The Official Word

by Rich Savitt

 


 

* The Free Lap Rule

* Race Numbers 101

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 by Sue Griesbach

Scenic2LRCanyon Velo had a sizeable contingent in the annual Solvang Century held on March 10. For some, this is an annual trek north to escape the hectic freeway-laden world of Los Angeles, spend some quality time with a loved one, and breathe in fresh air filled with the scents of Danish pastries and candy. For others, it's an early season test of one's strength and endurance. A low-key way to test the legs. How are they compared to last spring? How am I doing compared to some of the other California studs and studdettes?

I can only speak for myself in saying that Solvang is and has always been one of the finest century rides we have in the area. There's something for everyone here, with long flat stretches, heart-stomping climbs, and some breathtaking descents. All in the midst of cows, horses, vineyards, and about 5000 other like-minded cyclists. If you don't know the people riding beside you, you probably will by the end of the ride. And there's plenty of opportunity for camaraderie with old and new friends with lots of great restaurants in the area.

FirstRestStopLRBy the third paragraph, you're probably asking yourself "ok, is she going to say something about the ride or not?" Here's what I can tell you from my somewhat limited vantage point in the middle of the pack. The weather was pretty dang breezy, but skies were sunny most of the day. I'm pretty sure the first canyon road (Avenue of Flags) has not been repaved since they originally asphalted over the wagon trail there in 1887. We battled a headwind for about the first half of the ride, which included most of the serious hills, and a pass through the Vandenberg AFB where riders had to stop and show ID to continue onto the base. Some (I won't name names) forgot their ID's and had to talk their way in or have their friends vouch that to the best of all knowledge they were not terrorists. By the "lunch" stop in Santa Maria, we had a screamer tailwind. Foxen Canyon was fun fun fun! I couldn't hang for long with the NorCal boys that went by me but I sure enjoyed riding it, and thought back fondly of Back In The Day when we were part of a group of tandems on a mission to do as much damage as we could. The finish line was there before I knew it, and thanks to some hard training rides in February with Margaret H, I wasn't too sore the next day.

TheEnd2LRWe woke Sunday to clear sunny skies and a dead calm. While a guy at our hotel set off to fly his very cool model helicopter, we headed out with a group toward Los Olivos and the Michael Jackson Neverland ranch. It was an absolutely picture perfect day, and a fitting end to a great weekend.

 

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