Solvang Century
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Hitting the road in Solvang

Riders arrive at 5:30 a.m. for the Solvang Century. Cyclists may ride six days a week for 10 weeks to train. (Carlos Chavez / LAT)
Cyclists tackle the Solvang Century, which attracted 4,850 participants this year. The ride is known for its scenery. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Riding more than 100 miles in a day — a century ride — is a rite of passage and a personal goal for cyclists, like completing a first marathon is for runners. (Carlos Chavez / LAT)
Dave Mitchell prepares for an uphill stretch. (Carlos Chavez / LAT)
Eating and drinking regularly is essential on a century ride, on which riders can easily burn 5,000 calories in the course of the day. (Carlos Chavez / LAT)