When Chad and I headed for the airport this morning, the temp in Chicago hovered around 0, and there was a nasty wind out of the north. Little wind-driven rivulets of spite tore at any exposed flesh. We hopped into the big aluminum tunnel-o-humanity, and flew out to Santa Barbara.
Even the airport is beautiful.
We grabbed some lunch in nearby Goleta at the International Cafe (or Cafe International, depending on which sign you read)…
And then grabbed the cleanest bus I’ve ever ridden on back to the airport, to await our shuttle.
I was sitting in the shotgun seat of the shuttle, when Chad says to me, “Hey Dean, don’t you think you should let Gary Fisher have shotgun?”
I’m all like, “yeah, whatever” as I turn and look…and see Gary Fisher standing there.
The next hour and twenty minutes were pretty awesome. We rode up in the van with Gary, and he told us amazing stories…riding the Coors Classic with the first 7 speed drivetrain in the US…riding the biggest grades in North America with a 53/42 chainring and 13-21 cassette (of course, not geared out…that would be too uncouth). He’s an amazingly approachable, interesting gent.
We arrived at Solvang, thoroughly amused by Gary’s tales, and were greeted with piles upon piles of carbony goodness.
Including my very own, personal Madone 6 series…
Chad had a Domane, so I had a chance to do a back to back. More on that later.
We changed, and hit the road. They had an option for a 21 mile loop, and a 31 mile loop. Since it was the first day, and we had been up since 2:30am CST, we opted for the 21 mile loop.
Really? Did you believe that? Haven’t you been reading long enough to know me better than that? We did the 31 mile loop, and missed a turn making it a 34 mile loop, with a couple thousand feet of climbing.
It’s late. I’m tired. Here are some pictures. Overly grandiose discussion of how amazing the riding is here will follow in the next few days.
The climbs are steeper than the pictures show.
I could keep going…but now, I need to sleep. Hasta luego.