Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition

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Bicycle rides in Santa Barbara County

photo of Cabrillo Bikepath

Biking on the Cabrillo Bikepath in Santa Barbara.


Do-it-yourself Bike Rides

  • photo of ride fliers The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is crafting bike rides for your enjoyment, whether you live here or are just visiting.
  • The current ones, available for download in Adobe PDF format, are the following. You will need a PDF Reader that you can get free from Adobe to view and print them out. Each ride is two pages long.
  • All the rides assume that you are comfortable riding with traffic. They are not for beginners or young children on their own bikes. Most of the travel is on quiet streets and roads, on streets with bikelanes, or on bikepaths separate from motorists. Obey traffic laws and exercise everyday common sense and caution when bicycling.
  • Three of them start and end in Santa Barbara at the Dolphin Fountain, located at the intersection of State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, at the foot of Stearns Wharf. One begins at Goleta Beach County Park near UCSB. And two start across from the Little Mermaid Fountain in central Solvang.
photo of Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Bicycle Ride. 10.8 miles long. This ride takes you through the heart of Downtown Santa Barbara. It passes the County Courthouse, city parks, and the old Santa Barbara Mission. You'll ride in bikelanes most of the way, and cross Highway 101 on a bike bridge. The ride ends with a three-mile down hill ride with sweeping views of the mountains, ocean and harbor. Santa Barbara Bicycle Ride.
photo of Montecito Mountain Drive Bicycle Ride. 15.9 miles long. Not for flatlanders, this ride takes you up 800 feet above Santa Barbara for spectacular views from winding Mountain Drive. Watch for the very special mailbox at 1550 Mountain Drive. Descent passes through upscale Montecito with gated estates, historic hotels, and dining opportunities. You return to the start past Santa Barbara Cemetery, the Bird Refuge, and East Beach. Mountain Drive Bicycle Ride.
photo of UCSB Goleta Bicycle Ride. 21.2 miles long. This fairly flat ride starts at Goleta Beach County Park, east of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). You'll pass through the University, quiet residential areas, lemon and avocado orchards, La Cumbre shopping center, and return to your starting point by riding for miles on the Obern Trail bikepath. Goleta Bicycle Ride.
photo of State Street Santa Barbara Streets & Paths Bicycle Ride. 22.4 miles long. This ride takes you through Downtown Santa Barbara, passing historical buildings. You will ride on different bike-laned streets and enjoy several mles of bikepath. You'll ride through the exclusive Hope Ranch area. Be sure to pull off for the commanding view of the Ocean and Channel Islands from 200 feet above the surf just outside Hope Ranch. Watch speed on downhills. End the ride with a swooping downhill on Shoreline Drive back to the Dolphin Fountain. Santa Barbara Streets & Paths Bicycle Ride.
photo of vineyards Sideways Film Location Ride I. 50.0 miles long. This ride starts and ends in central Solvang. You will travel west along Highway 246 to Lompoc, then return along Santa Rosa Road. The 18 miles on Santa Rosa Road offer you what many consider the best bike ride in Santa Barbara County. You will pass three restaurants, a bar, golf course, motel, winery and of course Ostrich Land—all film locations. Sideways Film Location Ride I.
photo of hills Sideways Film Location Ride II. 52.3 miles long. This ride starts and ends in central Solvang. You will travel north through quiet Los Olivos, then through the Foxen Canyon Wine Country. There are four wineries along the way, plus the Los Olivos Cafe, all film locations. This is not an easy ride because of the climbing—look carefully at the altitude graph on the ride sheet. Be sure to compliment Firestone Winery for supplying a bike rack for visitors. Sideways Film Location Ride II.
  • In addition, as part of the 1998 Pro Bike/Pro Walk Conference, we put together a group of 11 rides that you can do yourself around Santa Barbara. The rides lead you by tourist attractions as well as local bicycling facilities and various neighborhoods. They all start and end at the DoubleTree Resort on the beach, but you can pick them up anywhere along the route. Many of the 1998 features have been incorporated in the newer rides above. Look here.
  • Santa Maria cyclist Rick Sweet has put online a number of rides that you can take in the northern part of Santa Barbara County. They are grouped as road rides, pleasure rides and mountain bike rides. The site is www.centralcoastcycling.com
  • If that's not enough, look at Ray Ford's large web site. It has numerous rides for road and off-road in our County and other counties. Go to Santa Barbara Outdoors.

Commercial Cycling Tours and Activities

  • The following companies have some off-the-shelf bike rides, or can customize tours for individuals or groups.
  • Bicycle Adventures. They offer week-long cycling tours of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties throughout the year.
  • Cycling Escapes. They offer tours many places, including a challenging 6-day tour in the Santa Ynez Valley.
  • Fitness 805. This group is based in Santa Barbara and their goal is to improve your overall fitness through biking combined with strength training. They offer road cycling, mountain biking, and spinning sessions.
  • Planet Ultra. They offer multi-day tours and one-day rides of 65-200 miles. Includes a week-long Solvang Spring Tour and three rides in the Santa Ynez Valley. Contact them at embassy@planetultra.com.
  • Santa Barbara Adventure Company. They arrange bike trips that get you close to nature and away from crowds. Guided biking, kayaking, hiking trips, plus excursions to the Channel Islands or wineries, for one or several days are possible. Phone 898-2222 or email them at letsgo@sbadventureco.com.
  • Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours. 3630 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez. Choose tours from half day to a full week of cycling with support vehicle, Specialized road bikes, wine tasting, gourmet dining and first-class accommodations. Bicycle rental. Email info@winecountrycycling.com or phone 686-9490.
  • Trek Travel. Organized tours of Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley, plus professional cycling camps and an Amgen Tour of California tour. Phone them at 866.464.8735.
  • Undiscovered Country Tours. They offer tours all over California, including a 3-day weekend getaways around Solvang and a 5-day tour in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. Phone them at 877.322.1667, or email information@udctours.com.

  • In addition, there are many charity rides and other rides offered by bike clubs and other organizations all year around. Most are one-day rides, but some are multi-day tours. They run from 15 to 200 miles in length. Major upcoming rides are listed in the Bicycle Coalition's Meetings & Events page.
  • Go to the main regional bicycling page for additional information on bike clubs, bike maps and books, bike shops, and bike rentals.