Welcome to the ultimate week-long cycling celebration! At the Solvang Spring Tour you’ll experience the best routes in Southern California’s most popular cycling region. We’ve got seven superb routes which will inspire you with beauty and challenge you with plenty of miles and lots of climbing. Riders can choose between one or two routes most days – long (60-100 miles) or medium (40-60). All totally fun and non-competitive (though some folks do come to train, and ride hard and fast). We like this tour to have a “club” feel… Just hanging out with friends, enjoying the scenery. We definitely take our time and smell the… poppies! Click here to see some photos from the 2016 Tour.
Is this Tour for You?
This Tour is not meant to be a hard-core training camp — it’s a vacation for serious cycling enthusiasts ready to kick start the cycling season with some excellent base miles. What we mean by “serious” is that you should be a fairly experienced and self-sufficient rider, able to maintain 15-18mph average in the flats and feel comfortable on sustained climbs in the 4-6% range.
Routes are challenging, but (other than Figueroa Mountain) not crazy hard. On average, the long routes have 3,000-5,000 feet of vertical gain, and the medium routes have 1,500-3,500. Most riders will find that a low gear of 39 x 25 is sufficient on most routes; but a 39 x 27 or 29, or better yet, a compact or triple crank, will be much appreciated on Figueroa Mountain. Please note: What you’d use for a single day event is probably not enough for a multi-day tour. You’ll fatigue from the accumulated miles. Also, please bring a good, sturdy set of wheels, as some of the roads are less than perfect (translation: occasionally very rough and bumpy), and we do cross several cattle guards. Light-weight, fancy wheels are really not appropriate for this type of Tour.
Note: Rides begin at 9:00am at our host hotel. It’s pretty cold in the morning, and sometimes foggy. Our experience is that it warms up by around 9:00am – so why start earlier? All full distance rides are supported with at least one, and sometimes two SAG stops. Generally speaking, the shorter options are not supported unless the routes overlap. Our SAG driver will typically set up a snack stop along the route, then once everyone passes through, leave the van and join the ride. This means you should plan on being self-suffient for the last part of the route. That said, there are lots of places to stop for water and/or snacks along the routes. Almost all route sheets have a designated café for all to stop and enjoy in the latter part of each ride. Remember, we don’t have ‘that far’ to ride every day, so stop and smell the roses, kick back in cafés, get to know one another! Enjoy your vacation!
There’s tons to do in the Solvang area – so bring along your non-cycling spouse or significant other. Enjoy shopping, fine restaurants, wine tasting, golf, horseback riding, glider rides, and so much more. You can tempt lady luck with Las Vegas style gaming at the Chumash Indian Casino (and we hear they have a great buffet too). Remember that silly movie “Sideways”? See all the sights made famous in that film! Enjoy an afternoon in Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo. The entertainment is endless!
2017 entry fees:
6-Day Tour – $449 includes: 6 incredible days of cycling (semi supported), one group pizza/pasta dinner (usually Tuesday night), and lots of fun in the Southern California sun! Lunch is not included, but we do stop towards the end of each ride at a local cafe for folks who want lunch.
3-Day / Weekend only entry fee of $199 includes: 3 days of cycling (Friday and Saturday supported, Sunday unsupported but route sheet provided), Saturday night group dinner and lots of fun in the Southern California sun!
SAG driver discounts offered: If you’re planning to ride this event but you’d like to drive SAG one or more of the days, you may email us in advance of signing up and we’ll give you a coupon code to use during registration for an instant 10% discount per day of SAG driving. If you plan to bring along a non-riding spouse who would like to drive SAG some days, please send us an email requesting details.
Registration for the 2018 Solvang Spring Tour will open in December.
Host Hotel and Rider Check-In
Our host hotel for the 2017 Tour is the Royal Copenhagen Inn located at 1579 Mission Drive in Solvang. Rates are $79 Sunday-Thursday and $149 Friday-Saturday. The rooms have been recently renovated and look great. Breakfast is included. Please call 805-688-5561 and let them know you’re with the Planet Ultra Solvang Spring Tour to take advantage of our discounted rates.
Check in is Sunday night from 8:30-9pm and Monday morning 8:15-8:30am. For weekend only riders, check-in will be Friday morning from 8 to 8:30am.
Traveling to Solvang
If you’re flying to California, you can fly into either Los Angeles or Santa Barbara. Rental cars are available at both locations. There are shuttle companies offering service from both locations as well (best to search online for best deals). If you’re driving to Solvang, whether coming from the North or South, here’s a map. If you plan to ship your bike, please make arrangements with the Royal Copenhagen Inn. Planet Ultra cannot be responsible for your bike.
Bring your sunscreen – but also leg warmers, arm warmers and a jacket/vest and rain gear. Come prepared for every kind of weather.
Most nights we’ll have a suggested dinner restaurant location. Join us if you wish!
Cat Canyon and Alisos
Foxen Canyon to Cat Canyon to Los Alamos, then back via Alisos Canyon to Los Olivos.
69 miles with 4,000′ climbing. RideWithGPS map here.
Figueroa Mountain (photos)
Figueroa Mountain via Happy Canyon and back via Los Olivos. This is a super tough ride with prolonged, steep climbs. Be prepared to ride on some unpaved roads which are hard-packed gravel.
47.8 miles with 5,100′ climbing. RideWithGPS map here.
246 to Purisima Mission to Vandenburg Village to San Antonio Rd to Casmalia to 135 to Los Alamos, then back over Drum Canyon.
76.8 miles with 4,500′ climbing. RideWithGPS map here.
Slightly shorter option map here.
Jalama Beach (photos)
Santa Rosa Rd to 1 to Jalama Beach to 1 to 101 and past Nojoqui Falls Park. GREAT hamburgers at the beach! This is a super tough ride, especially when you factor in the wind.
77.2 miles with 5,800′ climbing. RideWithGPS map here.
Santa Rosa Road and Harris Grade (photos)
246 to Santa Rosa Road through Lompoc and Highway 1 up the Harris Grade. Drop down to 135 and back via Los Alamos and Drum Canyon.
62.9 miles with 3,500′ climbing. RideWithGPS map here.
Shorter option map here.
Tepusquet Century (photos )
246 to Drum Canyon to Los Alamos to Cat Canyon to Sisquoc, then an out and back on Tepusquet Road with return on Foxen Canyon to Los Olivos.
92 miles with 6,700′ climbing. RideWithGPS map here.
Shorter option map here.
Cruise around the Valley – bonus ride on Sunday if you plan to stay! (photos)
A great tour of Solvang, Ballard, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos and Foxen Canyon.
39 miles, total elevation gain = about 2,000’