Author Topic: whats hwy 1 like out of santa barbara?  (Read 1234 times)

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Offline patney

whats hwy 1 like out of santa barbara?
« on: July 20, 2010, 05:29:19 pm »
i'm sure dozens of people have ridden it so am interested to know what to expect. I am about to hit santa barbara going north along the ACA pacific coast route. Usually i avoid riding the interstates and main trunk  roads if at all possible.

whats the section like heading north out of santa barbara up to say lompoc? is it worth doing this early in the morning with less traffic?  looks like 20+ miles of hell road to me?

I'm not a number, I'm a free man!

Offline whittierider

Re: whats hwy 1 like out of santa barbara?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 06:22:21 pm »
I haven't ridden it from about Gaviota to Lompoc (although I've ridden 101 up to Buellton and then west to Lompoc), but the freeway sections are generally really good riding, as long as the shoulder is clean.  There are very wide, paved shoulders.  On a recent trip where everyone freaks out at the idea of riding bike on the freeway, I made it a point to see just how much room the traffic was leaving me.  The right-lane traffic was leaving me anywhere from ten to sixteen feet.  You won't have that luxury on a lazy two-lane country road!  IOW, the freeway is much safer.  I've driven (not ridden) the part of 1 from Lompoc to Gaviota, and although I don't think it was as wide as from Gaviota to Santa Barbara, I vaguely remember that there is still a lot of room for bikes except at narrow bridges; but there's not much traffic and you can time your crossings so they don't coincide with vehicles using the bridge and competing for the same room.

It's not hell at all from a traffic standpoint; but if you must ride north instead of south, the reason to go early would be to avoid the worst of the headwind.  When we rode the other direction, we were going 30mph on the freeway, and in one place closer to Malibu, even 28mph climbing, because of the afternoon wind pushing us down the coast.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: whats hwy 1 like out of santa barbara?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2010, 12:46:12 pm »
Only driven it, not biked it.  There's a fair few narrow bridges where you'll have to merge into traffic lanes; most of the rest you can stay on the shoulders.  There's a tunnel -- I think you have to walk through it on a raised sidewalk -- just before the split with 101.  From there over to Lompoc doesn't look too bad, unless you've got gusty crosswinds.  I have biked the last few miles into Lompoc without any problems (except for wind!).

I guess you could ride over the ridge on 154, but there isn't really another route through there.  154 is a pretty steep climb, IIRC.  Much less traffic except for rush hour (wait unil 9:00 to leave town!).  Solvang through Buellton to Lompoc is a nice ride, although the southerly route is even better with hardly any traffic, although the pavement is rougher.

Offline valygrl

Re: whats hwy 1 like out of santa barbara?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2010, 01:50:47 pm »
I've done it, it's not so bad, the tunnel is short but scary.  If you *can* do it in the morning, that would be nicer.  The tunnel is slightly up hill and has a pretty strong headwind.

I did ride through the tunnel, I don't remember a sidewalk - but I timed it for when there were no cars coming and I sprinted.

After you get through the tunnel on the way to Lompoc there are a few long grades that can be kind of wearing, and I did have headwind (April 2005)-- but it's nothing to get really stressed about.  Other than the tunnel the shoulders are huge and were clean when I did it. 

Offline patney

Re: whats hwy 1 like out of santa barbara?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 09:28:04 pm »
thanks guys, much appreciated for the info
I'm not a number, I'm a free man!