Saturday, April 5, 2014
The route for today winds its way up, down and around through the pastoral roads surrounding Santa Ynez Valley on Ballard and Foxen Canyons. It continues partially along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail out to Alisos Canyon into Los Alamos. The ride concludes with a climb up the north side of Drum Canyon followed by a long descent through the valley out to CA-246.
We exit Flying Flags and head east on CA-246 for the turn onto Ballard Canyon Rd.
The first two miles on Ballard Canyon gently climbs up through a ranching community with paddocks and pens and expansive green fields dotted with grazing horses and long horn cattle.
The road drops down onto the flat canyon floor and continues along the quiet country with rolling hillside vineyards and vast open green meadows. The fields are glowing with gorgeous displays of yellow flowers-WOW!
The short climb up Ballard Canyon on the approach towards Windmill Ranch has beautiful views of the soft rolling green hills dotted with long horns and a small huge herd of bisons.
The climbing continues up the canyon with fabulous vineyard landscapes.
Ballard Canyon drops down onto Foxen Canyon Rd at CA-154. We cross CA-154 and stay on Foxen Canyon Rd; the flat terrain takes us through “horse country” with equine facilities and wide open ranch lands out to the Santa Ynez Valley Recycling Station.
The base of the climb up the backside of Firestone Hill begins after passing the Santa Ynez Valley Recycling Station; it’s a mile long with an average grade of 4.5%.
Enjoy the valley views from the top of the ridge!
The fast descent drops us down towards Firestone Vineyards onto the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.
From the ridge, the road climbs for a very short 2/10th of a mile and quickly descends down into the valley towards Alisos Canyon Rd.
The short climb on Alisos Canyon takes us up and over to the flat open agricultural farmlands.
Alisos continues SW through the vineyards and horse ranches out to the end at US-101.
We take Carrari; an open side road along the vineyards into Los Alamos for lunch.
The Chevron Station in Los Alamos has the generic snack foods, drinks and restrooms with a Subway Restaurant next store. If you like a sit-down service lunch, there are a couple of places on Bell St-Café Quakenbush and Bell Street Farm.
We head west on Bell St to Centennial St, this road takes us into Los Alamos County Park at the base of Drum Canyon.
Drum Canyon has very gentle grades for the first half mile or so; it goes pass the Los Alamos Cemetery, open green meadows and farmlands.
The single lane road gradually rises up with an average grade of 5.6%.
It winds up through the canyon between Redrock Mountain and the Purisima Hills with steeper sections of 9-11% grades. You’re at the summit at the cattle guard crossing.
The descent down the south side is on a very rough twisty bumpy road. It eventually drops straight down into the open valley through a ranching and farming community with old barns and farming equipment.
The flat road leads us to Dierberg & Star Lane Vineyards and Tasting Room.
Drum Canyon ends at the intersection with CA-246. We head east on CA-246; this highway has wide shoulders with little to no debris. The short climb has gorgeous views of the Purisima Hills and the valley below it.
The rolling terrain on CA-246 E is quite scenic with views of the Santa Rosa Hills and the rich agricultural farmlands around Santa Rita Valley.
Before entering into the town of Buellton, CA-246 passes through Windfield Farm, Andre Lavender Farm and the Westwinds Training Center with amazing views of the Santa Ynez Mountains.
The turn on Avenue of Flags takes us back to Flying Flags RV Resort.
This is a beautiful scenic ride along the quiet back roads around the valleys and hills of Santa Barbara County-come out and ride it!
43.31 Miles with 3064′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1356′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Hilly with a few steep climbs
Weather: Sunny, breezy and clear with temps ranging from the mid 50’s to the low 70’s. Strong NW winds with 71% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: