Last weekend, two of our own grabbed their road bikes, threw on their spandex and took a spin. A lengthy, grueling, calf-quad-hamstring burning kind of spin. This was not your typical afternoon joy ride; this was the 30th Annual Solvang Century ride, a demanding 100.81 mile ride with 3,982 feet of ascent and incredibly steep inclines.
Who would put themselves through that kind of torture?
That would be Hans Mize, Data41 President, and Adam Stein, Data41 Director of Sales. These two have been cycling together for more than a decade, and the Solvang Century ride is an annual challenge for the pair.
Nothing can prepare you for the vigorous Solvang Century ride except for training, which is exactly what Hans and Adam did months prior to the race. This year in particular marks a very prominent accomplishment for the duo. It was their tenth (yes tenth, one-zero) Century ride completion. On top of hitting the double digit Century ride mark, the pair finished at six hours, the second fastest time they have ever had.
The ride begins at Hotel Corque, winds through beautiful Santa Ynez wine country and eventually ends back at Hotel Corque. After the one hundred miles are completed, riders give their legs a rest and enjoy a BBQ at the finish line.
While the ride is a beautiful one, it is extremely difficult, ranked as a five star (out of six) ride difficulty. Starting elevation of the race is 489 feet with a maximum elevation of 1,575 feet. Between these elevations are steep hills (mountains) and descents. The average grade is around 3 percent, but at times can be even higher. Check out a detailed map of the ride here.
As if the topography of the ride is not hard enough, keep in mind the race attracts more than five thousand riders. Now you are trying to avoid running into other cyclists while climbing what at the time feels like Mount Everest. Then there is the weather. At 6:30am when the ride began, Solvang was a brisk 37 degrees with the cyclists in spandex, sans snow jacket. Brrr! By the time the ride was over six hours later, the temperature had climbed 40 degrees to a balmy 77 degrees.
We applaud you Hans and Adam for completing your 10th Century Ride! A very admirable accomplishment and demanding tradition. Here’s to your 11th Century Ride in 2013!
To learn more about the Solvang Century ride (or the Half Century ride) please click here.