If you have read my blog posts in the past you may have gathered my husband loves to ride bike. A year ago we did a little San Diego Bike Tour for his birthday. This year we took the adventure further north and headed to beloved Santa Barbara.
After visiting the Gentle Barn we checked into a great VRBO bedroom suite in Goleta and then ventured into Santa Barbara and had a delicious vegan and gluten free friendly (for me) meal and desserts at Sojourner Cafe.
I raced the Goleta Olympic Triathlon a couple of years ago and the day before the race Matt rode the the Santa Barbara Century route. He gushed to me how great it was so this year he wanted to ride it with me to celebrate his birthday.
He didn’t hide from me that it was going to be a hard ride and I tried to get a comparison out of him on how the Gibraltar climb compared to other climbs in San Diego. He told me he thought it was shorter than Palomar Mountain so this is the mindset I had going into the day. During the climb, when it would have been shorter than Palomar I said smugly, “happy birthday Matt!” as I was starting to bonk but all I had to do was see how much fun he was having and look to the left at the ridiculous amazing ocean and bluff views to keep on grinding it out.
After climbing continuous for almost 24 miles (thank goodness we cut out the additional 10 mi. East Camino Cielo) we were treated with a thrilling (and hand/knuckle cramping) decent on Painted Canyon. I highly recommend this ride despite the challenging climbing and elevation gain (I did 7,100 over 73 miles, total route is 9,000 over 100 miles). The views and accomplishment are worth it!
To cap off Matt’s birthday we found a place on State Street that served vegan brats and beer (and a delicious fig salad for me!).
To try and avoid LA traffic it is recommended to leave Santa Barbara really early or later so we slept in until 6:30 a.m. and did an easy spin on the Coastal Trail that took us to more off the chart views at UCSB. Santa Barbara, you never disappoint!