Day 6: Santa Maria to Goleta

14 April 2011

Today would be the last and the longest day of riding (71 miles). After continental breakfast at the hotel, Ed, Sue, Yoyo, and I headed out from the hotel. I spent about 10 minutes trying to find the car keys, before I found them in my own jersey pocket.

When we had a look at the bikes we found that Ed had a flat tire, apparently a slow leak from something on the previous day's ride. He patched it and we headed out. Yoyo had noticed that that I had routed us back to Hwy 1 via the Orcutt Expressway, which seemed undesirable, so he proposed an alternate route through the residential areas.

To stay off Hwy 1, we took Harris Grade, which was a quiet road that started past farmland and wound up through the hills, climbing about 700 feet.

There was a fun descent before we rejoined Hwy 1 heading to Lompoc. At Lompoc we had lunch at an excellent Mexican food place (Floriano's), where we ordered tacos and burritos.

After lunch, Kalvin unloaded his bike for the last leg of our tour, and we returned to Hwy 1. Here there were rolling hills and a slow ascent with a peak right before the junction with Hwy 101.

The descent down towards the junction was exhilirating, almost like flying. The road was smooth and nearly straight, as it was designed for cars going much faster than we were going. I clocked myself going 45 mph. At the bottom of the descent, we waited for Ed, who had gotten another flat tire from a puncture near the top.

I never got to hang out in the middle of a road before.

We continued down via Gaviota Pass. Now that we were on 101, there was much more traffic, and the shoulder was not very wide nor free of debris, but it was only a short stretch down to the coast, and mostly downhill. We filled up our water bottles at the Gaviota rest stop.

The last leg of 25 miles or so was an uneventful ride along (the very busy) 1/101 as it followed the coast. We arrived at our hotel in Goleta by around 5, and drove to Santa Barbara to eat an enormous dinner.

Dinner at Edomasa

After dinner I went to the (you guessed it) hot tub while the others played (you guessed it) Settlers of Catan on their computers.

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