Solvang Bicycle Ride—New Location and Date for this Quintessential Tour of Santa Barbara County
Triathletes, bicyclists, endurance cross trainers: This awesome tour on November 8 will start and finish at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Hotel in Buellton, California. Specail guest Chris Horner, winner of the Tour of Spain, will help kick things off Friday night with a presentation at the pasta dinner. Distance choices are 25 and 50 miles, or the metric century (62 miles), through idyllic Solvang, Buellton and the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley.
Posted Sunday, 12 October, 2014
The Solvang Prelude is an end-of-season special ride, the warm-up for, and companion ride to, the famous 33rd Annual Solvang Century, Metric Century, and Half Century scheduled for March 14, 2015. This ride is mostly on rural roads touring some of the most gorgeous pathways of California; and for a great cause! All three distances will roll on November 8, 2014, the second Sunday of November—previously set for the first Sunday—and they include nine classifications: 25 or 50 miles, metric century for single, tandem, or child rider (under 14).
This is an incredible day of fitness fun, which is both heart-pounding because of the endurance ride and delightful scenery, and heart warming, thanks to the vital nature of the beneficiaries—camps for kids with congenital heart disease.
Both events are presented by the SCOR Cardiac Cyclists Club. The planning, preparation, and organization for both the Prelude and the Century are first rate, with an impressive bicycle festival, course support throughout, no matter the experience level, and a great lunch and celebration back at the Marriott when the wheels stop turning.
Participants are in for a special treat this year, as special guest speaker Christopher Lee "Chris Horner", Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) Champion, 2013 will headline the pre ride pasta dinner on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Marriott. Chris was the 2002, 2003, and 2004 winner of the USA Cycling Points Standings, and at age 41 was the oldest winner of one of the world's major grand tours, and that will be the subject of his presentation. He is a resident of Bend, Oregon and rides for the UCI Pro Team Lampre-Merida. He will be riding the Prelude and will happily chat with other riders.
Riders can register online through October 23, 2014 and for that registration here is some of what each person receives: bib number and BBQ lunch ticket, registration confirmation card (preregistered), SAG and mechanical course support throughout, route slip, Cliff Bar and Chamois Butt’r samples, refrigerator magnet, goodie bag, commemorative patch, digital/virtual goodie bag, HAM radio support, SAG food (see below), SPIZ energy drinks, a bandana, and the extraordinary Cycling Festival.
Through it all rider safety is paramount, and therefore comprises a huge part of the planning and preparation. Solvang was one of the first to require helmets. Law enforcement officers and EMT’s along the course are there to insure safety for all riders; and all are required to obey their instructions throughout the ride.
Check out the informative ride website for general information, registration, route reviews, topography, sponsors, contact info, ordering of souvenirs and memorabilia, volunteer opportunities, available accommodations and camping, beneficiaries, photos, directions, and much more: Solvang Prelude Website
It all begins on Friday evening, November 7, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, located at 555 McMurray Road, Buellton, CA 93427. This is just off the 101 at Exit 140 A or B, and at the intersection of Route 246. They will be serving up a catered Italian pre-ride dinner at 7:00 p.m. with special guest speaker Chris Horner, Tour of Spain Champion, 2013; Chris will also be along on the ride and available to chat.
The festival, with many vendors, will run until 10:00 p.m. Friday and during that time riders can pick up their packets, pre-ordered souvenirs, and goodie bags, etc., or, if any openings are still available, register during that time for an extra fee.
The festival will also run on Saturday prior to, during, and following the rides through 4:00 p.m., with pick up and late registration (if available) running from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. when the final riders depart.
Participants and spectators will enjoy music throughout the day with a professional DJ, pre and post ride massage, numerous cycling, endurance, fitness and health related vendors and providers, and the excellent craft beers of the Firestone Walker Brewery.
The BBQ lunch, catered by the staff of the Marriott, will begin at 10:30 for the early finishers and run through 3:30 p.m. Lunch tickets for friends and family are available for a fee so all can enjoy, and of course volunteers are included for free. The courses and the festival will close at 4:00 p.m.
For registration you can go directly to: Solvang Prelude Registration
All three distances are mostly rural and exceptionally scenic. This is an all-weather sport, of course, and the rides will roll rain or shine. The Metric Century and 50-mile will both depart the Marriott at 7:30 a.m. and the 25-mile will start at 9:00 a.m. As for ratings, the 25-miler is rated easy and has about 900 feet of elevation; the 50-miler is moderate and includes 2,000 feet of elevation; the metric century is a hilly challenge with about 3,000 feet of elevation, and is rated difficult. These ratings come to you courtesy of the Bicycle Ride Directors Association of America (BRDAA).
They have prepared well for you with this new set of courses. They are located in the lush Santa Ynez Valley. Near Buellton you will find rural Ballard, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez, where there are numerous wineries (more than 60). Also nearby is the enormous Los Padres National Forest with Big Sur and Mount Pinos, elevation 8,831.
Solvang with its Danish atmosphere, architecture, windmills, customs and museums is simply delightful. It is a village of about 6,000 souls about 45 miles northwest of Santa Barbara. Bicycling on back country roads here is a wonderful experience, passing ranches and vineyards. Nearby is the 6,600-acre Cachuma Lake Recreation Area, home to numerous species of wildlife. Old Spanish Mission Santa Inez contrasts interestingly with the Scandinavian architecture.
The Santa Ynez Valley is beautiful. There are about 20,000 residents in the entire valley which is bounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Raphael Mountains to the north. Agriculture, especially vitaculture, the equine industry, and tourism drive the valley. If you recall the movie Sideways, it was set in and actually filmed in the valley. All in all it is a fantastic place to ride.
Fully Stocked SAG Stations, and then Some
You won’t find better support. The SAG stations are strategically located and include everything you would want on your challenging ride: lots of fruits, including bananas, pineapple, cantaloupe, oranges and raisins, plus chips, pretzels, fig Newtons, bottled H2O, SPIZ Energy drinks, and most importantly, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies from the nationally famous Solvang Bakery.
Solvang Bakery is a nationally renowned bakery acclaimed for exquisite wedding and specialty cakes, artistic cookies, holiday gingerbreads, and of course wonderful Danish pastries. It was founded by Danish immigrants along with the village of Solvang in 1911; Solvang means “Sunny Fields” in Danish!
Free Entry with ProBikeFit
That’s right; you can enjoy this ride for free if you take advantage of the expertise of ProBikeFit (through October 19). Yes, they will waive your Solvang Prelude entry fee if you use the service. With 29 years of fitting experience, they can make you more comfortable and efficient on your bike, and perhaps ease pain and lingering soreness you may be experiencing on rides. They have a mobile service and will come to you at office or home. Please visit ProBikeFit or call either 800-548-4447 or 760-468-4718 for more details and scheduling. ProBikeFit is headed by Randy Ice, PT-CCS, who also is the Event Director for the Solvang Cycling Rides.
As with any similar venture, bike ride or road race, it would be impossible to achieve without dedicated volunteers. If you are temporarily unable to ride, or plan on going to support riding friends or family, get involved as a volunteer and make the day much more enjoyable and satisfying. Help is needed for registration and the festival, SAG support stations, finish area, and general. All volunteers get perks, including a T-shirt and the excellent BBQ lunch. Contact email@example.com to sign up.
SCOR Cardiac Cycling Club and Children’s Camps—Beneficiaries
SCOR, or Specialized Coronary Outpatient Rehabilitation Cycling Club was founded in 1974 by Randy Ice, PT CCS, who is also Solvang Ride Director. It is a recreational bike club and non-profit organization. They organize cycling rides as a form of therapy following heart attacks, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty, and all forms of heart disease.
The primary beneficiaries of the Solvang events are Camp Bon Coeur, Camp Del Corazon, and Camp Taylor. All three provide an incredible, medically supervised camping experience for children with congenital heart disease, ages 8 to 17. This experience is, of course, priceless. There’s more detail on the website.
Just Ride Now, Just Ride
Sign up now for this end-of season beauty. With the options available it serves all levels, and offers a wonderful course with all the amenities. Be a part of this for fundraising and for fun, but don’t wait—there are only 2,500 slots and that’s including all three distance options. Most of the questions should be answered on the comprehensive ride website: Solvang Prelude Website or you can call 562-690-9693. Join in, and enjoy!