the date of volunteering and must be redeemed using the mail-in entry form during the early registration period.