Day five takes us through the city of Santa Maria, aka BBQ capitol of California*, through the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and into Lompoc, apparently the flower seed capitol of the world (take that Santa Maria). The route is only 42 miles with minimal climbing. The maximum elevation is only about 800 feet and the route closes at 3:00 p.m.
Which all explains why this day is Red Dress day! Everyone will be dressing in costume and wearing silly non-bike friendly garments. I have a couple ideas, but I still need to go shopping for it! I’m expecting that this will be a very fun night indeed! And no, I will not be wearing a dress.
As soon as you roll out of your tent, you will realize that this is not just another day in the saddle. Today, it is an AIDS/Life tradition to ride in our AIDS awareness red best. You will look like a fabulous red ribbon on wheels as you head out of Camp 4 on our way south towards Rest Stop 1 in Orcutt. We’ll be on a route through Santa Maria and the ‘All American City’ has worked hard to create some really nice bike lanes. Enjoy them! As you approach the switchbacks after Rest Stop 2 that originally inspired early AIDS riders to don red, be sure to look up at the hills to get your own peek at the red ribbon bicycle parade. The route on this day affords beautiful vistas and light traffic. One of our rest stops is on a military base, so give a salute to our men and women in uniform if you see them! As you enter Lompoc, keep your eyes peeled after lunch for wildflowers! The mileage may be a little shorter today but there is certainly no shortage of beauty and fun.
2301 Preisker Ln., Santa Maria, 93458
Sweeney Rd. & Hwy 246, Lompoc, 93436
*Santa Maria is perhaps most notable for an excellent variety of barbecued meat. The tri-tip steak has its roots in Santa Maria. Tri-tip is a cut of beef from the bottom sirloin. It is a small triangular muscle, usually 1.5 to 2.5 lb (680 to 1,100 g) per side of beef. In the United States, this cut was typically used for ground beef or sliced into steaks until the late 1950s, when it became a local specialty in Santa Maria. “Santa Maria Style” barbecue is usually used in reference to the seasoning of tri-tip or other meats (most notably top sirloin, or “top block”) when rubbed with salt, pepper, and spices and cooked whole on arotisserie or grilled over local red oak wood. The side dishes complimenting a typical “Santa Maria Style” barbecue generally consist of garlic bread, pinquito beans, and a salad. (From the Wikipedia entry.)