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Tour of the Valleys

A showcase for the scenic western part of the county.


Monday, December 3, 2007

THE BASICS

Distance-65.3 miles

Difficulty-Gonzo

Elevation Gain-Many short climbs over short hills with one major climb of 850’ out of Los Alamos near the end of the ride.

HIGHLIGHTS

While most of the longer valley rides of necessity include roads on both sides of Highway 101, the Buellton Metric Century is unique in that all of it is west of the highway, showcasing the scenic western part of the county. This is a ride that should be done early so you miss the onshore winds in the morning as you pedal west towards Lompoc. The ride provides a scenic look at the Lompoc Valley as well as a very nice ride back through most of the Los Alamos Valley.

THE RIDE

Following Santa Rosa Road into Lompoc, the loop winds through Lompoc past the Correctional Facility and into Vandenberg Air Force Base, connecting with San Antonio Road for a breathtaking ride along the entire length of the Los Alamos Valley.

From Buellton ride along Santa Rosa Road for 17.4 miles to Highway 1 and then 1.5 miles into Lompoc. Here turn left and continue along Ocean Avenue for 3 miles to Floradale, turn right and take Floradale 5.6 miles across the Santa Ynez River, past the Lompoc Correctional Facility, and up a very picturesque canyon to Highway 1. There turn left, climb a short hill, and follow Highway 1 across a level mesa for 3 miles to the Vandenberg entrance. Continue straight ahead on the Lompoc Casmalia Road down a very pretty coastal canyon for 3.3 miles, turning right on San Antonio Road, which is thick with riverbed vegetation.

San Antonio Road continues for 2.6 miles to Highway 1, where you will turn left, follow this for .5 miles, then turn right and rejoin San Antonio Creek Road for 4 miles of scenic riding along the creek to Highway 135. Continue east along this 8.6 miles to Los Alamos, where a rest stop is in order before turning right on Centennial and heading up Drum Canyon for the 850’ climb to the crest.

From Los Alamos it is 9.4 miles to Highway 246. At 246 turn left for the last 5.9 miles of gradual downhill and flatland leading back to your vehicle.

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