San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club
Ride the roads that charter members of SLOBC and guests rode the first few years, early in the 1970's. The century was the creation of Larry Souza in 1971. He founded the SLOBC earlier that same year. He also originated the famous Lighthouse Century in 1971. For the Wildflower, he chose his favorite one hundred miles. It was to please his friends and himself. He succeeded! Since those early years, the two centuries evolved. Cyclists rave nationwide about the pampering they receive. Marvelous food stops, end of ride BBQ, Many rest-stops. So this ride is a retro-century. It goes back to the way it was. Every cyclist for himself. On his or her own.
For no registration fee, here is what you get: no t-shirt, no sag, no food stops, no end-of-ride barbeque, no patch, no pampering and no pavement arrows. A possible difficulty to consider. If it rains, and you get the map/route-slip wet, it could become unreadable. Suggestion. Get a county map. Highlight the route. Keep it in a zip-lock. Put it under your pillow and dream. Another challenge.; Water! There is no potable water for the first seventy-miles (Shandon). However, there is an option for brave, thirst-crazed cyclists. When you turn off of Hwy 58 onto Bitterwater Road, the ranch on your left is occupied. If the dogs don't eat you, you can beg water.
South from Creston on Hwy 229 is rolling terrain.
Left on Highway 58. Thirty -some miles of "Ride Rating 3" (See SLOBC's Ride Ratings). Lots of oaks and juniper. Climb up onto the Carrizo Plain . A marvelous panorama unfolds on this fifty mile long plain.
Left on Bitterwater Road. If thirst-crazy, fight off the dogs at the first ranch. Grovel for agua frio. Several miles of gentle rise on treeless Carizzo (a legitimate spelling variation) Plain. San Andreas Fault is now visible. Then rolling and flat to the summit of Palo Prieto Pass. Then a several mile downhill to Highway 46. (Sorry 'bout that)
Left turn and four miles of traffic to Shandon turnoff. First chance for water and food at the store. No cafe here. Then about fifteen miles along Truesdale and Shell Creek Road. Lovely, flat, scenic stretch!
Right on Highway 58 and then a right on La Panza Road on rolling and flat terrain.
A left on Highway 41 and an immediate left takes you back to the Longbranch Cafe. This cafe was really in a sad state back in the seventies. Could even be worse now. If you are starved and thirsty, it should not matter. An option is the Loading Chute down the road. But don't say dumb things to the cowboys in either cafe. They think all of us are wimps. They might be tempted to knock you down. That would hurt. Behave. Be polite. Eat a lot of good stuff. Drink. You'll need it. Then , as you drive away, you can realize a thrill. Wow! I just did the Original Wildflower Century. On my own !
|Don't turn (right) on Bitterwater Valley at intersection|
|Note abandoned general store on left|
|Left||Highway 46 (Careful)||4.2||76.0||0||5,300|
|Don't go left onto Gillis Canyon Road|
|Right||Shell Creek Road||10.1||93.6||600||6,100|
|RIght||La Panza Road||9.9||106.2||350||6,700|