Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gilbraltar Road Climb

One more tick-list climb and descent now in the books:  Gilbraltar Road, from Santa Barbara to the ridge above town, 3500 or so feet over 8 miles.  Others have reported in detail on this climb.  (And here.)

We stayed in a rental place just off of Foothill Road, bottom left of the map.  Foothill intersects Mountain near the Sheffield Reservoir; at that point, the climb begins in earnest.  Gilbraltar Road starts shortly thereafter.

The Climb

With a low point of about 300 feet above the ocean and a high point of about 3800 feet, the total net  elevation gain ran about 3500 feet.  Strava reports closer to 4200 in total elevation over the 24 mile round trip.

The flat part in the middle is the wonderful road along the top of the ridge with views into the mountains to the northeast and out to the water to the southwest.

Sam set against the southwesterly ocean view.

The Specs

I was riding the blue Cannondale (pic, right), which I bought in 1989 at age 16 and Sam has maintained in his garage for the past 15 years or so.  The Cannondale has become my go to west-coast bike for those trips when I don't want to carry my own.  It currently has somewhat odd gearing -- 50-39 front and 12-25 rear.  (There would surely be a story there if anybody could remember how it happened.)

As the picture shows, Sam was on the new Ti Cycles frame built with Ui2 gearing, Dura Ace wheels, Enve fork, stem and bars, Specialized Cobble Gobbler post, and Compass tires.  It's a lovely build.  And, apparently, a nice ride.

Of course, much of the time on the ascent I was in 39-25, and at that, out of the saddle.  But I've always ridden hills that way anyway.  The result, Strava tells me, is a fairly high estimated wattage for the two hour ride.  I've never seen Strava estimated wattage to be anything other than inflated by a good 10-20%.

Be assured, I'm not in that good of shape.

Going Down

And the descent turned out to be a marvelous ride.  Gilbraltar Road is a twisty, turny, windy stretch of tarmac with plentiful sharp edges with enormous penalties for missing a turn.  We took it slow.  Which meant a nice long technical slalom course down the mountain with mostly perfect blacktop and only occasional gravel in the corners.


sam said...

Fantastic ride; if I lived in Santa Barbara I'd wind up with 1,533,730 feet of elevation gain for the year.

Unknown said...

Sounds great! It looks like that climb isn't far at all from the southernmost point of the CCC 1200k, which rolled through Solvang before turning back north.

Max said...

Definitely in that vicinity. One would be a mountain goat if s/he lived anywhere along that central coast region for any amount of time. A fact that is proved by the frankly amazing Strava leaderboard for this climb.