A spectacular 200-mile route in Southern California’s most popular and scenic cycling region!
This is a double century only. No century option is available!
We do have an awesome century in October! Click here to learn about it!
Limited to 500 Riders ▪ Staggered Starts: 4am to 7am* ▪ 17 hour time limit ▪ Chip-timed
Click here for 2016 results.
Click here for results from prior years.
Solvang Spring Tour: Don’t just spend the day in Solvang, spend a week!
2016 Entry Fees:
Until January 23: $134. January 24-March 5: $144. Thereafter, until midnight Wednesday before the event, you may make an online reservation using the SignUp button below and pay $150 at the door. Please read our registration and cancellation policies.
** The first 10 riders who recruit a volunteer may email us and request 20% off their entry fee.
Paid entry includes souvenir/collectible pint glass for everyone who signs up at least two weeks before the ride; and post-ride dinner at Mother Hubbard’s (served from 5-9:30pm) for those who RSVP “yes” for dinner.
Jerseys in limited sizes and amounts are also available.
Registration for the 2017 event will open in December.
Start/Finish – Host Hotel:
For 2016 our host hotel is the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott located at 555 McMurray Road in Buellton. The Marriott will be offering a discounted rate of $185 per night. Use this link to make your reservation on line; or call 1-888-236-2427, and mention Planet Ultra / Solvang Double Century to get the rate. You must make your reservation by February 18th to get the special rate, and you must stay two nights. Our overflow hotel is Pea Soup Anderson’s Inn in Buellton, (805) 688-3216. 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.
How To Get There:
Use Hwy 101 to get to Buellton from either north or south. Click here for a map.
Friday from 7-9pm or Saturday from 4-6:30am at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. Please do your best to check in Friday evening, especially if you want an early start time.
If you are staying at a hotel in Buellton other than the Marriott, please leave your car there and ride to the start. If you are driving into Buellton on Saturday morning for the event, please be very careful how and where you park. Also, allow more than enough time to find proper parking. Do not park at the Marriott unless you’re staying there.
Please be in shape for this event. If you can’t complete a moderately hilly century within 8 hours, you’ll struggle to finish this ride within the time limit. An “I can do it” attitude is wonderful, but only if you’re already conditioned for this type of challenge.
Solvang Open Start Window (NEW TIMES!):
As always, there’s an open start window. Riders will be electronically timed using a RFID chip attached to a number plate which hangs on the handlebars. Riders must attach their number plate to their bike. Any rider who doesn’t receive a chip start will be presumed to have missed the Start Window and will be listed as DQ in the results. Please choose your start time based on your expected elapsed time.
4am – ONLY riders needing 16+ hours to complete the course.
4:30-5am* – Riders needing 15 to 16 hours to complete the course. Please remember that checkpoint opening times are generally based on the first-light start – so if you start super early, be prepared to take care of yourself if you get to the first checkpoint before it opens. This probably means carrying a camelbak. Of course, you’ll also have to carry your lights and wear reflective ankle bands on both legs.
5:30-6:30am* – Riders needing 13 to 15 hours to complete the course. Please remember that checkpoint opening times are generally based on the first-light start – so if you start super early, be prepared to take care of yourself if you get to the first checkpoint before it opens. This probably means carrying a camelbak. Of course, you’ll also have to carry your lights and wear reflective ankle bands on both legs.
6:30-6:45am: Riders needing 11 to 14 hours to complete the double century. Please sleep in a bit more if you can complete the course in under 14 hours!
7am: If you’re able to complete the course in under 11 hours, you MUST start at 7am.
*PLEASE NOTE: Checkpoint opening and closing times are based on the first-light start time of 6:30am. If you’re a fast rider, and you start early, you’ll probably beat us to the first and the second checkpoints. Remember, the pre-dawn start times are meant for those riders who really need the extra time. Anyone starting before 5am who finishes in under 15 hours; or who starts before 6:30am and finishes in under 14 hours will be listed as DQ in the results. The early start times are for those who really need the time. Thank you in advance for your courtesy and cooperation.
17 hours based on the 4am start. Course closes at 9pm. No exceptions. Riders who finish after 9pm will be listed as Unofficial Finishers. NO EXCEPTIONS. Choose your start time wisely!
Twilight begins at 6:40; Twilight ends at 19:37. Sunrise is at 7:05; Sunset is at 19:12.
Lights and Gear Drop:
If you leave your lights at the start, your bag will be waiting for you at Guadalupe. 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.
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 rider check-in, clearly labeled, and we will deliver them to Checkpoint 2 in SLO, and/or the lunch stop, and/or Checkpoint 4 in Guadalupe. These bags will be discarded when the checkpoints close. So please make sure you pick up your bags, or don’t care that you won’t get them back.
There are five checkpoints along the route. At these checkpoints, riders can expect to find bananas, PB&J sandwiches, granola/fruit/energy bars, Hammer Endurolytes, and many other wholesome edibles. Subway sandwiches will be served at the Laguna Lake Golf Club checkpoint in San Luis Obispo.
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.
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.
Volunteers / Sunday Staff Ride:
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.
Volunteers at Solvang may also choose to ride the route, unsupported, on Sunday to receive Triple Crown and Grand Slam credit. In the past we offered a supported staff ride, but we’ve had no interest in the past few years – and now only offer the unsupported option.
The ride starts and finishes just a few miles down the road from its namesake town, Solvang, a quaint, Danish village with great restaurants, window shopping, real shopping, horse-drawn carriages, parks, people in costume, wine-tasting, vineyards, and lots of fun things for the whole family to see and do. Bring your family and make a weekend of it. We promise they’ll all have a great time while you ride your bike!
Starting with a wave start, you’ll do a short warm-up in the eastern Santa Ynez Valley, then heads up world famous Foxen Canyon. You’ll then essentially bypass Santa Maria by jogging around that town on dead quiet Bull Canyon to Hwy 166. Next you’ll more or less parallel the 101 as you head north. After some really neat back roads, the route skirts the edge of San Luis Obispo, then goes down to Morro Bay and through Morro Bay State Park. After lunch in San Luis Obispo, you’ll head south through Pismo Beach to Guadalupe. From there, you’ll stay southbound on this desolate and beautiful stretch of Hwy 1, bypassing the whole Lompoc area, and then continuing onto Hwy 135 to the neat little western antique haven of Los Alamos. From Los Alamos, riders head back to Buellton via the beautiful Alisos Canyon and Ballard Canyon. Once you reach the top of Ballard, it’s mostly downhill all the way back to Buellton!
The route is 192 miles. And truly, these are the best miles available in an already spectacular riding region. This route is among the fastest, most scenic, and most popular in the entire California Triple Crown series! Total elevation gain: about 8,300′.