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Peloton X

Küat X Santa Barbara, Part IV: The Ridge

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Our adventure in Santa Barbara with Küat Racks concludes with a ride along East Camino Cielo.

East Camino Cielo runs along the ridge of the Santa Ynez Mountains like a spine connecting Santa Barbara to the backcountry, with its nervous system of asphalt, fire road and single track providing riders with endless opportunities to explore. Of course, the big question inevitably becomes: “Do we drop into the backcountry, guaranteeing ourselves a huge climb out, or rip down an asphalt descent like Painted Cave or Gibraltar, for an easy ride home?” We have a few miles to decide.

peloton/Jordan Clark Haggard

At the end of Stagecoach Road we cross over Highway 154 at the summit of San Marcos Pass. It’s one of the few times we’ve seen traffic all day—commuters heading home from work in Santa Barbara to Santa Ynez, Solvang or sleepy Buellton—and after a game of high-stakes Frogger we reach East Camino Cielo.

While the ridge is not really thought of as a climb, the first 2 miles are torture. Switchback’s pitch up close to 20 percent—but every foot of elevation is worth it…

To read the entire final chapter of our adventure with Küat in Santa Barbara, or catch up on the previous chapters, go to: kuat.pelotonmagazine.com

For more about Küat Racks go to: küatracks.com