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Local News

Solvang Century Cyclists Undeterred by Hills, Rain During Popular Annual Ride

3,000 riders — and hundreds of interlopers — pedal through weather obstacles in benefit for camps serving children with severe congenital heart disease

 

Some Solvang Century cyclists got soaked Saturday while participating in the 36th annual ride through the Santa Ynez, Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys.

The series of recreational excursions attracts thousands of bicyclists for routes that begin and end in Solvang.

Participants, capped at 3,000, got to choose three routes — the Century at 100 miles, Metric Century at 73 miles or Half-Century at 50 miles.

In the past, riders have encountered toasty temperatures for their travels, but Saturday brought gray skies and rain along the route for some still pedaling along in the afternoon.

Seeking shelter from the rain, Michael Losey of Orange County paused under a tree on East Clark Avenue in Orcutt as he donned a jacket.

He said he prefers riding in warm weather rather than the rain.

“The rain is miserable,” Losey said.

In addition to the rides, the Solvang Century includes a Cycling Festival with music, food and more at Hotel Corque in Solvang.

The ride is organized by the Specialized Coronary Outpatient Rehabilitation, or SCOR, which was founded 1974 by Randy Ice.

The Solvang Century has become so popular that organizers discovered 600 “bandit riders,” i.e., individuals who failed to pay registration fees but participated anyway, and planned to crack down on scofflaws.

The nonprofit recreational bicycling club encourages patients to take up bicycling as a form of rehabilitative therapy after heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty, stents, valve replacement, congestive heart failure and other forms of heart disease.

Funds raised from the rides support Camp Bon Coeur, Camp del Corazon and Camp Taylor. These camps for children with unusually severe congenital heart disease provide a first chance to experience summer camping activities in a medically supervised environment with their peers.

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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