John M. Clare Memorial
MARCH 23, 2024
Spectacular 200-mile route
in Southern California’s most popular and scenic cycling region!
Staggered Starts: 5am to 7am* ▪ 17 hour time limit
Come for the double and stay for the week! Click here to learn about our Solvang Spring Tour!
General Information and Ride Rules – Please Read!
Click here for results from prior years.
2023 Entry Fees*:
Earlybird – Until February 18: $150
Standard entry: February 19 – March 4: $165
Late entry: March 5 – noon March 15: Make an online reservation and pay $180 cash only at the door.
Last minute: Noon March 15 – 5pm March 17: $200.
* If you’re able to recruit an event volunteer, please email us before signing up and we’ll give you a coupon code to use during registration for an instant 30% off. If you recruit the volunteer AFTER you signed up, we’ll give that volunteer a 30% discount coupon for a future ride (which you can use if they don’t).
Entry includes a challenging and rewarding adventure in Southern California’s wine country; route sheet and downloadable GPS files; 5 fully stocked aid stations along the route; roving SAG support; post-ride burger and fries at Habit Burger.
Please READ THE RULES and the cancellation policy before signing up!
Use the SignUp bottom to register online and pay by credit card (which includes a small service fee).
Until March 4th you may click here for instructions to pay by Venmo or Zelle; or use a volunteer credit.
We highly recommend purchasing the event cancellation insurance.
Start/Finish – Host Hotel:
Our 2024 host hotel and start/finish is the Hampton Inn, 600 McMurray Road in Buellton. Please click here to make your reservation online or call 805-686-1555 and ask for Solvang Spring DC rate of $189 per night (plus taxes). Rate expires March 13th so please don’t wait to reserve. Prices will go way up!
Overflow hotels are:
Marriott: 555 McMurray Roada in Buellton.
Pea Soup Anderson Inn, 51 E Hwy 246 in Buellton. Please call 805-688-3216 and ask for Planet Ultra rate of $152.10 per night (plus taxes).
PLEASE SUPPORT our host hotel and make sure they know you’re with Planet Ultra. We could not make this event happen without them. Booking rooms in the block assures they’ll invite us back.
Rider check in will be TBD pm at the Hampton Inn on Friday night and Saturday morning from TBD am. If you plan to ride as Tourist or opt for the earliest start, please check in Friday night.
Start Times (You must check out at one of these times to receive ride credit. No in between starts):
5am – Riders needing 16+ hours to complete the course.
5:30am – Riders needing 15 to 16 hours.
6am* – Riders needing 13 to 15 hours.
6:30am: Riders needing 11 to 13 hours. Please sleep in a bit more if you can complete the course in under 14 hours!
7am: Riders able to complete the course in under 11 hours.
We’ve updated our policy regarding “Tourist” riders. Please read the information and email us if you have questions.
*PLEASE NOTE: Checkpoint opening and closing times are based on the 5am start time. If you’re a faster rider and start super early, you will likely miss checkpoints one and two; so be prepared to self-support. This probably means carrying a camelbak. Of course, you’ll also have to carry your lights and wear reflective ankle bands on both legs.
The course has rolling closures from aid station to aid station.
Aid station closing times are listed on the route sheet. Once an aid station closes, so does support end along the course prior to that aid station. There is no support behind the mileage of a closed aid station. If you’re behind schedule and you need to SAG to the finish, you must find your own way back. Please keep track of where you are on course so this doesn’t happen.
Finish line closes at 10pm. (17 hour time limit based on the 5am start)
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.
Because we know some folks have special dietary needs (or are very particular about what they want), you may bring TWO 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 the Checkpoint in SLO (which you’ll visit twice), 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.
Double Century Route Description:
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 towards Morro Bay (but doesn’t quite get there). After lunch in San Luis Obispo, you’ll head south 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 about 195 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 8,800′.
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/CalTrans specifically forbid it and in some areas traffic makes it unsafe. For these reasons we will no longer be course marking on any double century routes.
We trust that as a seasoned endurance rider, ready and willing to ride doubles, that you’re proficient at reading a route sheet and/or you’ve invested in a GPS based cycling computer into which you can upload the route (and we strongly advise that you use one). Your entry fee includes access to RideWithGPS downloads for your Garmin (or other GPS devise) or your smart phone.
Please understand and take responsibility for navigation.
Route Sheets and GPS Files: Route sheets will be posted above and are available in excel format to registered riders if requested via email between two weeks and three 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:
- A GPS can (and will) route a rider over a cliff. There’s really no substitute for the human brain, so please use yours. When in doubt, stop, compare the route sheet to the GPS map, and then proceed.
- Never depend solely on a GPS. Bring your route sheet, and know how to follow it.
- Your GPS battery or your smart phone battery may not last for a double century. Make sure you’ve arranged for additional power. If using a smart phone, after you being navigation, consider using “airplane mode” and low battery mode to save power.
- Click here for the 2023 Double Century RideWithGPS.com map. Prior to the event we will send an invitation to download the route from our Event Director account; which allows you to use all RWGPS functions without subscribing yourself.
There are five checkpoints along the route. At these checkpoints, riders can expect to find bananas, PB&J sandwiches, granola/fruit/energy bars, and many other wholesome edibles. Croissant sandwiches (or similar) will be served at the “lunch” checkpoint in San Luis Obispo (around mile 100).
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 don’t allow dozens of extra vehicles on the roads or at the checkpoints. 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.
**With advance permission (and all drivers signing liability waiver), “Tourist” riders may have personal SAG beginning at 7pm in Los Alamos (when final aid station closes). Leap-frog support only. Direct following will result in DQ and no CTC credit for all riders in the group.
Volunteers / Sunday Staff Ride:
We always need volunteers! Click here for info about available positions.
Volunteers at Solvang may also choose to ride the route, unsupported, within two weeks on either side of the event date.