John M. Clare Memorial
MARCH 18, 2023
Spectacular 200-mile and 200-kilometer routes
in Southern California’s most popular and scenic cycling region!
All event information below subject to change based on Covid-safety guidelines.
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.
2022 Entry Fees*:
Until March 5: $150.
Late entry: March 6-15: Make an online reservation and pay $180 cash only at the door.
Very last minute entry: March 16 – March 18 at 4pm: $200.
Double Metric: Until March 5: $140.
Late entry: March 6-15: Make an online reservation and pay cash only at the door.
Very last minute entry: March 16 – March 18 at 4pm: $175.
* 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 50% off. If you recruit the volunteer AFTER you signed up, we’ll give that volunteer a 50% 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 for 200 miler and 3 fully stocked stations for the 200K; roving SAG support; post-ride burger and fries at Habit Burger.
Please READ THE RULES before signing up!
Registration for 2023 will open Christmas Day!
Use the SignUp bottom to register online and pay by credit card (which includes a small service fee). To pay by check, Venmo or Zelle, download and mail or email this form. Your mail-in form and check or volunteer voucher must be received no later than March 5th.
Please read our new cancellation policy before registering.
Start/Finish – Host Hotel:
Our 2022 host hotel is the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, located at 555 McMurray Road in Buellton. Please use this link to book online. Rate expires Feb 18th. The rack rate is way higher, so don’t miss out!
PLEASE SUPPORT our host hotels 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 7:15-8:45pm at the Marriott on Friday night and Saturday morning from 4:45-6:45am. If you plan to ride as Tourist or opt for the earliest starts, 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: All double metric riders and all double century riders able to complete the course in under 11 hours.
*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.
Finish line closes at 10pm. (17 hour time limit based on the 5am start)
Riders who start at or after 5am and/or finish after 10pm (but before midnight), will earn California Triple Crown finisher credit, so long as the total elapsed time does not exceed 20 hours and every inch of the route was completed. You may be required to show proof of completion by submitting your Strava report.
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:
There WILL BE changes to the route due to construction in SLO and traffic conditions through Shell Beach and Pismo Beach. Route will be announced and posted closer in time the actual event.
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 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 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′.
Double Metric (200K) Route Description:
Mass start at 7am, you’re ride starts and ends on the same route as the double century. You’ll divert from the longer route in the little town of Nipomo and meet back up in Guadalupe.
The route is 127 miles with 5400′ of climbing. A great intro to ultra distance cycling to get you psyched up for the California Triple Crown Double Centuries!
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 2022 Double Century RideWithGPS.com map (substantial changes from prior years). Click here for the Double Metric. Prior to the event we will send an invitation to download the routes from our Event Director account; which allows you to use all RWGPS functions without subscribing yourself.
For the DC: 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. Subway sandwiches (or similar) will be served at the “lunch” checkpoint in San Luis Obispo (around mile 100).
For the 200K: There are three checkpoints along the route. Lunch will be at CP3 in Los Alamos (mile 97).
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.