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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone doing the wildflower century at Chico, CA? I want to do this. But I want to know what's the most efficient way to get to the century? Do I fly or drive up? If I drive its a 7 hour drive from LA (not very efficient)? If I fly up, where do I fly to,Chico or near by cities?

Any input will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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You should probably fly to Sacramento and drive up from there. Stay in Sac overnight along the I-5 corridor and then take the 99/70 exit off of I-5, north of Sac and that heads "directly" to Chico, about a 1 1/2 hr. drive.

The Wildflower has some decent climbs at a couple of sections of the ride, but my overall impression is that it feels more like 60-70% is flat. When I do it, I short cut the flat section at the start and head toward the hills. I then have a nice downhiller, across some flats and back into the hills. It then goes downhill and flat from there. I take a shortcut back into town ending up at about 70 miles or so.
 

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Wife and I are doing it`

We're going to ride it. Signed up yesterday. We really like the Chico area. Pretty foothill country up there. Definitely fly into Sacramento. If you get in early enough stay in Yuba City/Marysville or Oroville (about 1/2 hour away) as it is probably cheaper than Chico. It's kind of a stickin' little town full of rice paddies but is normally cheaper to stay at. Should be a fun ride if it doesn't rain. Definitely scenic.
 

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Personally i would drive. If you fly you pay for tix, go through airport hassles, hassles of packing, unpacking, repacking bike, car rental fees, etc. I would much rather have my car and just put my bike in the trunk. Do the drive up 1 or 101. Nice drive when the hills are green. Time wise, it will probably be a wash. Just my .02. Heard that the Wildflower is a great century to do.
 

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Short cut the flat at the beginning?

"The Wildflower has some decent climbs at a couple of sections of the ride, but my overall impression is that it feels more like 60-70% is flat. When I do it, I short cut the flat section at the start and head toward the hills. I then have a nice downhiller, across some flats and back into the hills. It then goes downhill and flat from there. I take a shortcut back into town ending up at about 70 miles or so."

Most people don't do it correctly. You should go up old 32 then head up honeyrun. Most people skip old hwy 32 and go directly to honeyrun. Old hwy 32 is a short but heavy climb. There are no flats in the beginning- only about a 3 mile warm up before honeyrun (if you skip going up old hwy 32) then up you go. I guess if you really wanted to you could cut the 3 miles down to about 1 but I wouldn't call that cutting out the flat section. That said it is a great century that can be done in 4.5 hours by two strong riders.
 

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One of my favorites...i'd probably drive

I've done it four or five times--it's about 3 1/2 hours from home and 4000 feet lower, generally the first warm-weather thing we do in spring (it will still be freezing at night in Reno).
Best flight is certainly going to be to Sacramento, then rent a car and drive to Chico, as somebody else recommended. I'd be tempted to drive, though. It's 460 miles or so, depending on where you are in Southern Calif., but it's a straight shot once you're on I-5 and you can easily average 70-75.
I've flown from Reno to LA (same distance) a couple of times lately, and while the flight is only an hour or a little more, with security and luggage and all the crap you have to do, it's almost five hours door to door. Flying these days is just too much of a hassle for me to do it unless I can save some serious time.
 

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Cory said:
I've done it four or five times--it's about 3 1/2 hours from home and 4000 feet lower, generally the first warm-weather thing we do in spring (it will still be freezing at night in Reno).
Best flight is certainly going to be to Sacramento, then rent a car and drive to Chico, as somebody else recommended. I'd be tempted to drive, though. It's 460 miles or so, depending on where you are in Southern Calif., but it's a straight shot once you're on I-5 and you can easily average 70-75.
I've flown from Reno to LA (same distance) a couple of times lately, and while the flight is only an hour or a little more, with security and luggage and all the crap you have to do, it's almost five hours door to door. Flying these days is just too much of a hassle for me to do it unless I can save some serious time.
Those are good points. The other issue is the hassle of breaking down and building up your bike twice if you fly.

I've done the ride the last two years and will do it again this year. Most of the flats come after the climbs, so you can make it a hilly metric or so pretty easily. Chico's a cool place with the college atmosphere, and not expensive by SoCal rates. I'm not a fan of Yuba City or Marysville.
 

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Did it once and that was enough for me. It was an okay ride, but not worth the road trip from San Jose for me. I don't know how far it was, but it seemed like 30 miles of windy flats at the end, which sucks. There were also far too many crazy tandem riders running wild down the descents. I loved the Honey Run and Cherokee climbs, however.

There is another Wildflower, usually on the same day, run near San Luis Obispo. I've done that one numerous times, and I'd do it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the inputs!

How does this compare to the solvang century? I don't know if this is worth all the hassle (fly or driving to)
 

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Marcus75 said:
How does this compare to the solvang century? I don't know if this is worth all the hassle (fly or driving to)
I did the Solvang Half last year, and Chico is definitely more interesting than that. I'm doing the full Solvang this year for the first time, so if you're interested in more feedback, pm me and I'll be happy to comment.

I thought Solvang's riders/course was more sketchy than Chico. The descent from Paradise is pretty open and mostly straight. If you make a trip out of going to Chico, maybe by staying in Sacramento an extra day and adding an additional ride in, that might make it more worthwhile.

I'm going back to Solvang because my wife and I love the central coast and the timing's right for my training schedule this year. We have a good time in SLO, stay in Pismo Beach next to the ocean, and make a mini-vacation out of it. Along with riding the Solvang Century, I'll also ride twice near SLO.
 
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