You’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere in Monterey County without a cyclist enjoy the sights while riding down a lane or an off-road trail. The natural beauty of Monterey County is heightened when you make things easier by cycling, as opposed to driving. That goes some way towards explaining why cycling ranks among the more popular activities in the area. Here’s a rundown on Monterey County’s top 10 bike rides
Fisherman’s Wharf to Lovers Point
Beginner level. Take in the city of the county’s coastline by riding along the path running from Fisherman’s Wharf to the 50’s sounding Lovers Point. The path is known as the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail, running from Castroville (north) to Pacific Grove (south). However, the path between Fisherman’s What and Lovers Point is the section that riders most enjoy.
The path is away from street traffic and is safe for everyone from learning children to nervous adults. The Monterey Bay views are amazing and there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a stop at as it goes past the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Hopkins Marine Station’s seal beach, and the Coast Guard Pier.
Beginner-to-immediate level. The 17-mile drive along Pebble Beach is one of the more scenic rides you can enjoy in Monterey Bay and provides you with the opportunity to take some stunning photos for your social media family. Such opportunities include the Del Monte Forest, Spanish Bay, and The Lone Cypress Tree. The route is an easy one to navigate. Just make sure to ride on the left side of the water when you’re heading out there and on the right as you return.
The conventional route starts at Cannery Row’s Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. After just over one mile, you come to the end of the trail and will cycle through Ocean View Drive’s Pacific Grove past Point Pinos. You’ll then carry on along Sunset Drive where you’ll go past the stunning Asilomar State Beach. Here you’ll see Pebble Beach for the first time on your way to 17-Mile Drive.
You’ll follow the drive to Point Joe and Seal Rock. The latter is an ideal stop, with its picnic tables and restrooms. Around one mile further, you’ll reach Cypress Point, where you’ll see a wonderful vista. Continuing on, you’ll notice the bike lane turn into the main road where you’ll be riding alongside cars, so you’ll need to exercise some caution. Cannery Row to Cypress Point is an 18-mile round trip, in addition to 24 miles from Pebble beach’s Lodge and back.
Highway 1 through Big Sur
Expert level. Riders with enough experience can take the steep and somewhat dangerous ride from Carmel down to Big Sur and Bixby Bridge. Hundreds of riders each year ride Highway 1’s steepest portions. Highway 1 is an All-American Road, as well as being a State Scenic Highway. It’s also been referred to as one of the country’s best road trips. The stunning vistas appear even more impressive from the vantage point of a cyclist.
It’s easy to navigate the ride, as long as you cycle on the left of the ocean if you’re riding south to Hearst Castle or Big Sur. If you’re riding north towards Monterey, you’ll want to keep the ocean to your left. For cyclists with tons of experience, cycling along Highway 1 through Big Sur just might be the ride or of your life.