Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 9:49 am | Mostly Cloudy 61º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Cool Weather Greets Solvang Century Riders Racing Across Northern Santa Barbara County

Thousands of bicyclists power their way on 100-, 70- or 50-mile round trips from Hotel Corque in downtown Solvang

Lompoc High School student Isabella Almanza refills water bottles for Solvang Century cyclists arriving at a rest stop at Graciosa Road, near Highway 135 south of Orcutt. Click to view larger
Lompoc High School student Isabella Almanza refills water bottles for Solvang Century cyclists arriving at a rest stop at Graciosa Road, near Highway 135 south of Orcutt. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

With emerald green hills on both sides of the route, hundreds of bicyclists rolled through northern Santa Barbara County on Saturday for the annual Solvang Century ride.

Cyclists started and ended their rides in Solvang, with three routes taking them through the Santa Ynez, Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys.

Rest stops along the route, like those set up on Graciosa Road and near the Radisson Hotel Santa Maria, offered food, water, restrooms and camaraderie.

For participants Christy Smith of Castro Valley and Lynden McLaughlan of Oakland, the event served as a training for Race Across America.

This was Smith’s first time at the Solvang Century and McLaughlan’s second.

“It’s beautiful scenery,” McLaughlan said of his reason for returning. “It’s so well set up.”

The 100-, 70- or 50-mile rides started and finished at Hotel Corque, home to a cycling festival with more than 25 vendors, barbecue lunch, music and massage therapists.

Unlike last year’s event held as toasty temperatures baked participants, riders this year were greeted by cool weather following Friday’s rainstorm.

The annual ride that draws 2,500 to 3,000 participants from throughout California and beyond is organized by Specialized Coronary Outpatients Rehabilitation.

SCOR, now with headquarters in Whittier, was founded in 1974 as a nonprofit recreational bicycling club to encourage cycling as a form of rehabilitate therapy after heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty and other forms of heart disease.

Money raised from the rides supports Camp Bon Couer, Camp del Corazon and Camp Taylor, all for children with severe congenital heart disease. The camps provide a first-time chance for youths to experience summer camping activities in a medically supervised environment with their peers.

The group also donates to the Tour de Cure American Diabetes Association ride.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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