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Santa Barbara County is truly a cycling paradise. The ocean keeps the climate mild all year long, so it’s ideal for long rides and pushing limits. The terrain is varied, offering everything from foothill rollers and steep switchback climbs to long, flat miles along the coast. It’s called the “corridor” and it runs from Goleta in the north, through Santa Barbara, to Carpinteria in the south. The itch to ride outside this bubble of perfection—“beyond the corridor” as the locals say—hit us when as we spied the backcountry from the summit of Gibraltar Road laid out like a fresh canvas for our tires.
As a cool mist burns off in town, we load our bikes onto our Küat Sherpa 2.0 and drive over San Marcos Pass to Red Rock. Red Rock is a swimming hole at the end of Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest, but the name has come to mean the entire area of swimming holes, picnic areas and hiking trails connected by the Santa Ynez River. Love or hate the Adventure Pass, it means more crowds in places like Red Rock as roads and parking lots extend deeper into the Los Padres National Forest. It also means a bike is the best way to leave those crowds behind.
Read more of Küat X Santa Barbara Part III, The Backcountry, or catch up on the entire adventure at kuat.pelotonmagazine.com