My first time riding in Santa Barbara in… 41 years? Could be 42? It was back when the 49ers still had training camps there and my father, Sports Editor for the Redwood City Tribune, brought the family down for a work-vacation. I got to do some riding in the hills, San Marcos Pass being one I remember. Today I’m here with a number of Trek dealers, getting VIP treatment for the Tour of California stage that ends here tomorrow (today, when you read this), and of course riding in the mountains nearby. It was an “easy” shake-down cruise today (not!) on a bike that didn’t quite fit me, but after an hour or so it doesn’t matter, you get used to it and enjoy the ride. Rode with Dan & Dan jr from Georgia and two other guys whose names escape me at the moment (one was from a “Dennys” bike shop, I do recall that). Nasty headwinds at first, nasty hills a bit later, nasty heat the whole time. And yet the ride just got better and better as it went along. As most good rides do!
Tomorrow is a tougher day, with a ride including the Casitas Pass Loop. Have never heard of it before, but today’s easy day was a pretty tough 1700ft of climbing, and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter and includes 2849ft of elevation gain. Still less climbing that the Thursday-morning ride I’ll be missing, so how bad can it be?
Friday. Quite a bit more on tap Friday with the “Gibraltar” climb. At least it’s supposed to be cooler then! Friday evening I return to home territory. It seems like a nice place to ride down here; will have to come back sometime and explore. –Mike–